Beginner bodybuilders are often primarily concerned about building as much muscle as they can, as quickly as possible. That being said, at some point in time, if they are successful, they will have built a significant amount of muscle mass and will will want to reduce their body fat percentage in order to increase their muscle definition and get chiseled abdominal muscles.
One of the biggest mistakes that I made as an intermediate bodybuilder was implementing fat loss programs that were focused solely on shedding body fat as fast as possible with little regard for the effect it would have on all of my hard earned muscle growth. This ultimately led to my losing a large percentage of the muscle tissue that I had worked so hard to build. If you are worried that your fat loss regimen may be eating away at your muscles, don’t worry. I am going to share with you how you can effectively lower your body fat percentage while maintaining your current level of muscle mass – and maybe even continue to build muscle as you work on cutting fat.
Why Most Fat Loss Diets Kill Your Muscles
The world of fat loss is ridden with extreme diets that promise to help others lose fat as fast as possible. People are always looking for more efficient ways to do things and I am no different. However, it is important that you understand that extreme fat loss comes at a steep cost, and that cost is the catabolic effect of lacking nutrition that leads to losses in muscle mass. This is obviously a nightmare of any serious bodybuilder and should be avoided at all costs. So, this begs the question, “how do we successfully lower out body fat percentage without losing muscle mass?”.
Well, I am going to tell you…
The Secret to Shedding Body Fat While Retaining Muscle
The key to maintaining all of your muscle mass when following a fat loss cycle lies in a controlled form of nutrition manipulation. When you are ready to start focusing on fat loss and learn how to gain weight, you will simply reduce your daily caloric intake by about 250 calories from what you were previously consuming while working on bulking up. You will follow this new caloric allowance for a full week and then decrease by another 250 calories if your body fat percentage has not decreased. If your body fat does decrease after a week of following this specific nutrition plan, you will continue to supply your body with the same number of daily calories until it no longer leads to a measurable amount of weekly fat loss.
By monitoring your nutrition, and adjusting as necessary, you are successfully able to guarantee that you are maintaining a slight caloric deficit that will allow you to slowly lose your excess body fat without depriving your body from the nutrition it needs to sustain your current levels of muscle mass. I will admit that losing fat in this manner will usually be slower than using more extreme methods of caloric deprivation, but having the ability to retain most of your muscle mass will be extremely valuable to your long term bodybuilding success – especially when it comes to your overall gains in size and strength.
Bodybuilding Nutrition for Fat Loss – The Right Way
If your only goal is to lose weight and reduce your body fat percentage, then by all means, go ahead and use extreme dieting techniques to reach your fat loss goals. However, if you are like me, you will want to hold on to every bit of muscle mass as possible – even when working on shedding unwanted body fat. Making slight nutrition modifications to maintain a relatively small caloric deficit is the best way for bodybuilders to attack their fat loss goals while continuing
to maintain, build and develop their muscles as they continue towards their ultimate goal of having as much lean muscle mass as possible.