Guidelines to eliminate our body fat and maintain muscle
After having carried out a stage of muscular volume increase, in which we have followed a hypercaloric diet for several months, there are many who wish to perform a phase of muscular definition in which they try to eliminate body fat while maintaining the musculature of the best possible way.
One of the main problems we have to define is that we only focus on eliminating our body fat and this is a very serious mistake, since we must also fight to keep our muscles to the maximum.
Maintaining our lean mass, we make sure that our body also keeps our Basal Metabolism Rate (BMR) higher, causing our body to burn more calories in the resting state. With which, preserve muscle mass, helps our body burn more fat when we are not doing any physical activity.
The three basic pillars to achieve our goal are: create an energy deficit, perform intense muscle-building exercises to preserve lean mass and increase our energy expenditure.
Create an energy deficit to eliminate fat
This point is key to reduce our body fat. We need to eat fewer calories than we spend. Following a hypocaloric diet will cause our body to use body fat as energy and thus reduce our fat percentage. If we eat more calories than we spend, we can not lose fat.
We must be careful with the deficit that we generate since an excessive deficit of calories can lead us to generate what is known as a metabolic tomb, causing us to be so tired that it is impossible to train intensely, thus losing muscle mass.
Also, if the caloric deficit is very high from the beginning, we will stop eliminating body fat very soon and there will be a time when the caloric reduction should be too great.
To move from a volume stage to a definition stage, it must be done progressively, reducing the calories on a weekly basis until reaching the desired caloric deficit.
Perform high intensity muscle training
It is important to perform intense weight training to preserve our muscles. If we only do cardiovascular exercise, we will be able to eliminate fat, but we will also lose lean mass, which will cause a reduction in TMB.
The important thing is that, whatever the routine we choose, run at high intensity, maintaining high weights. It would be important to gain strength progressively, this way we will make sure to keep as much musculature as possible and also favor our next volume phase by raising our maximum.
Increase our caloric expenditure
The third pillar for our goal would be to increase our total caloric expenditure to supplement the energy deficit.
There are different possible ways, among them we find the following:
- Long-term aerobic exercise : with it, we will burn more calories in the total of the day. But it has one drawback, and that is that this type of exercise is adaptive. When we follow a training to improve our resistance in a sport, there is inevitably a reduction of the TMB to make us more efficient in this discipline. For example, marathon runners have a very low BMR. This will make fat loss in the long run difficult.
- Walking : it allows us to increase the calories expended without creating adaptation. The drawback is that we should invest too much time to burn enough calories.
- HIIT : High intensity interválico exercise, you can read more about it in this entry: HIIT to improve resistance and burn fat. It has several advantages over the previous ones: less time is spent and the same or more calories are burned, our TMB increases and COPD is greater, that is, after the exercise we will burn more extra calories.
Eliminating fat is a marathon, not a sprint
Do not be in a hurry to quickly eliminate the body fat you have in excess. Simply follow the guidelines indicated above, be consistent in your workouts, your diet and rest and you will eliminate body fat maintaining your muscles as much as possible.
There are no shortcuts or supplements that help to go faster in this process. It is demonstrated in recent studies that the majority of existing thermogenics do not work and those that do work, they only help between 1% and 2% as long as the diet is truly strict.
As a personal advice, a good coffee only 30 minutes before training, will help us to do it more intensively and we will also take advantage of the small acceleration in our metabolism to burn some extra calories.
Do not wait until June to try to eliminate all the excess fat in a month, evaluate what percentage you are currently fat, what percentage you want to reach and get to work hard from! already!.