I often hear such kind of question from the female audience, how to lose weight without gaining muscle mass? And I have a counter question for you, why do you want to lose weight? Is it to make your body shape better?
Have you ever heard about the fact that muscle development improves body shape and reduces the amount of fat in problem areas? After all, it is the muscles that form the inclusiveness and beauty of a body. Also, they provide fast metabolism that burns extra calories even when you are resting.
But since there is a question, here are some tips on how to reduce body fat without gaining muscle strength.
How does a woman lose weight?
The female body will not gain much muscle mass due to the hormonal state. Even for men with their natural predisposition to gain muscle mass, it takes an incredible effort to add even one pound of muscle. And this pound is almost invisible. Take a look at this woman change:
I have no idea what her nutrition was or how she trained. Maybe it is some weight-loss drug advertisement. But I know for sure that such changes are real in 2-4 months of hard training and following proper nutrition rules. And you do not need to get all sorts of expensive drugs for that. It is enough to follow the simple tips that I have set out below.
The photo on the right is a perfect example of an athletic woman. And why some people find her man-looking? She is gorgeous!
Remember, before you start working on your weight loss, make sure you consult a good physician. He can give you valuable advice that will help you stay within the limits of your genetics and load limit levels.
And one more remark. Before you start fitness programs, you should understand what your body shape is. If you have a slim body but some leg fat, it will be hard for you to burn that fat with training. There are other methods for that, and I will talk about them next time.
Also, there is the ideal weight formula, which gives you the idea of what mass level you have – excessive or lowered. According to that, if your weight is lower or equals your height minus 100, for health reasons, you definitely should avoid dropping much weight. You can hurt yourself.
Women and men who are not satisfied with their bodies and who weigh within the limits of medical norms can significantly improve their figure by doing strength exercises. They will bring muscle tone, and it will change the body shape. Developed muscles are always beautiful, natural forms of a healthy person.
Use my tips if you are overweight. For example, you are overweight if you are 5’7″ tall and weigh 165 lbs or more. But if with the same height you are 145-155 lbs, then the weight is considered normal. Well, almost.
To adjust your nutrition, you also will have to work with the chart of calories, protein, fats, and carbohydrates in different foods. Such literacy is necessary.
But let’s come back to the weight loss tips for a woman.
| Eat more carbohydrate food that contains complex carbs.
What? Are you kidding?! Hundreds of sites are screaming that carbohydrates are bad. But let me explain first.
Carbohydrates (carbs) are not only necessary, but they are also useful if only you follow the rules. Carbohydrate-rich foods are best for breakfast and lunch. But avoid them in the afternoon. Completely! Let your daily nutrition contain such products as fruit, cereals, pasta, bread made from coarse flour, muesli, vegetables (except potatoes), dried fruits.
Carbs provide energy for movement and a good mood, so they should be on your daily menu. Moreover, to normalize weight, you need so-called slow carbohydrates. I recommend you to familiarize yourself with the term glycemic index.
| Keep protein intake level
As for proteins, keep their quantity at 0.30-0.35 g per pound of weight. With such protein content, muscle building is difficult, but that is very good for your health. However, developed muscles are the best thing you can do for your beautiful body. So, you can safely lift to 0.45 g per pound of weight.
70% of all the fats you consume every day should be vegetables, as your body does not store vegetable fats. Your menu should include seeds, nuts, and vegetable oils. And do not forget about fish oil – one of the useful kinds of fats with omega-3 fatty acids.
You should take at least 30-40 grams of fat per day. Otherwise, your health will start to fail. It will cause disorder of skin glands, hormonal failures, hair loss problems, etc. And I bet you do not need them?
The first thing to do is to find out how many calories per day you need. You can reduce your calorie intake to 1500-1800 Kcal. But make sure you control how you feel. If it gets worse, increase your calorie intake. You can use this handy calorie counter.
Also, it is a good practice to find a day in a week when the caloric value of all food eaten per day is no more than 1000 kcal. On this day, only eat fresh fruits, vegetables, and salads. That is perfect unloading of the body and cleaning. You may even do some workouts this day.
| Weight Loss Exercises
Now, this is very important. You need at least two or three strength workouts and two or three cardio training sessions per week. The duration of cardio is at least 30 minutes. At the same time, try to bring your heart rate to 140-150 beats per minute (if you are 50 years old, you should speak with your physician about your heart rate cardio norm) and keep it at this level for at least several tens of minutes.
That is important to accelerate your metabolism. If your training level does not allow you to bring your heart rate up to this level, you should increase it gradually over a few weeks.
Modern treadmills and elliptical machines make it easy to control your heart rate. Lazy jogging on a treadmill, even for two hours, will not have any effect except fatigue. The intensity of your cardio workout matters much more than its duration. For more or less trained women, tabata and interval training are very useful.
Two or three times a week, do a strength training session. Let it be no longer than 40 minutes. But it must also be intensive. It means that you should sweat well and breathe often. Use such weights on trainers and dumbbells, which you can lift 12-15 times. And do not be afraid to increase your weight if it is too small for you. That stimulates your metabolism very well and helps you lose weight quickly.
| How do you eat on workout days?
Same way as always. Your workout should be at least 1.5 hours after not very dense food. And in 30 minutes after training, you should eat some carb to close the so-called carbohydrate window. It could be a banana, a dose of whey protein in fresh water, a glass of juice. This technique is quite helpful in reducing body fat.
| Expand your metabolism
Try to move as much as possible. Walk more, climb the steps, move around your house/office. Strength and cardio workouts, closing the carbonic window after them, as well as 5-6 small meals a day – all this accelerates your metabolism. Do not eat after 6 P.M. (especially sweets and fast food). The exception of this rule – you should eat after evening workouts.
Also, do not train for an empty stomach in the morning. Better have a little snack right before the workout. It could be a slice of toasted bread and a cup of tea or coffee.
| Sports nutrition and other supplements
Use simple solutions such as L-carnitine, whey protein, creatine. They can be helpful in weight loss and muscle retention. Bur remember to take them according to the guidance!
Do not use fat burners (except carnitine). They can do more harm than good. And most diet pills and slimming teas have only diuretic effects. They only remove water from your body. Yes, you will be happy seeing the scale arrow is crawling down. But this is not due to weight loss! That is the water needed for your body. The fat stays where it was?
| Drink a lot of fluids
At least 1.5-2.5 liters per day. And it should be mineral water, vegetable or fruit juices. It is better to drink them in the first half of the day and fresh water in the evening. However, do not take into account coffee, tea, alcohol, and soda drinks – these are more foods than fluids.
| Why is there not enough energy for training?
Maybe you do not eat enough, trying to lose weight that way. But weight loss and poor nutrition are things that are not compatible. To lose weight, you need to accelerate your metabolism by eating frequently, moving, and closing the carbohydrate window after each workout. Any other way to lose weight, especially with extreme weight loss by many pounds a week, lead to poor health and reduced muscle mass.
❗Warning: do not try to lose more than 2 pounds per week❗
It is the basis of human physiology. Our enzymes and metabolism cannot burn more than 2 pounds of fat a week without any future problems for your health. I am tired of letters from people asking me what to do with the skin that is sagging on their stomach after a fast weight-loss diet. My answer to them is to go to the physician. Or a plastic surgeon. I warned you!
Now you know how to lose weight for a woman. In conclusion, I want to say that I like women without extra fat and tight but not overtrained muscles. After all, due to the hormonal nature – the lack of testosterone – women cannot have significant muscle development.
But strong and tight muscles are agility, grace, self-confidence, good sex, health, and external appeal. Those women bodybuilders, which you can see on covers of fitness or sports magazines, have to take hormonal drugs regularly to build muscles as male type bodybuilders. And to work hard, very hard.
So, dear woman, do not be afraid of strength workouts. It is not as easy as it looks. You will not become such a bodybuilder, even after three or four years of serious training.
I have many friends who think I am wasting too much time on fitness. They have bellies and other attributes of people who are not familiar with dumbbells and running. But, damn, you should see how these enemies of fitness look at athletic women! And for me, it is another proof that fitness is not a stupid thing, even for very busy people.