Are You Losing Fat or Muscle?


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Are You Losing Fat or Muscle?

 

Are You Losing Fat or Muscle? 

 

Typically, when you want to “lose weight,” you mean you want to lose fat while maintaining as much muscle as possible. If you’re losing muscle and not fat, then you may need to make some changes to your diet and exercise to counteract this. 

This is the third week of boot camp, and clients are finally realizing that losing weight is hard. From the diet changes to the ramped-up workouts, it can take a serious overhaul on your lifestyle. Usually, the goal is to decrease body fat and increase muscle. But sometimes in the quest, you can start to lose muscle instead of fat. 

In order to cut fat, while still building lean muscle you will need to be eating adequate amounts of protein and avoiding “bad foods” to achieve this. However, just eating protein isn’t enough. The key is plenty of exercise with a mix of cardio and resistance/strength training. Without stimuli or a trigger, the muscles won’t want to grow, since they aren’t being used.  

Signs that you’re losing muscle and not fat.  

  1. You’re losing too much weight, too fast. Who would have thought that this could be a bad thing? But it is if you’re trying to cut fat while maintaining and growing your muscle mass. Your body can only shed a certain amount of fat before it starts turning to muscle. Therefore, it is important to not rely on the scale, instead use a machine like our 3DFit Proscanner that can tell you how much of your body is a muscle and how much is fat. Once you have these measurements, you will then be able to know how to plan your meals and workout regimen. Your goal should be for your body fat percentage to decrease, while lean muscle mass should go up.  
  2. You feel more tired than usual. Feeling weak or tired during workouts is a good indication that muscle is being lost. I often tell my clients that is you are doing multiple workouts in a day or in a week it is important to add a muscle recovery as a supplement to help reduce the muscle breakdown and improve the muscle recovery. I suggest our L-Glutamine and/or Creatine. Another tip is to make sure you are preventing muscle loss by training right and doing what is appropriate for your fitness level.  
  3. You’re not eating enough protein. You need to feed your muscles protein to maintain and build them. Be mindful that there is a multitude of fad diets that will drop water weight and cause muscle loss. Be wise. Diets that lack protein, they cause the body to enter a “muscle destroying starvation mode, called catabolism.  To help maintain or build muscle, I recommend eating fish, lean meat, eggs, tofu, and low-fat dairy. For my clients who prefer no meat, quinoa, nuts, bean, certain grains, spinach, and green peas.   
  4. You’re not using your muscles. You don’t use it you lose it. Atrophy (muscle loss) will happen if you are not using your muscles. So, make sure strength and resistance training is a big part of your workout regimen. The added benefit is that muscles burn more calories than fat. Not only will you be able to grow muscles, but you can aid in your weight loss as well.  
  5. You’re not getting enough sleep. Part of the pivotal recovery progress in getting enough shut-eye. Not getting enough sleep raises cortisol levels in the body.  This imbalance can mess with growth hormone production, which increases the chance that the carbs you consume will be stored as fat. It also slows muscle growth which leads to more fat. Tip…you are much more efficient and energetic when you’ve had a good night’s sleep. Make sure that you get your rest so that when you do a workout, it is a great session and you are NO MESS! 


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