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how to lose weight and maintain muscle: Proven Strategies for Success

Getting back into exercise after a break can pose challenges. It is essential to carve out time, muster up energy, and establish a consistent exercise routine. However, equally vital is ensuring that your nutrition is well-balanced. Explore these effective methods for losing fat and building muscle.


1. Eat Breakfast Like a King, Lunch Like a Prince, Dinner Like a Pauper

healthy breakfast

Start your day with a hearty breakfast, have a moderate lunch, and end with a light dinner. Smaller meals as the day progresses help reduce evening hunger and ensure easier digestion, promoting quality sleep. Avoid heavy late dinners as they can disrupt sleep and hinder your fitness goals.


2. Watch the Liquid Calories

fizzy drinks

Liquid calories can sneak into your diet unnoticed. Avoid sodas (even diet ones, as sweeteners can disrupt metabolism and cause weight gain), fruit juices, and be cautious with alcohol, including alcohol-free versions that still contain calories. Stick to water, black coffee (limit caffeine after midday), and oat milk, which has virtually no calories. Reducing milk intake in your lattes can significantly cut down on unnecessary calories.


3. Focus on Protein Content & Satiety

high protein foods

Incorporate quality protein into all your meals. Protein helps build muscle (if you're training) and keeps you full, reducing the urge to snack. Excellent sources include oats, nuts, tofu, tempeh, beans (like chickpeas, black beans, lentils), and of course, meat, fish, and eggs.



4. Implement a Monthly 24-Hour Fast

old fashioned alarm clock

A monthly 24-hour fast is beneficial for fat loss and overall health. If you manage this for three months, consider moving to weekly fasts. Remember, fasting involves consuming nothing with calories—only water, herbal tea, and black coffee are allowed. Eating plenty of protein during feed times will make fasting easier. Start your fast after dinner and go for 24 hours until the next dinner. If possible, skip that dinner too and achieve a 36-hour fast effortlessly. Schedule your fast on an easy weekday, avoiding busy days with meetings and social events.


5. Use Protein

protein powder supplements

While protein shakes can be convenient and helpful in supplementing your protein intake, it is important to prioritize quality food sources of protein in your diet. Whole foods provide not only protein but also essential nutrients that support overall health and well-being. Here are some reasons why focusing on food sources of protein is beneficial:


  • Whole foods offer a wider range of nutrients compared to protein shakes.

  • Food sources of protein can help promote satiety and support healthy digestion.

  • Eating a variety of protein-rich foods can enhance the overall quality of your diet.

During your training days, you can still enjoy a protein shake as a convenient option, but incorporating a balanced diet with quality protein sources should be the primary focus.


On training days, consider having one protein shake in the evening as a post-dinner treat. Simply blend the protein powder with water and enjoy it as a supplement to your light dinner. This can help support your muscle recovery and provide a convenient source of protein after your workout.


6. Stay Hydrated

filtered water jug

Drink lots of water throughout the day. Sometimes, what feels like hunger is actually thirst. Staying hydrated is crucial for both overall health and managing hunger.





7. Move Around Daily

walking group

Aim for a minimum of 10,000 steps each day. Even if you need to jog on the spot, get those steps in. Breaking them into small increments throughout the day is easier than trying to do a large chunk in the evening while watching TV.




8. Consistency and Tracking

food tracking app

Consistency is key. Stick to your plan consistently to see results. Track your workouts and nutrition to monitor progress and make necessary adjustments - this helps you stay motivated and see how far you've come.


9. Rest and Recovery

man sleeping

Don't underestimate the importance of rest. Ensure you get adequate sleep and include rest days in your routine to allow your body to recover and grow stronger. Adequate sleep and recovery are crucial for fat loss and muscle gain.



10. Balanced Diet

fruit and salad on a plate

Include a variety of nutrients in your diet. Healthy fats, complex carbohydrates, and micronutrients are all crucial for overall health and fitness. A balanced diet supports your body in building muscle and losing fat efficiently.




By following these recommendations, you can effectively manage your nutrition and support your fitness goals. Consistency is key, and with these tips, in no time you'll be on your way to lose weight and maintain muscle


Sources

1. [tropeaka.co.uk - 8 Tips On How To Build Muscle And Lose Fat](https://tropeaka.co.uk/blogs/the-latest/8-tips-to-build-muscle-and-lose-fat)

2. [rntfitness.co.uk - Training For Fat Loss Vs. Muscle Growth](https://www.rntfitness.co.uk/training-fat-loss-vs-muscle-growth/)

3. [ncbi.nlm.nih.gov - Weight-Loss and Maintenance Strategies](https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK221839/)

4. [ironbullstrength.com - Studies reveal how to burn fat and build muscle](https://ironbullstrength.com/blogs/training/studies-reveal-how-to-burn-fat-and-build-muscle)

5. [weightwatchers.com - How to lose body fat and build muscle](https://www.weightwatchers.com/uk/blog/fitness/how-lose-body-fat-and-build-muscle)

6. [shape.com - How to Build More Muscle and Burn Fat](https://www.shape.com/fitness/tips/how-burn-fat-build-muscle-lean-toned-body)

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