Losing weight is a relatively straightforward process. Eat less, move more, and you’ll make it happen.
But losing fat and maintaining your muscle is an entirely different process that requires much more thought and attention to detail.
1. Lift Some Weights
Most people focus on cardio for weight loss. After all, prevailing wisdom suggests that we should jump on the treadmill for half an hour every day if we want to lose some weight.
While beneficial, cardio isn’t your best option for fat loss because it does a poor job of protecting your muscle. The reason is that muscle is metabolically costly, so your body looks for opportunities to get rid of it, especially while dieting.
Lifting weights causes a strong stimulus, signaling your body that having muscle is essential. In contrast, only doing cardio prevents you from causing that same stimulus, and your risk of muscle loss is much greater.
The great thing about lifting weights is that you can protect your muscle with as few as three sessions of 45 to 60 minutes each. Focus on the major muscle groups, push yourself hard, and go home to recover. Check out our Bulk Extreme pre-workout for optimal weight training performance.
2. Lose Weight More Slowly
Quick weight loss is a desirable goal for anyone. But doing so puts us at a greater risk of muscle loss.
One of the best ways to shed fat and protect your muscle is to maintain a slight deficit of 300 to 500 calories and lose no more than one to 1.5 pounds per week.
3. Eat More Protein
Eating enough protein is essential for fat loss on two fronts:
1. Protein provides us with amino acids, the building blocks of life itself. Once ingested, amino acids travel into the bloodstream, blending into the plasma amino acid pool. The traveling storage of nutrients lends building blocks where needed. Most notably, protein supports muscle protein turnover rates, recovery, and growth.
So, having enough protein protects our muscles from breakdown, especially in a calorie deficit.
2. Protein is highly satiating, so having more of it allows us to feel fuller between meals. As a result, our risks of slipping up are much smaller. Check out our Keto Actives product that also helps with satiety, keeps cravings at bay, and boosts our energy levels.
4. Sleep For At Least Seven Hours Every Night
Adequate sleep is the fourth crucial piece of the fat loss puzzle. According to research, sleep deprivation can shift metabolic processes inside the body, resulting in more significant muscle loss.
The above findings are what researchers saw in this study. The folks behind the study had ten overweight, but otherwise healthy folks go through two conditions:
1. A significant calorie restriction for two weeks plus 5.5 hours in bed per night
2. The same calorie restriction for two weeks but having to spend 8.5 hours in bed nightly
Subjects lost 6.6 pounds in both conditions, which is a lot for 14 days of dieting. When folks got up to 8.5 hours of sleep, they lost fat and muscle at a 50/50 ratio. But when researchers restricted subjects’ time spent in bed to 5.5 hours per night, that ratio shifted to 20/80. With everything else being the same, these subjects saw significantly greater muscle loss simply by sleeping a couple of hours less each night.
The study had its limitations (e.g., low protein intake, severe calorie restriction, short duration, etc.), but it did give us important insights.
So, aim for at least seven hours of sleep each night. Check out Snoran Plus, our product that promotes deep sleep, among other things.