Lose Fat Not Muscle
At one point or another we’re all going to be at the stage where we want to have the objective of losing fat. The question is how can we manipulate our diet and exercise program to burn the fat and not the muscle?
Take special note of the fact that I said, “have the objective of losing fat”. The reason this is so important is because we have to remember a critical concept with our training and nutrition cycles in order to get the best results with reducing belly fat and getting that ripped look.
Let’s take a close look at this critical concept…
Lose Fat Not Muscle: Fundamental Concept
The critical concept is that in order for us to be gaining muscle we have to be at a calorie surplus, or in other words eating more than we are burning. Muscle needs the calorie surplus because it needs to feed on these calories which are hopefully clean mean nutrients from veggies, fruit, beans, whole grains, lean meats & low fat dairy products (or whey protein, but more on that later).
Ok, so the other side of the equation as you probably have guessed is that for us to lose fat we need to be on a calorie deficit, or in other words eating slightly less and exercising more.
The challenge with this is that once we are at a calorie deficit our body automatically gets triggered into protection mode and wants to make sure that the vital organs are still getting the right nutrients. Unfortunately for us this means that it is also likely that our body will start breaking down muscle for the amino acids to supply to the organs when we are at a large calorie deficit.
The challenge therein lies that we have to make sure that we are constantly feeding our body with the essential nutrients but at the same time making sure we don’t go into a calorie surplus mode.
This is why the theory of eating smaller meals but more frequently throughout the day is such a powerful one, and although I’ve recently seen lots of new diets try and challenge this theory I know that they are just fads and gimmicks to try and convince you that their method is really the right way.
What matters at the end of the day is that you can stick with something that is sustainable and prevents you from having huge uncontrollable cravings and the smaller more frequent meals throughout the day is a huge winner.
If you’re thinking that you simply don’t have time for more frequent meals, I think you are forgetting about one easy solution. A protein drink takes only 10 seconds to prepare, just grab a scoop and mix with cold water, hot water and or milk. If you’re one who like chocolate like me and often has cravings that challenge your will-power then trust me on this one and order the chocolate milk Gaspari Nutrition Myofusion.
The best part of a protein drink is that it kills your cravings, is extremely low calorie and keeps your body happy so you don’t have to lose muscle in your fat loss stage.
Of course, like anything having 3 protein drinks a day, week after week can get tiring and so why I also have a box or protein bars like Supreme Protein Carb Conscious Bars in my cupboards. They taste really freaking good and have a good amount of protein, but since they also have a bit of fat I don’t recommend them all the time, just to break you out of the monotony of having shakes.
Some other supplements that are quite amazing at making sure you maintain your muscle mass are bran chained amino acids (like Scivation Xtend or Muscle Pharm Recon), Omega 3’s for essential fatty acids (like AllMax Nutrition Omega 3 or Optimum Nutrition Fish Oil) and of course a multi-vitamin made for those who are training and need the right essentials (like Armor-V Vitamins)
Lose Fat Not Muscle: Conclusion
Remember the main concept that you want to focus on one objective at a time. Split up your training and nutrition cycles so you are focusing on gaining muscle for 3-4 months and then focusing on losing fat for 3-4 months, and of course you can shorten these periods during the summer season. Eat frequently and use protein smoothies or protein bars as your go-to mini-meal that will help you curb your cravings and keep the muscle and allowing you to lose the fat consistently.