4 Clues About Why You're Losing Muscle, Not Fat
Losing pounds in all the wrong places?
You see the numbers dropping on the scale, inching closer towards achieving your weight loss goal with each passing day. That’s good news, right?
But you can’t help noticing your average MPH on the treadmill is also getting slower, or you’re burning out faster with each set on the weights. What gives?!
There’s a good chance the majority of that weight you’re losing is not actually fat, but possibly water; or even worse… Muscle.
While we can all agree there’s little more frustrating than realizing you’ve been duped, there are luckily some solid methods for making sure you’re losing the right kind of weight.
Check out these 4 clues to why you’re not losing the weight or building the muscle you’ve been grinding so hard for, plus some pointers for turning your transformation around:
CLUE #4: You Need More Strength Training
A key component to achieving that healthy weight goal is exercise, but not just any old exercise will do if you want to really maximize your gains - muscle gains, that is. To ensure you’re building muscle while simultaneously losing fat, you need to incorporate strength training like resistance exercises and high-intensity cardio into your fitness regimen.
With all of the conflicting and overflowing information out there around the subject, it can be intimidating to know how to get the results you want. Luckily, there are resources to help you assemble your workout routine for maximum effectiveness.
Step-by-step, full-body workout programs like MME’s Warrior Shred Program cuts out the guesswork for you so you can get to cutting fat and shredding muscle ASAP.
CLUE #3: You Need to Up Your Protein Intake
When maintaining a health regimen with the main goal of losing weight, it can be easy to be led astray in terms of nutrition. High protein foods often have a high caloric value, which can scare off those who are counting calories. Fad diets often forgo the protein for this very reason, instead opting for less nutritional fluff to make the portion sizes larger and deceive your body into feeling satisfied.
This is a tragic yet all too common rookie mistake, as protein is necessary for building and maintaining muscle. The Dietary Reference Intake is 0.36 grams of protein per pound, or up to 35% of your calories, depending on your activity level. While protein shakes can certainly be an easy way to get your daily dose, the best natural sources of protein include fish, lean meat, eggs, tofu, and low-fat dairy.
CLUE #2: You Need a Recovery Day to Rebuild Muscle
You’re three days into your new workout regimen, feeling better than ever and rarin’ to go. Now your plan is calling for a rest day, but you’re on a roll! Why stop now? Nevermind that your calves are a little sore - nothing an ibuprofen can’t fix so you can get back into the gym, right?
Not so fast. Not only can overdoing it lead to injury, but those rest days are key for all sorts of important bodily processes that help you build muscle and lose fat: Synthesis of protein; rebuilding of muscle fiber; fluid restoration; and the removal of metabolic waste products like lactic acid (the very substance that makes you feel sore) are all thanks to that recovery day.
CLUE #1: You Need to Catch More Zzz's
While we’re on the subject of recovery, let’s dive into the importance of getting that much needed shut-eye. That’s right- you can add muscle retainment and fat loss to the long list of benefits of a proper sleep schedule.
Not getting enough sleep wreaks havoc in your body’s hormone levels, causing a surplus of cortisol. This hormonal imbalance increases the amount of carbs converted to fat, and also slows muscle growth. Basically, it’s a lose-lose situation and the opposite of what we’re going for. Not to mention, exercising after a bad night’s sleep is no fun, and can really impact the effectiveness of your workout.
Just when you thought measurable muscle gains and weight loss were out of reach, here’s 4 clues that help you get to the bottom of your struggles and unlock the muscle mass and definition you’ve been grinding for.
Take action on these 4 common culprits of muscle loss so you can finally start building the body you intended to!
Maggie Johnson | MME Lifestyle Contributor
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