Have you started to wonder if your weight loss strategy is causing muscle loss too? Should you be wondering this if you haven’t already? After all, to be able to burn away unwanted fat, your primary strategy is to consume food in a way that leaves you in a calorie deficit (regardless of what technique you’re using to achieve that goal). On the other hand, when you’re training to build – or even preserve – lean muscles, you usually need to keep up your calories or even eat in a surplus. See the problem?
Will Your Weight Loss Strategy Causing Muscle Loss?
Is it inevitable that your weight loss strategy will cause muscle loss? No. Is it challenging to burn fat without torching some of your muscles in the process? Yes. Trying to burn fat while preserving or building muscle is called body recomposition. It is not easy, but it’s also not impossible. It’s a matter of getting the hang of things.
There is a learning curve. Therefore, even as you get off to a good start, there is still a likelihood that your weight loss strategy will cause muscle loss as it burns fat, particularly at the beginning. Still, the more you get on track, the more you’ll come to preserve your muscles while you continue to burn fat. This will involve avoiding certain exceptionally common mistakes.
Common Mistakes to Avoid
Avoid these common mistakes to your weight loss strategy and you’ll be less likely to cause muscle loss along the way.
- Reducing your calories too much – Eating too few calories is not only bad for your metabolism in terms of fat burning, but it will also shift your body to burn muscle for fuel, too. Eating too few calories will leave you feeling tired from burning through your muscles and will hurt your workout performance too. It’s a double whammy you should carefully avoid.
- Inadequate protein intake – Research shows that keeping up adequate protein can help to support your muscles and boost your metabolism while you’re at it. Since it also helps to reduce hunger and maintain a full feeling, it’s great for weight loss, too.
- Failing to strength train – Cardio gets all the glory when it comes to fat burning. That said, your weight loss strategy will also cause muscle loss if you’re not careful to use the muscles you want to preserve! Work strength training into your regular routine throughout the week to signal to your body that you use and need those muscles!
- Not giving your body enough recovery time – Muscle preservation and growth occurs during times of recovery. Giving your body enough time to recover between strength training sessions is vital to keeping up the mass of these important tissues.