With spring now pretty much upon us, the summer months will be hot on its heels and before you know it will be basking in red hot temperatures, lathering ourselves in sun cream, complaining about being too hot, and being forced to strip down and wear less layers as we’d simply be too hot otherwise. If you’re in shape, you probably look forward to the summer as it gives you a chance to strip off and show the world how hard you’ve worked in the kitchen and in the gym on building an aesthetically pleasing physique that makes others green with envy. If you’re out of shape however, you’d probably prefer it to be slightly cooler to help spare you the embarrassment of disrobing in public. Rather than complaining about being out of shape, why not put in the hard work and do something about it instead? If you’ve spent winter ‘bulking up’ and building muscle mass, now is the ideal time to start cutting down and shredding up in time for summer. You’ve built the size in the form of mass, now you need to strip away the body fat that is covering it, whilst preserving as much muscle and as much size as possible. Here are some tips to help you minimize muscle loss whilst dieting down.
Keep up the intensity
When dropping their calories, many people actually adjust their training programs in the gym as they fear that they will lose strength and energy due to the sudden drop in calories. In reality however, if you gradually lower your calories whilst keeping up the intensity in the gym, you will find that you may not actually experience drops in strength and you may actually get a little stronger. In the gym you need to push yourself as much as possible and never take the easy way out. Train as intensely as before, and if you do lose a little strength, use slightly lighter weights but carry on going.
Keep your protein intake high
Out of the three macronutrients required for building muscle, protein is absolutely essential as it is the foundation of which muscle is built. In order to maintain muscle, we need a minimum of 1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight, whereas in order to help promote muscle gain, protein intake should be at around 1.5 grams per pound of bodyweight. There are plenty of incredibly lean sources of protein including chicken breast, turkey, and fish. Protein is also thermogenic, which means you burn calories just by digesting the food. Make sure you include a protein source with each of your meals.
Don’t neglect your fats
Consuming fats whilst dieting and trying to lose fat may seem counterproductive to some of you, but in reality not only are healthy fats perfectly acceptable when trying to lose weight, they can actually help speed up fat loss and promote muscle growth too. Healthy fats such as omega 3, avocado, and organic nuts and seeds can lower cholesterol, can increase protein synthesis, and can help to boost the metabolism as well. Stay away from hydrogenated fats, saturated fats, and trans fats as they are notoriously bad for you. Healthy mono and poly-unsaturated fats however, are extremely beneficial.