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If you want to burn fat without losing muscle, it all comes down to your exercise routine and your diet.
There are many people who have successfully managed to burn fat and preserve their muscle mass, so it is definitely possible to get the body you want.
Here are seven great tips that you can follow if you want to burn fat without having to compromise that hard earned lean muscle mass.
Strength and Hypertrophy
The ability for you to do strength training, for example, lifting heavy weights, depends on your ability to switch between Type I and Type II muscle fibers and your body’s ability to utilize the maximum amount of muscle fibers. But that alone doesn’t determine how much muscle you put on when you are cutting.
You should combine both hypertrophy and strength training together in an intense workout routine, to get the results you need.
A good example would be to do six heavy reps, rest for 30 seconds, do another three reps with the same weight, rest again for 30 seconds, and do two more reps with the same weight. You will be able to continue to use the heavy weight but you have made it to 10 or 12 reps.
Incorporate Aerobic Cardio
Part of your training for fat loss should include cardio training. But you need to do the type of cardio that will not break down your muscles, but rather allow you to keep your lean muscle mass.
Instead of choosing HIIT cardio, opt for steady state cardio like bike riding or light jogging. If you maintain a steady pace you will use only your Type I muscle fibers and these are quite resistant to fatigue. It will also help to improve blood circulation and improve recovery after your workouts.
Consume More Protein
If you want to maintain your lean muscle mass while losing fat, you should consume enough lean protein every day.
It will not only boost your metabolism but protein takes more energy to digest too. It will also help you to keep feeling full and satisfied during the day.
Eating enough protein will help with excessive muscle loss that might happen during a cutting program. Try to consume around one gram of protein per pound of bodyweight as a rule and make sure you consume lean sources of protein like lean meats, eggs, fish, nuts and some supplements.
Take Your BCAAs
BCAAs is also referred to as Branched Chain Amino Acids and they are essential amino that cannot be produced by your body. This means that they should come from your diet. They are stored in your muscles and can be used as energy too, especially during exercise.
If you are in a cutting phase, you need high protein sources to fuel your energy stores, and this is a great alternative to consume as opposed to supplements as they don’t have the additional calories.
Eat a Proper Post-Workout Meal
Contrary to what many people believe, carbohydrates are not bad. Your body needs them, especially if you are training intensely or lifting heavy weights.
After a strenuous workout, your muscle fibers are damaged and your energy reserves are low, which is why you need to consume enough carbohydrates to fuel your recovery.
Do not starve your body and avoid carbs completely – rather consume the right carbohydrates at the right times to fuel your recovery.
After a workout, your body can tolerate carbohydrates best because your metabolism is high. That is why it is always recommended to refuel with the right carbohydrates after an intense workout.
Choose sources like sweet potatoes, rice and baked potatoes as part of your post workout meal.
Get Enough Sleep
Enough rest and recovery is just as important as your training and diet, which is why you should make sure that you get enough sleep during your cutting program. You will challenge your body with heavy sets and strenuous workouts, which is why you should take the time to rest and recover.
When you sleep, your body releases certain hormones that are needed for recovery and muscle growth. So don’t lose out on your much needed sleep as this is a very important part of your success.
Maintain a Healthy Caloric Deficit
Never fall for crash diets as it will lead to muscle loss – every time. It is too extreme for the body to be healthy and it will make it stressful on the body to recover and heal properly. You can even pick up various health issues if you over-train or go on a crash diet.
If you are serious about cutting, start with a low to moderate calorie deficit of around 500 calories per day. This is a good number to jump start your fat loss efforts.
Make sure that you track your progress every few weeks and take note of your body fat percentage and your lean muscle mass. From here you can make the necessary changes to continue your fat loss journey.