Losing weight is great but if you want to transform your body, fat is where it’s at.
When you embark on a weight loss journey, it’s almost guaranteed that you will be saying “Bon Voyage!” to some muscle mass and to me, that’s a recipe for disaster. You can counter act this phenomena by losing weight slowly, eating your personal caloric and macronutrient needs, pumping up your protein intake, and working out. The goal with any weight loss plan is to lose fat and maintain as much lean mass, or muscle, as possible.
Let’s talk about protein.
Why is protein important to lose weight, especially when focusing on fat loss and building lean muscle?
First, protein satisfies hunger and takes longer to digest so you stay feeling full longer and are less likely to snack or go back to the kitchen to refill your plate.
Second, protein helps regulate the blood sugar bounce you get from eating necessary carbohydrates by slowing how fast your body absorbs their sugars. (That’s why I suggest you always pair a protein with your carbs.)
Third, protein is essential to repairing and strengthening your muscles after you exercise. Working out builds lean muscle mass which increases your resting metabolic rate or the ability to burn calories doing nothing. Booyah!
Fourth, it can take more energy to digest protein which means you burn more calories eating.**this does depend on the type of protein.
Fifth, protein helps ensure you burn fat, not muscle. Research shows that in order to effectively burn fat, your body needs a nudge from either protein or carbs. Eating protein will help preserve your lean muscle mass while your body eats your fat.
If you want to lose fat and nourish your muscles, you MUST eat enough protein. Balanced nutrition is essential to building muscle and burning your stored fat.
What can you do to burn more fat?
Build more muscle. The key to maximizing your fat burning ability is to increase your muscle mass. You do that by strength training and eating a balanced diet that is provides enough lean proteins and fruits and vegetables. The more lean muscle mass you have, the higher your metabolic rate and the more calories you burn. I feel like I can already hear your voices, Nancy, I don’t want to bulk up or get too muscular. Trust me, you won’t. We are not talking bodybuilder routines here, this is adding weights, strategically, to your workouts.
Now, let’s talk a minute about nourishing those muscles.
The key to keeping your body focused on losing all that wiggly, jiggly, deadly fat is to nourish your muscles at every meal. Make sure you know how much protein you should be eating and balance it with the proper carbs and healthy fats. Whenever someone sets out to lose weight, the goal is to burn fat. No one wants to lose muscle and bone, no one. That happens on it’s own as we age.
Fight back by setting reasonable weight loss/fat loss goals. Don’t try to lose ten pounds in two weeks! Eat enough macronutrients to make sure your body is targeting fat, not muscle, and strength train. Any weight baring exercise that helps you build muscle counts.
Those beautifully sculpted, well nourished muscles will help you keep you burning fat and living the happy healthy life you deserve!