L O S E   F A T,   M A I N T A I N   M U S C L E
Home RAGBRAI About Me Photo Gallery Training Nutrition Products Feedback

The incredible, edible egg

To lose fat but keep the muscle you worked so hard to build, here are a few tips to focus on. A lot of these are similar to the Building Muscle section, with just a few tweaks. This should be done in combination with consistent, intense cardio and weight training sessions, over an 8-12 week period.

FEWER CARBS, MORE PROTEIN. You still have to eat ENOUGH or your body will think you're starving it and start to hoard what it has. This lowers metabolism and slows fat loss. To keep muscle but slowly lose fat, you have to consume plenty of protein and lower carbs and fat. Notice I didn't say eliminate carbs or fat. They are both still important components to keeping healthy. It should be spread out over 6 meals (about every 3 hours). Try to consume a bigger percentage of your carbs in your earlier meals and immediately after training. Do not drastically cut your calories, but reduce them. Using the easy-to-follow reference (which is more a maintenance guideline), add about 10% more protein while reducing carbs by 10-15% for most of your meals. Also, choose protein sources with a lower percentage of fat, such as egg whites, turkey breast, fish. This will cause your body to start using more fat for energy instead of carbs, and the extra protein will help prevent much muscle breakdown for energy.

Water, water everywhere KEEP WELL-HYDRATED. Always keep well-hydrated with water. The only exception to this rule is when peaking for a bodybuilding contest, where reducing water intake for a couple days prior to a contest helps in preventing water retention which blurs muscle definition. Restricting water to lose fat is never a good idea.

DO NOT SKIP MEALS. Consistently skipping meals will lower your metabolism and break down muscle. These are two things that you want to avoid when you want to lose fat and keep muscle.

CONSIDER CYCLING YOUR CARBS. Being on a low-carb diet for prolonged periods of time will deplete your glycogen stores and slow your metabolism. At least once a week, eat a high-carb meal consisting of mainly complex carbs. This will help restore your glycogen levels with very little likely to be stored as fat. Here's a couple of sample meal plans that I have used.

GET YOUR HEALTHY FATS. Flaxseed Oil, Olive Oil, Evening Primrose Oil, and Fish Oils (found in fish like salmon) are considered healthy fats because they are unsaturated. They actually help promote fat loss, maintain muscle, give you energy as you are lowering your carbs, and support healthy arteries. Don't completely avoid fat. About 20% of your diet should consist of fat, mainly unsaturated.

GET YOUR FIBER. Fiber (in foods such as vegetables, fruits, oatmeal) is good for you! It helps in losing fat because it fills you up and aids in digestion. Since your body cannot efficiently break it down, it takes more energy (calories) to process. So, eat your broccoli!

EAT A MODERATE CARB / HIGH PROTEIN MEAL IMMEDIATELY AFTER TRAINING. Your body has depleted its glycogen stores and is ready to absorb as much nutrients as it can. This is the time to take in a few more carbs than usual to help in recovery.

Work your heart and lungs!

. Just doing a cardiovascular (or aerobic) type of activity, such as riding a bicycle or walking on a treadmill, anytime will make a difference. Your body will burn more fat if you do it on an empty stomach. This is because your body is in more of a glycogen-depleted state, so it does not have many carbs to burn first. And since it is an aerobic type of activity, not much muscle should be broken down in the process. And you still want to continue your intense weight-training sessions! This helps maintain your muscle mass, as long as you are consuming enough protein.

CONSUME A NO-CARB OR LOW-CARB PROTEIN DRINK BEFORE BED. This will keep your metabolism stoked and your muscles intact, while you're sleeping. Remember: Muscle is active. Fat is not. Muscle raises your metabolism, which is key in losing fat.


Copyright © 2002-2006 Fitness Lynn. All rights reserved.