How Do I Lose Fat But Not Muscle?

Are you conscious about maintaining a fit and fine body? You probably might want your body to just burn the fat and not muscle. However, your body doesn’t actually know what you want. It simply knows that in order for it to survive and function well under the current conditions, it will require to pull stored energy from somewhere.

And that can be from fat, muscle, or from a combination of both. However, you must aim at losing only body fat and not muscle. Want to know how? Read the current post and know about it.

How Do I Lose Fat But Not Muscle?

How Do I Lose Fat But Not Muscle?

Dietary Requirements To Lose Fat But Not Muscle:

Eat Enough Of Protein:

The most important dietary requirement for maintaining muscle is a sufficient daily intake of protein. There have been numerous studies that proved that losing fat without losing muscle is all about eating enough protein every day. Even in the absence of a proper routine of weight training, more of the weight that you will lose will be body fat rather than muscle mass, just because of an increased protein intake.

Now, what is the ideal amount of protein for a day? Well, research and real-world experience have shown that anything in the range of 0.8 gram to 1.3 grams of protein per pound of your current body weight is the sweet spot for people with this goal.

Don’t Cut Down Calories Too Much:

In order to lose any amount of body fat, you need to create a calorie deficit; that means you are going to need to reduce the amount of calorie you intake below maintenance level so stored body fat can be burned for energy instead.

This calorie deficit can be classified as small, moderate, or large; based on how far below maintenance you go and how much you reduce your daily calorie intake by. A moderate calorie deficit of about 20% below maintenance level seems to be ideal for most people.

It must be noted that reducing your calorie intake too much will increase the potential for strength and muscle loss.

Pay Attention To Carbohydrates You Take:

Do not take too much low-carbohydrate diet if you are looking to lose fat and not muscle. However, you can consume double the number of grams of carbohydrates as much you consume protein. It means the carbohydrate-to-protein rations should be 2:1 that helps in losing more fat and less muscle.

Pay Attention To Meals You Eat Before And After Workout:

It is essential for you to pay attention on your pre and post workout nutrition. It is especially important when your goal is fat loss and not muscle.

For this, you need to eat a nice amount of protein and carbohydrates within 1-2 hours before and after your workout. Do not make it any more complicated than this.

Workout And Training Requirements To Lose Fat But Not Muscle:

Maintain Strength Levels:

This is the most important training requirement for anyone who wants to lose fat without losing muscle. Your primary weight training goal is to not lose strength. This in turn will allow you not to lose muscle. For example, it you are lifting heavy weight for building muscle, you need to lift the same heavy weight if you actually want to maintain that muscle and strength. You must be made aware that if you are lifting weights to build muscle and then after lifting lighter weights, then your body starts burning the muscle (that has been built) for energy, instead of the body fat. So, make sure you are maintaining your strength levels so as to lose fat and not muscle.

Reduce Weight Training Volume And/Or Frequency:

You need to reduce your training volume or the total amount of sets, reps, and/or exercises being done, reduce the training frequency or the total amount of workouts being done per week and per muscle group, or a combination of both. This clever workout routine would help you lose fat but not muscle.

Do High Intensity Intervals:

High intensity interval training or HIIT, such as sprints on the treadmill or stationary bike, is pretty effective at burning calories, both during and after workouts, through excess post-exercise oxygen consumption. Moreover, it also guards against muscle loss.

It must also be mentioned that with the right work-to-rest ration, high intensity interval training can even build muscle. From studies, it has been found that people who exercise at a 1:1 ratio (of training-to-rest), gained significantly more muscle than those who exercised at a 1:1 ratio. Make sure that for every second you spend sprinting, spend that much second resting before your next bout.


So, from the above you must be now aware of some of the best ways to ensure you lose fat without losing muscle in the exercising process. It must be noted that if you are new to workouts or fitness regimen, then be sure to hire a personal fitness trainer and know about the best ways to lose fat but not muscle.

Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:November 6, 2018

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