When most people declare they want to lose weight, what they really mean is that they want to lose fat. But unless you’re careful, you might end up losing muscle mass too. Here are some tips that will help you lose weight the right way, so you know your slimdown is from mostly fat stores and not your lean, sculpted biceps.
This idea may seem like a no-brainer, but most of us want hardcore numbers so we can follow a plan. Studies suggest that to lose a pound of fat a week, we must reduce the number of calories consumed by 500 per day, or about 3,500 calories per week. Eating even fewer calories may improve your results in the short run, but a maximum 1,000 calorie deficit a day is a safe objective. Eating smaller portions, eliminating high-fat foods like butter and mayonnaise, and avoiding sugary drinks like soda are all healthy choices to help you reduce your caloric intake.
Protein is one of the best sources of calories for maintaining muscle mass. A universal goal for a physically active woman is about 0.8 grams a protein per kilogram of body weight. This roughly comes out to 54 grams per day for a woman who weighs 68 kilos or 150 pounds. Aim to get around 30 percent of your daily calories from protein to boost your metabolism. Choose from lean protein sources like chicken, fish, and eggs, and reach for foods that are nutrient dense, but low in calories like fruits and vegetables. These low-calorie carbohydrates have nutrients that will fuel your muscles.
You may have heard that cardio workouts are the ultimate calorie buster, but scientific evidence suggests that strength training not only grows muscle but helps to preserve it too, even as we age. Training with heavy weights just two or three times a week will have a positive impact on your muscle mass, and will give you a boost in your energy levels and improve your self-esteem too. In fact, the more muscle you have on your frame, the better your body is at burning calories because muscle tissue is metabolic and helps to consume stored energy resources like fat.
Lose weight with Lifesum’s app when you choose from thousands of recipes that can help you lose fat while maintaining muscle. With motivational tips, calorie counters, and habit trackers, we’re here to help you nail your goals. Measuring your body composition gives you valuable feedback about how well your diet and training program is working toward your objectives. Keep your eye on the scale, and record your daily body weight and performance at the gym. These two factors will help make sure you’re losing fat while maintaining muscle.
Persistence is key when you want to lose weight, so stick with it. Like with any healthy lifestyle plan, avoid foods high in saturated fats and refined sugar, and remember that losing weight doesn’t have to mean losing muscle mass.
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