How to Maintain Muscle Mass and Lose Weight
If you’ve ever been through the process of building up muscle mass through resistance training, and your suddenly-hectic life schedule had you stopping your regular exercise, you will have probably subsequently sought to change your health and fitness goals to target weight loss. This is particularly true if en route to impressively packing on the lean muscle mass you used supplements such as protein shakes, in addition to practices such as carb-loading.
All those extra calories, which were being put to good use while you were actively lifting weights, suddenly have nowhere to go. They inevitably get converted into fat and you’re suddenly faced with the problem of trying to lose all this fat, a sizeable portion of which used to be lean muscle mass.
So how then, do you go about losing all this fat without losing the muscle mass too?
Keep in mind that it’s not a precise science
What is meant by this is that there’s no precise way to cut only the fat off your body without taking a little bit of lean muscle tissue as well. This is not surgery…
So make peace with the fact that some muscle mass will inevitably be lost as well. The idea is to minimize these losses.
Increase your exercise intensity
The most logical step to take in losing fat while retaining as much muscle mass as possible is increasing the intensity levels of the exercise you get. Yes, adding a jog to a routine whose only recognizable level of exercise is walking, does indeed count, because your body is suddenly made to have to tap into your stored energy reserves for the added fuel it’ll need. This is where two generally different directions can be taken, one of which should only be a temporary terrace if it is going to be a chosen path at all. These are getting back to resistance training (i.e. adding strength training through lifting weights), and switching up your diet (eating less).
We’ll start with the option of reducing your food consumption because this is the one which is suggested as a temporary terrace. By exercising more while eating less, you’re directing your body to raid your body’s fat reserves for its energy, until such time that the fatty mass is almost completely depleted, that is. After that your body will then start turning to your lean muscle tissue for its energy, which is why this shouldn’t be something you do forever.
Resistance training targets muscles directly for growth, strength and toning, which is a great way to maintain muscle mass while losing weight. The catch is that if you don’t use something like a protein powder supplement, your body quite indiscriminately targets both your fat reserves and muscle tissue to fuel the exercise. That’s why you might find a skinny person who is surprisingly strong enough to bench-press weights that are more suited to bulkier body-builders…Strength does not necessarily equate to size, but you do indeed want to maintain some size where it matters (for aesthetic appeal), you’ll need to feed your muscles while engaging in exercises that are resistance based, in addition to the increased levels of cardiovascular exercise.
Welcome to Motivational’s. This is Elliot Grant, fitness fanatic, and your go to advisor and blog post writer, putting your fitness first.