How can I reduce my fat and keep my muscle?

Reducing body fat and allowing those muscles to show through, is a goal worth attaining! But you may ask, how is this possible when we’ve always been told to stick with one goal first, preferably building muscle. Well, a lot of us don’t want to wait, and in fact, it’s a lot more effective to train effectively by losing fat and still gaining muscle. Consistency is key here.

7 secret tips to lose body fat and retain muscle mass

  1. Strength train should be your main priority here. Lifting weights is essential for muscle growth, and also maintenance during the fat reduction stage. Muscle is lost when we implement a caloric reduction, therefore it’s important to go hard at the gym, lift heavy and put as much energy into your training as possible. Sure, we have our bad days, but lift yourself up and get the work done well.
  2. HIIT is your friend when you want to tap into stubborn fat. Sprint intervals are great. So is circuit training with weights. This training boosts caloric expenditure in the recovery period, which triggers protein synthesist. This means you build muscle, and sustain your metabolic rate.
    Sorter more intense workouts do the magic, and should not be extended over 30 minutes in duration. Separate them from your strength training days as well.
  3. Aim for a good level of protein, but don’t overdo it. Protein is essential for building and muscle and also for recovery. Don’t forget that the veggies we eat also contain protein. Now, depending on the size of your body, and how much muscle you have, you will need to find the “protein sweet spot” for you. I use my palm for an accurate indication of how much I should be eating in any one meal.
    Protein also requires the body to burn more calories when it’s being broken down, as compared to carbs and fat.
    If you need some great ideas for protein, think eggs, chicken breast, pork, all kinds of seafood, red meats and of course, veggies!
  4. Keep your added carbohydrates low (but not too low), and time them well. This is only for the purposes of weight loss. Remember that it’s best to time your carb intake around activity, and keep it simple. Eat only oats, white basmati rice and sweet potatoes. Don’t go too low in carbs, as you still want to include this macro in your diet. Low intakes of carbs encourage your body to release cortisol. When this is combined with exercise over time, it can lead to altering your metabolism and diminishing fat loss. You do need to replenish your muscle glycogen when you train intensely. Keep this in mind when you mistakenly think low carb will be more effective for you in the long run.
  5. Regularly get your body fat measured (scales are not accurate). Make no mistake, regularly getting your body scan will keep you well on track. This is the only way to learn what your body needs, and what you should cut down on. I would say, get them every month of fortnight. DEXTA scans are great. Whatever you can find locally that is accurate, will be great.
  6. Getting enough rest is very important, just as important as sleep. I don’t think I need to tell you how essential a good nights sleep is. Not only will you perform extremely well day to day, but your muscle building and weight loss efforts will be a lot easier to achieve. You want growth hormone and the thyroid to work in your favour. Sleep will allow these hormones to do their job, which means weight loss and muscle building achievements for you!
  7. Keep away from refined sugars and processed foods at all times. These are nutritionally void, and provide only short term comfort. They increase fat storage on your body, whilst giving you that annoying sugar come down when the effects wear off. Increase the likelihood of having stable energy and mood levels during the day. Eat whole-foods, organic and in their natural form. Add lots of fibre daily, and this will cause fullness and eliminate toxins from the body.

I do hope these tips help you somewhat along your journey. I’m happy to discuss this in more detail if you would like to ask me a personal question.

Leave a Reply