How To Lose Weight Without Losing Muscle

woman measuring her waist

Answering the “how to lose weight” question can get so messy. There are so many hidden factors in your weight that your scale can’t tell you. While losing weight isn’t rocket science, it can be challenging to find the right balance between just dropping pounds that will come right back, and the weight that will stay off for good.

One way to make sure your weight won’t come right back is to maintain your muscle while losing weight. This is done by cutting calories the right way, doing the right kinds of workouts, and increasing your protein intake. Follow along for how to lose weight without losing muscle.


How to Lose Weight Without Losing Muscle


Everyone tells you that the secret to losing weight is to cut calories and increase workout time. While this is true, there is a very specific way to lose weight where you’re only losing fat and not muscle mass.

If you’re tired of seeing muscle gain with no fat loss and finally want to see that fat disappears so your hard-earned muscles can shine through, follow our steps for how to lose weight without losing muscle.


Lose Weight By Cutting Your Calories, But Only a Little

The most obvious way to lose weight is to cut your calories. However, if you plan to maintain muscle, you’ll need to consume the number of calories required to feed your muscles properly.

In some of the more popular diet trends, you’ll cut your calories by up to 50%. However, if you plan to keep muscle, females should cut only 300-400 calories a day, while males should reduce their intake by 400-600 calories a day. Cutting your calories without creating a deficit is a great way to lose weight while still maintaining enough food for your muscles. If you’re exercising a ton, you can cut your calories by even less and still see great results.

While a small caloric deficit won’t help you lose weight fast, it will help you to lose weight and actually keep it off slowly. For maintaining muscle mass, slow and steady weight loss is the way to go.


Utilize Strength Training

a couple performing exercise on how to lose weight without losing muscle

Image Source: Pixabay

When you’re trying to lose weight, the type of exercise you do is essential to determine where the weight loss will come from. If you decide not to work out at all, you will lose a lot of muscle weight along with your fat. However, if you decide to do full-body strength workouts, you won’t see muscle loss.

It’s important to note that while maintaining your strength is important for losing weight, don’t use too heavy of weights. If losing weight is the goal, try to maintain the current amount of weight you use. You can also decrease the amount of weight you use and increase the number of repetitions, which will also help you to burn fat quicker.


Increase Your Protein Intake

While you want to make sure your calories are down, make sure you’re cutting these calories from fats, carbs, and sugars, and not proteins. Proteins are the building blocks of our muscles. To maintain our current muscle mass. Following a diet low in protein will help you lose weight, but your muscles will suffer because of it.

The amount of protein the body needs varies from person to person. As a rule of thumb, you can determine the amount of protein you should eat is about 0.3-0.4 grams for every pound. This would mean a 150-pound person would need 45-60 grams of protein a day to maintain their muscle. You can increase this amount if you are trying to build muscle.

However, remember that too much protein is disposed of as waste in the body. Make sure you’re balancing the proper amount of protein with complex carbs to sustain your energy and healthy fats.


Perform HIIT Training

High-intensity interval training (also known as HIIT) is a great way to burn fat and continue to burn fat throughout the day. HIIT workouts include sprinting on a treadmill or riding intervals on a bike. These workouts can be done anywhere as long as you structure the HIIT structure properly.

HIIT workouts use type-2 muscle fibers, which typical cardio workouts do not — using these specific types of muscle fibers, meaning that you only have to work out for a short duration to achieve long-lasting effects. A 20 minute HIIT workout can leave your body burning fat all day.

Take Before and After Workout Meals Seriously

What you eat before and after a workout is essential to maintain muscle while burning off fat and losing weight. To get the best results, make sure you’re fueling up with complex carbs before your workout. This will feed your muscles and give you the strength you need to power through.

After your workout, finish with a protein-rich meal to help recover your muscles from their workout and assist in building new muscles.


Try Carb or Calorie Cycling

Something that many health coaches experiment with is the idea of carb or calorie cycling. This means that you’ll eat an excess of carbs or calories one day, and reduce intake dramatically another day. The number of calories consumed within a week would be the same as your regular diet; you just would be eating various amounts each day.

This has become a popular way of fooling your body to burn fat while maintaining muscle. Some experts say that this type of cycling also increases your metabolism, which helps you lose weight faster.


Be Easy on Yourself

We all know that diet and exercise is hard. It can take a significant toll on your body and your mind. Especially if you are focusing on fat loss, your body can go into shock mode if you take your diet and exercise routine too extreme.

Your body doesn’t like being overworked or put in a caloric deficit. To make up for this, go easy on your body and yourself. Continue to let yourself indulge every once in a while and to enjoy the foods you like. While you might be quick fat loss by sticking religiously to a diet, you will also see a rapid fat gain as soon as you go back to your old eating habits.

For the best results, take things slow and make gradual changes to your health.



Everyone who works out knows that muscle weighs more than fat. Although you may not be losing weight at the ultra-fast pace that your friends on fad diets might, we guarantee that maintaining muscle during weight loss is a great way to keep the weight from coming back.

We hope that if you’re wondering how to lose weight without losing muscle, our tips help you get into the best shape of your life.

Featured Image Source Pixabay 

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