It is very simple, something called ”calorie deficit” which means you burn more calories than you consume, thats it, there is no another way, in this article I will explain you how to burn fat not muscle, but first you need to understand how to define calorie.
what is a calorie.
Calories are units of energy in food, and we have three basic calories in food, (proteins, fat, and carbohydrates).
- Proteins have 4 calories per gram
- Fat have 9 calories per gram
- Carbs have 4 calorie per gram
Every person has a different calorie maintenance level according to the body weight.
The miantenance level means the amount of calories that our body needs which we take from food to perfom our normal daily tasks such as, walking, breathing, cleaning, eating, running, working, the things that we do everyday.
How to lose body fat naturally.
People often confuse between losing fat and losing weight,
losing weight is losing everything, like muscle, fat, carbs, water the oveall body weight including everything.
What are we looking for is losing only fat not muscle.
In order to do this we need to be in a calorie deficit with a proper diet, so we fuel the body with everything we need with a less calorie than we consume.
Beacause if you are in a calorie deficit the body finds to burn alternative source of energy, but the body doesn’t know what is your goal, it will burn anything muscle or fat..
So simple, if your body maintanance level is 3000 calorie you will stay the same weight, but if you eat 3500 calorie you will be in a caloric surplus, and you will gain weight, but if you consume 2500 calorie you will lose weight because you are in a caloric deficit, but off course it is not only with caloies, there are also other things to do.
So our target is to do everything to improve muscle fat ratio as much as possible, and maintain all of our muscles and burn only fat.
We need to change certain things in our diet and excercise.
How to lose fat, not muscle.
Before you start, you need to calculate how much calories you need, just take your body weight in pounds and multiply by 13 and 17 and separately somewhere in between this results it will be your deficit number, then follow his steps.
1. Eat sufficient amount of protein.
Eating enough protein daily is very important for maintaining muscle, in order to lose fat without losing muscle, because protein replace the body tissue like muscle, joint, nails, hair, hormone, lots of self structure are made of protein, so if you actually consume too much protein it store as fat, as we mentioned before.
So how do you know how much protein do you need daily?
It is very simple calculation, you have to consume daily between 1 to 1.3 grams per pound of protein of your current body weight.
2. Maintaining your power – strength.
For maintaining muscle you have to maintain your current level of strength which is the same weight you used to lift.
Some people in order to keep the muscle size and lose fat while calorie dificit they exercise with lighter weight and higher reps which is something that you don’t want to do, to avoid losing muscle, if you want to build muscle you need to lift heavy, and you have to lift the same heavy weight or too close to maitain muscle size while in deficit (cutting phase).
Offcourse while calorie deficit, you will lose some strenght, in order to avoid this you should change your workout program to avoid less recovery, you should reduce your training volume (total amount of sets, and reps or exercises) or reduce training frequency (amount of excercise done per week per muscle group), or both together, for each indivdual works differently.
3. Before and after workout meals – Important.
It is important to have good meals before and after work out while calorie deficit, because you need that energy to workout, and good recovery after workout.
If you are going to ask what to eat? it is very simple, no need to complicate, you just eat good carb and protein meals 1 or 2 hours before and after workouts.
If you want to put some fibre and good fat in your meals, and if it will not make you uncomfortable during your excercise? then eat no problem.
4. How much calories you should reduce.
So now we know that in order to lose fat we have to be in a calorie deficit, but we should take in consideration that there is three levels of calorie deficit, low, medium, and high it depends how far you want to go below maintenance level, but I recommend to be 20% below your maintenance level, not to high or too low.
I know if you reduce more you will lose fat faster, but it will effect on your metabolism, mood, sleep, hunger, hormones, and major problem is on your strength and recovery, and muscle loss, so it is better to stay on medium calorie deficit, it will be longer time, but better results.
. Calorie cycling
Normally people eat same amount of calorie everyday during deficit, it is better to do calorie cycling, which is also known as carb cycling, because protein we need it to be high everyday, and we don’t want to lose muscle.
Carb/calorie cycling is to eat more calorie while you are on calorie deficit on some days, and less deficit or no deficit on other days, but at the end of the week the total amount of calorie deficit will be the same amount, (you are changing the percentage of caloric deficit on each day of the week).
The porpuse of doing this is to control your hunger and metabolism, and improve training performance, and to maitain muscle and strenght while losing fat.
. Deficit break aka (cheat meal)
After all this deficit and fat lose our body and mind doesn’t like, and normally it will effect on our hormonal system and recovery and training performance.
It is better going back to our maintenance level every 10 or 15 days to go back to normal for little while, there is physical and metal benefits, and also helps recovery and training performance to maintain muscle and strength while losing fat, and preserve the muscle.
This diet break better for people who is less fat left to lose, than people who is on the early stages of losing fat.
5. Not too much cardio (maybe not at all)
Offcourse cardio or HIIT important for those who are not in a caloric deficit to burn more calories.
But those who are in a calorie deficit stage, rarely you do it, in my opinion no need at all, unless your training goal is endurance and performance for other kind of sports.
If your goal only improving how your body looks?, it is better not to do, because lowering more calorie with cardio it will effect on maitaining your muscle, and you are already doing weightlifting with diet, burning more calories with cardio you will lose muscle.
In my opinion and experience, you can do cardio 30 to 60 minutes on the last stage of losing fat which will be very hard to burn them, and maybe on your cheat days, it depeds how much you cheated 🙂
. One final thing to mention, is better to take your calories from high quality natural cleaner, healthier foods instead of taking from unhealthy, processed and junk food, to make the weight that you are loosing to be fat instead of muscle.
So those are the 5 simple steps the lose fat without losing muscle, this steps works for everybody, it is very simple.
If you include in your calorie deficit diet supplements, you will have faster and much better results.
Please feel free to ask questions, leave comments, and I will be very happy to discuss with you, and help.
All the best