Maintaining Muscle While Losing Weight: Key Techniques

You want to drop some weight but you don’t want the loss to come from your ;muscles.  What should you do to optimize fat loss while maintaining muscle mass?  An effective and safe way to lose weight is to follow a plan that will cause weight loss while optimizing muscle mass. This means cut calories, up the protein intake, and increase the intensity of your exercise while maintaining healthy breaks for your body.  Sounds complicated?  Not really when you break it down.

First, weight loss must be done safely.  If you are trying to lose weight, you should work at losing the weight slowly.  Your body’s balance mechanism gets upset and discombobulated when changes come too quickly.  To lose weight, you have to consume less calories than you are now.  Eating less food without increasing your exercise will help you lose pounds, but you are also likely to lose muscle.  The key is to eat less and exercise differently. While you are eating less, you must be eating more protein. Your diet must be planned with enough lean protein to support your muscle growth and recovery.  Increasing your protein intake while making strength training a part of your workout routine will help you lose fat and keep you from losing muscle mass.

Reducing calories means the body energy intake is reduced.  The body replaces the missing calories with fat from adipose tissue (fat) and proteins from muscle tissue in order to synthesize glucose to supply its energy needs.  If you have a good intake of lean proteins during the day, your bloodstream will be infused with proteins and your body will be less likely to draw upon your muscle tissue for the protein it needs to function.  Experts say that on a daily basis the body needs 1 to 1.5 grams of protein per pound of body weight. Examples of healthy proteins include: chicken and turkey breast, fish, tofu, eggs, protein shakes, and tempeh. You should weigh yourself daily at the same time every day.  Make sure your protein intake is high and that 20 percent of your calories come from quality sources of essential fatty acids like fish and seafood, which contain mainly unsaturated fats; flax seeds, nuts, which contain high amounts of monounsaturated fats; vegetable spreads; olive oil and avocado oil; chia seeds; whole eggs; and cheese.  The rest of your calories will come from quality carbohydrates that avoid using sugar such as oatmeal, rice, wholegrain bread, beans, yams, and other vegetables.  Try to keep a variety of different foods in your diet.  If you eat the same foods every day, you are going to get bored and it will be harder to stick with your diet plan.  Working with a health care professional will help especially if you have any special health needs or are unsure about creating a personal diet and exercise plan.

The two main forms of exercise to maintain muscle mass while losing weight are cardiovascular and weight training.  Doing at least 150 minutes a week of moderate to high intensity cardio is important if you want to lose fat and maintain muscle.  Some good cardio activities include: bicycling, swimming, running, volleyball, basketball, and tennis or pickleball.  Strength training 2 to 3 times a week helps prevent muscle loss.  Good activities include; weight training, resistance bands, and body weight workouts which can be performed using resistance bands, strength training machines, and weights, such as barbells.  Good resistance training increases muscular strength and endurance. Increasing the intensity of your workouts helps prevent muscle loss. To lose weight, you have to push yourself until you feel it in your muscles, but don’t push too hard or too long or you might cause an injury. Strength training also helps boost your metabolism and you will burn more calories throughout the day. Make sure to allow time for your body to have an adequate rest and recovery time on alternate days to avoid overtraining and injury.

Make sure you hydrate before and after your workouts.   Your muscle is about 75 percent water.  Good hydration increases your circulating blood volume which means an adequate amount of water and nutrients are being delivered to your muscles.  Avoid sugary drinks and rely on water, green teas, coconut water, and fresh vegetable juices.  You must make sure you are drinking enough water because water runs a lot of metabolic processes while aiding in the filtering system of the kidneys and liver.  Water helps the removal of waste products that are generated from exercise.  Water also helps prevent the body from overheating through sweating.  Your body depends on those two filtering systems working well.

It’s always best to speak with a trained health care professional before starting any new plan that affects your body.  They can provide support and information.

How Can Androgenix Help?

If you want to live your best life, the medical practitioners at Androgenix are here to help. If you have any questions about how to your exercise plan, dietary plan, or needed supplements,  please contact us with your questions.   If you are concerned about how to ensure you are giving your body what it needs to be at its best or have any other concerns about any areas of your health, please contact our office and make an appointment with our staff to get a complete blood work-up and a complete physical examination. Our staff of caring healthcare practitioners are here to answer your questions and develop an appropriate treatment plan for you.  You will be monitored by our team for treatment effectiveness and side effects of any recommended treatment on a regular basis.  Every person who enters our doors is treated as an individual deserving of care and respect.  We can help you feel and look better.   Our team at Androgenix is always here to support your journey to a better, healthier, and happier you.  Give us a call today.



*Unless otherwise stated, individual results may vary depending on many factors not all patients “feel” or achieve the same results.