As long as you don’t engage in frequent endurance activities, you will only lose fat, not muscle.
There are two effective approaches to weight loss.
- Intermittent Fasting
- Cutting Out Carbs
Intermittent fasting involves cycles of fasting to lose weight. When you do this right, your body will produce more HGH (which is the fat burning and muscle building hormone) AND your metabolism will not slow down. Doing these intermittent fasts will lower your calorie intake. A lower calorie intake will lead you to lose fat. Some benefits to this approach is that it’s:
- Saves Money
- You Don’t Have To Change The Way You Eat
Cutting Out Carbs involves…well, cutting out carbs. More specifically, cutting out processed carbs like breads, pastas, sugars, rice and fruit juices. This significantly lowers your insulin levels. Insulin stores excess calories into your fat cells, which makes you gain fat. When you stop eating these processed carbs, your body will begin burning fat for energy instead. This will burn off your fat reserves and help you lose fat very fast.
The main concern with this approach is that it might lead to muscle loss as well. Let me assure you that this will not happen and here is why.
Your muscles can use two macro nutrients as energy:
- Glycogen converted from caborhydrates
- Ketones converted from fats
Resistance training such as lifting weights at the gym requires short intense bursts of energy. Short sprints or HIIT workout are the same way. Using the fat for energy is plenty for these activities and it will not lead to muscle loss.
The only time when it becomes a real concern is if you’re a high endurance/performance athlete. When you do long drawn out aerobic activities, like marathon running, you absolutely need the glycogen from carbs.
By cutting out processed carbohydrates, you are getting carbohydrates from fruits and vegetables. These sources will still provide sufficient glycogen for your bodily functions.
When you cut out carbs, you need to increase your intake of fats because fats will be your main sources of energy. If you eat processed carbs regularly, you should cut down your intake of fats to prevent the excess calories to be stored inside your body as fat.
Both methods of losing fat will not make you lose muscle. Just keep up your resistance training, do HIIT once a week, stick to your meal plan (intermittent fasting or cutting out carbs) and you will lose fat, not muscle. To learn more about it, check out my article on intermittent fasting.