There’s a common misconception that staying in a calorie deficit will help you lose weight and tone up. Only half of that statement is true. When you’re in a calorie deficit, and working out, yes, you’ll lose weight. But toning comes with work.
Ever seen someone that looks skinny, but with no definition or tone? Sometimes known as ‘skinny fat’, you’re stuck in a place where you’ve lost body fat, but you’ve also not held on to your muscle mass.
Here are three simple ways to maintain and build muscle mass, whilst slimming down.
Grab the heavies
If you’re part of the ‘light weights burn fat brigade’, you might want to back up now. Your body is a fantastic machine, but you don’t want it to start thinking that you don’t need your muscle mass, and in turn start using it for fuel. You want your body to hold on to your muscle. Lifting heavy is an ideal way to make this happen. Studies have shown that strength training significantly reduces the loss of muscle during dieting.
Allow your body recovery time
When you’re trying to lose weight, and you’re keeping in a calorie deficit, your body is getting less energy that it needs every day. This means that your body will take longer to repair itself and recover between training sessions.
Your priorities should be to build or maintain your current strength, rather than losing weight without any strength training, and to ensure sufficient periods of rest and recovery throughout the week. This means not training every day, and giving your body some TLC when it feels like it needs it.
Protein. Protein. Protein.
Protein is an integral part of any healthy diet, but it’s even more of a necessity when trying to maintain muscle mass whilst in a calorie deficit.
Protein keeps us fuller for longer, so we won’t feel the need to reach for the crisps or chocolate when our body feels satisfied and full. It Also fuels protein synthesis, which helps our body to grow and maintain itself in a healthy manner.
- Use moderate to heavy weights for your training
- Give your body time to recover
- Eat enough protein to fuel your body
Patrick from Manufit, Bua Fit Trainer
As always, stay fit and healthy.
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