How To Lose Fat Without Losing Muscle

How To Lose Fat Without Losing Muscle


There’s no doubt about it, unless you’re
a beginner to training building substantial muscle can be a
painstakingly slow process. The last thing you want to do when you cut is
sacrifice that muscle you worked so hard to obtain. So today I’m gonna tell you
everything you need to know on how to lose fat without losing muscle so you
can keep your gains and get that shredded look. Hey this is Colin DeWaay if
you want to master your metabolism and create forever results start that
process now by subscribing and click on that bell notification so you don’t miss
anything. Alright there are several strategies you
can take to make sure you keep that hard-earned muscle but before we get
into that there’s something very important you should know and that is
when it comes to a successful cut and getting that look you really want you’re
probably gonna have to lose more weight than you think. It seems like most of the
time what we think we’re going to look like at a certain weight isn’t really even
that close and you still need to drop another 10-20 pounds before you reach
that look. Our bodies just hold a lot more fat than we think they do. So in
order to reach that kind of shredded look that you’re looking for you need to
make sure you have plenty of patience. Because reality is the faster you lose
weight the more likely you are to lose muscle as well. So with that the first
thing you need to consider is the pace of weight loss that you’re after and to
me if you want to hold on to as much muscle as possible you don’t want to
lose more than about one percent of your body weight on average per week. And that
one percent is like the max and to be perfectly honest if you really truly
want to hold on to all the muscle you can you probably want to go even a
little bit slower than that and even bring it down to around a half a percent
per week. Of course how much weight you have to lose has to factor in as well
the more you have to lose the more you’re probably going to want to have a
little bit faster pace in the beginning stages at least and the leaner you are
in a less weight you have to lose the more it makes sense to lose a little bit
less per week. As I shoot this I’m about six weeks out from my physique where
maintaining your muscle is massively important. And I’ve been cutting for 22
weeks total. Of those 22 weeks, 15 of them saw an average weekly drop of less than
1 pound. I’ve lost 16.6 pounds total which
is an average of about .7 pounds per week. So for someone who started at
182 pounds that actually works out to be roughly about a half a percent per week
on average. Patience is the name the game my friend and there’s more
benefits than just holding on to muscle when you can be more patient. When you
take a slower approach you’re able to eat more food, do less cardio, you’re way
less likely to feel the effects of dieting as much, you’re gonna be able to
perform better, and on, and on, and on. Plus the more food that you can eat while dieting
the better because remember your metabolism is adaptive and therefore it
will adapt to whatever you do. And this means if you’re eating more food and
doing less cardio once your body does adapt you’ll be able to make more
adjustments and keep the process going. Whereas if you drop your calories really
low right away and you’re doing a bunch of cardio not only you’re gonna
sacrifice more muscle during the process but you’re also gonna adapt to those lower
calories, eventually you’ll get stuck and it’ll make it really hard to reach your
final goal. Now another important factor to make sure you’re hanging on to that
hard-earned muscle is to make sure you keep your protein high during your
dieting phase. Protein is not only what helps you build muscle but it’s also
what helps you retain muscle when dieting. And to me the leaner you get and
the less you’re eating the more benefits you get from protein. So I personally
recommend when you start your dieting phase you start at one gram per pound of
body weight and then you just keep it there throughout your dieting phase so
even if you started at 190 pounds and you wanted to get down to 160 you would
stay at that 190 grams of protein throughout your entire cut. Not
only does protein help you keep your muscle but it also is the most satiating
macronutrient so it helps you feel full as your calories get lower,
it also has by far the highest thermic effect of food of the three
macronutrients, so you burn more calories eating protein than you would through
carbs or fat. Now as far as your carb and fat split I do like to keep carbs as
high as possible for most people just because it is gonna aid in performance
and help you keep that muscle glycogen high and that’s only gonna be able to
help you train more effectively which we’re gonna talk about pretty soon is
also really important to make sure you keep your muscle. And that being said fat
does play critical roles in things like hormones and digestion so we don’t want
to just eliminate fat and get them too low, so we need to make sure we have a
balance. Also keep in mind that everyone is unique and while a lot of people tend
to perform better and feel better and have more energy on more carbs, some
people just do better with more fat and if you find that you have higher energy
levels and just feel better with more fat and less carbs, by all means do what
works best for you. But in general I recommend about 20-30%
of your calories to come from fat. You don’t want to go too much below
20% in most cases and for females I really don’t like to get below about 30
to 40 grams of fat and for males less than about 40 to 50 grams. Now there are
some other strategies we can take with nutrition to make sure we’re hanging on
to as much muscle as possible for instance doing things like taking double
refeeds and diet breaks. And as far as double refeeds go there’s actually some
really cool research that’s on its way out right now. My friend Lauren Conlin
did a video about this earlier this year with Dr. Bill Campbell out of USF which
is actually where I’m gonna be going back to school here this winter and they
were talking about this study that’s coming out where they did a double
refeed approach. To my knowledge this paper isn’t actually out yet so we’ll
have to take their word for it but it’s coming out I don’t know why they would
lie about it but anyway in this study they did seven weeks of dieting where
they took one group and they had them diet on the exact same macros for seven
weeks straight and then a different group who did the seven weeks of dieting,
equated total macros, but did an approach where they had two refeed days on
back-to-back days each week. Both groups ended up losing the same
amount of fat but the group that did the seven weeks of the exact same macros
lost about three pounds of muscle mass throughout and the group that did the
double refeed approach actually only lost about one pound on average for the
study. Now another important note about the study is the group that did the
double refeed approach actually saw about half the metabolic drop than the
group that did the exact same macros all the way through. So I just keep becoming
a bigger and bigger fan of the double refeed approach and I’m starting to
implement it more and more with my clients and even earlier than I was
previously. And if you saw my recent video about
carb cycling you will know that you have to make the double refeed approach on
back-to-back days. A single refeed does not seem to give you the same benefits
in hormones and metabolism that back-to-back consecutive days does. Now
as far as diet breaks go there actually is published research on this and what
they did was they had one group continuously diet for 16 straight weeks
and the other group did two weeks of dieting followed by two weeks of
maintenance calories and repeated that until they did 16 total weeks of dieting. So keep in mind the group that did the diet breaks actually did 30 weeks versus
16 but the total amount of dieting was the same. And what they found was the
group that did the diet breaks actually lost about 47% more fat than the other
group did and retained more muscle mass. So yeah while does take
longer it just goes to show that by taking these breaks and having higher
calories and not just constantly dieting all the time you can keep your
metabolism in a better spot keep your hormones in a better spot maintain more
muscle mass and just set yourself up to have a much better, more successful cut. Now one more thing with regards to nutrition before I go onto the training
side of things and that is there is some research that shows that if you take
BCAAs between meals it can actually help you extend the amount of time that you
can keep protein synthesis elevated before the next meal. So if you want to
do every little thing you can to try to maintain as much muscle mass as possible
I recommend taking BCAA’s about two hours after each protein containing meal. As
far as training goes obviously it makes a big difference with regards to how
much muscle you keep, however there’s a big mistake that a lot of people make
when it comes to cutting and that is they’ll completely switch up how they
train as soon as they start their cutting phase. What they do is they start
shortening the rest periods, they start doing more circuit style training and
they really try to keep their heart rate up all the time trying to burn more
calories and while you certainly want to keep intensity up while training to make
sure you keep your muscle you don’t really want to change how you train when
it’s time to cut. You want to keep doing what you’ve been doing to build the muscle
to also keep the muscle. Now with that being said you might have to make some
changes especially as you get leaner and you get into a position where your leverages start to change, you’re a little bit more prone to injury because you can’t
recover as well on lower calories. So maybe you have to avoid some bigger
movements that are more likely to cause injury and change things up that way but
what you don’t want to do is completely change your programming. You want to let
fat loss or muscle building happen by changing your calories and your cardio
to either create a calorie deficit or a calorie surplus. Also you have to
consider that with less calories you’re not gonna be able to recover as well. So
just blasting yourself all the time and “going hard or going home” is not likely
to be a very efficient way to make sure you optimally lose fat and keep your
muscle. And that brings me to cardio. I’m a big fan of utilizing more lower
intensity cardio over higher intensity cardio especially if you really want to
keep as much muscle as possible. And that’s because higher intensity cardio
is harder to recover from it’s more likely to bleed over into your training
and make everything suffer if you just feel like garbage all the time because
you’re so drained. And if recovery and training are gonna suffer you’re more
likely to lose additional muscle. Now that doesn’t mean you can’t do a HIIT you
just have to understand the drawbacks of it and especially if time is limited
it might make more sense because that’s the drawback of lower intensity cardio
is it just takes more time to do it. The big thing is you just have to understand
the risks and drawbacks that come with it. And honestly just picking up your
regular walking game can be very helpful in losing fat and keeping muscle and
it’s not going to drain you and it’s not hard to recover from. Okay there’s a few
other important factors that you need to consider when going through your fat
loss phase. Keep in mind the leaner you get the less scale weight change matters
and you’re gonna see more changes in body composition that aren’t gonna be
reflected as much on the scale. So make sure you’re paying attention to other
things, and this goes for all the time but especially as you get leaner, things
like pictures, measurements, how your clothes are fitting, and things like that
because those are all signs that things are happening. Also another big factor is
the longer that you’ve had muscle the more likely you are to keep it. So
there’s real value and not just constantly jumping into a diet all the
time besides just the fact that it kind of destroys your metabolism and
makes it really hard to lose fat. Building muscle just takes a lot of time
so make sure you’re spending much more time building than you are cutting and
this way when you’ve been doing this stuff for 5/10/15/20 plus
years it’s gonna make it that much easier to hang onto the muscle that you
have. Alright there’s something else that’s very important that you need to
make sure you consider when it comes to cardio and that’s not only what types
you should do but also how much and how to make adjustments throughout your
dieting phase. But I have all that covered up in this video so make sure
you check that out next and make sure you set yourself up for a successful cut. If you have any questions please just drop them in the comments below and I’ll
definitely get back to you. If you’re interested in online coaching just head
to my website colindewaaytraining.com and go to online coaching and fill out
the application, and I’ll see you over at that cardio video.

18 Replies to “How To Lose Fat Without Losing Muscle”

  1. Colin great video and info as always! Quick question on Refeed days how do you feel about whole grain cereal on those higher cal and carb days such as rice Chex. Thanks!!

  2. Another solid video!! Patience is the name of the game….and that the truth! Crushing that deadlift btw…good grief!! Keep pushing my friend!!🤙

  3. I have 3 days per week with higher calories, although my average is still a deficit. I have 3 consecutive day refeeds, I found I can cut more easily with better adherence.

  4. unrelated , so i'm wanting to cut again but i'm on reverse .. if i stop the reverse and cut is that the same as taking a diet break ? i was planning to reverse then maintain for the amount of time i reversed but i really want to reverse and then cut , is this a bad idea

  5. Super tips Colin! Thanks for sharing my friend and amazing job hitting 6.3K! Keep it up my friend! 🤓👊

  6. Nice video Colin as always very informative, you are a genius. Btw what do you think about protein spearing throughout a certain number of meals for better protein utilization?

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