top of page

How To Lose Body Fat And Preserve Muscle Mass?

The thought of shedding a few pounds of body fat but maintaining your muscle mass can be overwhelming. Without taking the right approach you might end up leaner but at the cost of your hard earned muscle mass. That’s why it’s key to take a step back and apply a bit of planning and patience.

It’s not always easy to lose body fat AND preserve your muscle mass, but we’re here to assure you that it’s definitely possible. Take a look at our tips on how to do just that.

1. Mix up your workouts

When the priority is to preserve, or grow, your muscle mass it’s tempting to ignore cardio in favour of weight training. But your body needs to be challenged and mixing up your workouts is a great way to do that. Aerobic exercise is great for burning fat, but don’t worry - it’s not just running or a HIIT workout. Walking, biking, swimming and boxing will all get your heart pumping.

Cardio workouts also help make your cells more receptive to taking in blood sugar which helps with fat loss.

2. Gradually increase your strength levels

This one won’t be a surprise but it is key to maintaining muscle while losing body fat. You see we build muscles through progressive tension overload - in plain English it’s getting stronger over time. But your body gets used to lifting a certain weight so you need to make sure you give your body a reason to maintain, and build your muscle mass. Slow progressions give your body a signal to tell your body to keep the muscle because it’s needed. It’s that signal that’s critical for preserving your muscle mass.

3. Watch your calorie deficit

You need a calorie deficit to lose body fat, that's true. But what you need to be careful of is that your deficit isn’t excessive. When we create a deficit that’s larger than 15-25% of your maintenance calories you’ll start to lose muscle, not just fat. Not only that but you’ll see a difference in your mood, performance and recovery, and your sleep quality.

The idea is to create lasting change and for that we need to do things slowly, yes you’ll see results much quicker with a bigger calorie deficit but it’s not worth it in the long run.

4. Protein & carbs

You are what you eat. Eating the right things, at the right time and in the right quantities is crucial to losing body fat and preserving muscle mass. Protein should be a staple component of your diet at all times but especially when you’re trying to lose body fat. Lean protein takes more energy to digest than carbs or fat and keeps you feeling fuller for longer - aim for at least 1g protein per pound of bodyweight. That doesn’t mean you should neglect carbs. After an intense workout you need to refuel, carbs like rice, baked potatoes and sweet potatoes will help kickstart your recovery while giving your body a much needed boost of energy.

5. Hydration is key

It’s easy to fall into the habit of relying on energy drinks, protein shakes and other drinks to hydrate us. But our bodies need water for our overall health. It impacts your metabolism, performance and every bodily function. Keep a water bottle topped up and close by and make sure you’re getting plenty of H2O throughout the day, every day.

6. Sleep and recovery

Recovery is as important as your training. When you’re mid-training programme you’re putting your body through a huge amount of stress. Without the right sleep, rest and recovery that process becomes non-stop and your body won’t cope. Building in 8 hours sleep every night, makes sure your body gets the rest it needs to repair and grow your muscles.

If you struggle with the concept of rest days then reframe them as growth days. Without these days you’re continuously breaking down your muscles which will stop you achieving the results you want. Growth days gives your body time to deal with the stress you’ve put it through and be raring to go again.

7. Slow and steady

Losing fat is a marathon, not a sprint. Working too hard and too fast is a surefire way to injure yourself. Instead the best way to approach losing fat while preserving muscle mass is to take a slower, steadier pace. Build in recovery time, focus on your nutrition, drink water, sleep more and when you do train incorporate small incremental steps and you’ll start to see the results you want.

When you have a specific goal in mind - like reducing your body fat, sometimes the best thing to do is to call in an expert. We have access to the best personal trainers in your area who have the knowledge and expertise to help you achieve your goals.

Ready to get started? Join the PT Me family today.

11 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page