There is a difference between losing weight and losing FAT.
Losing FAT may be great for some wanting to lead a healthier lifestyle but losing weight can include losing lean muscle tissue at the same time.
No-one wants to lose muscle mass after putting in so much work to build it.
When you create a calorie deficit (consuming fewer calories than what you burn every day), your body tends to burn a certain amount of fat before it turns to burning muscle, leaving you feeling leaner, but you can feel weaker too.
So, how can you maintain (and build) the muscle whilst losing fat too?
1.Resistance Training is one of the most important factors for maintaining muscle mass when dieting. It can attenuate the loss of muscle by stimulating muscle protein synthesis (Where protein is produced to repair muscles).
You want to focus on working your whole body at least 3 times a week. Aim for exercises that work for more than one muscle group at a time. For example, squats, bench presses, deadlifts, overhead presses and barbell rows are great. This will make it easier for you to lift heavier, get stronger, or maintain muscle as you lose weight.
2.Follow a High Protein Diet as not surprisingly if you want to build more muscle protein, you need to eat more Protein;).
Muscles require protein for their growth and repair. Enjoy plenty of sustainable fish, lean meat, eggs, tofu, beans, lentils, pulses, and low-fat dairy.
Stay clear of low-calorie diets which may result in a low intake of protein which can result in poor growth and loss of muscle mass, even if you’re shifting the fat.
Increasing your protein intake can be helpful to minimise the loss of lean body mass or muscle and it also tends to keep you feeling fuller for longer, meaning you’re less likely to snack, keeping the calorie count down.
3.Eat Good Fats which are the building blocks for our hormones, brain and nerve tissues, protective layers of our cells, help to manage and control inflammation, and help us absorb vital nutrients including vitamin A, D, E and K.
Fullness is a feeling that’s created during digestion; when fat triggers the release of cholecystokinin, a hormone that slows down how fast the stomach empties food into your intestines. This not only helps you get full but also ensures you’ll stay full for a longer period of time. Consequently, you need less food to feel satisfied, compared with a diet lower in fat.
Omega 3’s in particular have been shown to increase protein synthesis, which is the process your body goes through when it turns the protein you eat into the fuel your muscles need to grow and stay strong.
According to a study in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, omega-3s can also help you burn fat by using it as energy. The same rule applies like it did for protein synthesis that the more omega-3s you have, the better your body functions as it burns more fat for energy as you exercise.
Healthy Fats include, Avocados, Salmon, Mackerel, Kippers, Sardines, Nuts and Seeds, Chia seeds, Flax seeds to name a few.
4.Get enough Vitamin D Many people in Western countries where the sun doesn’t shine so often, are deficient in Vitamin D.
Vitamin D is responsible for the absorption of various minerals including calcium, magnesium, phosphate and other biological effects important in our body. More specifically for building muscles, this is one important vitamin you want to be sure you are getting enough of.
A lack of vitamin D has been associated with lowered muscle repair and increased loss of lean body mass too.
Vitamin D can be found in whole eggs, mackerel, Cheese, Sunflower spread and fortified cereals and milks.
Please check with your doctor before supplementing.
To lose weight and build muscle you want to ensure you are getting in the right amount of Protein, nutrients and vitamins to support your weight loss and promote muscle gain.
Overly restrictive diets can result in poor nutrition and muscle loss.
With the right resistance training programme, rest days for muscles to repair and grow, this will ensure you maintain as much muscle as possible as you continue on your fat loss journey.
For more help and advice, please feel free to get in touch and feel free to share and like below.
Love Farzana x