Despite weight training, fat is still on your waist, abdomen and other places. Surely, you ask why you do not lose fat since you train hard using weights? The answer is quite simple: to lose fat you have to focus on cardio exercises. Weight movements are for adding muscle mass, but you will never manage to get rid of extra fat using this method. So, from the beginning, let’s make it clear: to lose fat you have to include in your training routine more cardio exercises. And this is not all. The diet is also very important, otherwise, no losses will be recorded.
Pay attention to the way the title is formulated: yes, you got it. Preserving mass while struggling to lose weight is hard to do, but not impossible. The same thing can not be said about gaining muscle mass while cutting. Maybe you are the one who knows about it, but there are so many dreamers who still believe that packing on muscle and melting away extra fat goes hand in hand. Oh, you are wrong!
Cutting and Building Muscle are Two Different Biological Process
During each these two stages, in our bodies happen different biological changes. For building muscle we need more protein, a bit fewer carbs, and very few fats. It is in a catabolic stage -intensively gaining weight. Carefully monitoring your diet and exercises program allow you to have quality muscle gains. While neglecting it ends up with big fat gains too. On the other hand, while trying to lose fat we need a low-calorie diet mixed with much cardio activity.
Starving is totally unrecommended, and hopefully have abandoned this idea the long time ago. The amount of food you eat when is on cutting have not been aleatoric, but carefully established based on your body needs. Your body needs resources for energy. If you do not give it begins to take from fat deposits and proteins from muscles. While first is exactly what you need, the second one can really disappoint you with massive losses.
Along of this, there is another biological process called homeostasis-the nature of our body to keep things as they are. Any time you try to some changes there occur one of these natural process: anabolism or catabolism. Anabolism makes the body gain muscle but some fat too. During catabolism phase, you gain fat, but some muscle too.
These are the biological mechanism by which our body works. With some manipulation, you can manage to reduce some of their unwanted effects. Exercises and diet are the main aspects that have to be taken under control. But I can even say that the main role has the diet.
Diet While Cutting
What you eat when trying to lose weight has the biggest role. If you want to preserve the muscle mass you have achieved so hard, then include in your diet more proteins, about 50% of daily calorie intake. Carbs constitute 40%, while fats only 10%. Doing so you will get enough energy for your training, and your body will not use muscles to get it.
Organize 5-7 meals per day in small portions. Spread the protein intake throughout the whole day, as every meal to contain a source of protein. Give preference foods that increase your body metabolism and offer you needed nutrients and vitamins. There is no need to say that junk food, soda drinks, and others bad foods and drinks have to be totally eliminated from your diet.
Training Routine while Cutting
The main focus has to be on cardio exercises. Following 3-4 times a week about 25 minutes, cardio training routine would give you many benefits in terms of weight loss. One very useful trick: research has shown that fats are burned faster if you split the training into two phases about 15 minutes twice a day. One in the morning, the other one in the evening.
You still need to lift weights. Otherwise, you lose weight. Instead, do not expect muscle gains. Do it for letting your body know that the muscle you have is needed. Just hold it in a preservation mode. You can mix cardio training with weight, or divide them by days. The idea is that for keeping muscle mass you have to follow an active weight training routine, adding to it cardio movements for increasing burn fat rate.
Must Read: Lift Weights To Lose Weight
The Average Speed of Losing Fat
First of all, we are all individual, and our metabolism is different too. But we can talk about some general statements available for all when it comes to how fast you can lose weight. Losing 1,5-2 pounds per week is normal. Such a rate prevent muscle loss. As fast you lose fat now, as you gain it back after cutting phase is discontinued. So, do not struggle to lose more than 2 pounds per week, since your losses in muscle mass will be bigger and you get them back after a while.
To sum up, I can say that losing weight is always associated with some losses in muscle size. With some manipulation -proper diet and workouts- you can manage to make these losses minimal, but they will always occur. It is a natural stage of our body and you have to accept it.
Adjust your diet to your actual needs, and do not let you starve. In no case, it has to be used for losing weight. Even you have to burn fat your daily calorie intake should have enough proteins, carbs, and fats. Include more cardio exercises, but keep lifting training a priority too.