I am a 47 year-old woman who loves working out every day. I am 5 foot 6 inches tall, and I weigh 140 pounds. I mix cardio, circuit strength training and weight lifting in my every day schedule at the gym. I have managed to gain more flexibility and my level of fitness has improved, I believe, since I started focusing on strength and circuit training more than cardio.
I want to lose at the most 10 pounds and I don’t want to lose muscle. Recently, I have cut off sugary stuff and started watching what I put in my mouth. How can I achieve losing 10 pounds without losing muscle? Do I need to focus on weight lifting? – Susan O.
Sounds like you are doing the right combination of exercise to burn fat and retain lean tissue. In regards to eating for preserving muscle mass, your best approach may be to cut calories only slightly in achieving slow fat loss. A modest reduction in calories will encourage your body to only use fat for fuel and not dip into protein stores. Plus it helps maintain your metabolism level. If the ‘sugary stuff’ was 150-200 calories worth daily, that’s enough to cut out!
To keep muscle tissue intact while reducing calories, keep lean protein up in your diet by eating a strong source at every meal and snack. Include eggs, beans, poultry, fish, lean meats, and low-fat milk products. Get enough fluids to nourish cells so that they function optimally. Drink at least 70 fluid ounces of beverages daily (that’s half your body weight 140/2=70).
The only way to measure effectiveness is to have your body composition measured at baseline and perhaps weekly. Before working out, ask a ProResults trainer to assess your body composition. If your body fat percentage is already at a desirable 20% for women, then losing more may be tough. Repeated measurements should be with the same equipment and at similar hydration status/conditions. If lean mass declines at all you’ll need to increase calories.
– Debbie J., MS, RD
Do you have a question about your diet or nutrition?