I was wondering if you’d be able to tell me how to lose weight while keeping muscle. I know that the key to losing weight is to burning more calories than you take in, but I know that it can lead to the loss of muscle mass and strength. If you could let me know how to keep muscle and strength while losing a little bit of weight I’d really appreciate it. –Phillip W.
As you reduce caloric intake or enter a deficit from increased activity, keep your protein up to 25% of calories consumed. Not tracking calories? Use 1.2-1.5 grams protein per kilogram body weight. In essence you will be safeguarding protein for its essential functions and structural role in muscle, ensuring that carbohydrates and stored fat are used for fuel.
Feed your workouts! Resistance exercise meant to retain lean mass relies on anaerobic metabolism, so you still need carbohydrates. Consume more of your calories in the hours surrounding your exercise rather than inactive times. Why eat a big lunch if you’re sitting at a desk all day? For early morning workouts, just have a few ounces of juice before exercise then a hearty breakfast afterward. For workouts before bedtime, make your late afternoon snack substantial then just have a bowl of soup or cereal after hitting the gym.
Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. Getting sufficient water helps your digestion and metabolism greatly, not to mention body temperature regulation during those extended cardiovascular (aerobic) workouts. Also, drinking adequate fluids may curb false hunger.
– Debbie J., MS, RD
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