This is a question I get asked a lot!
Is it possible to lose body fat/weight and maintain or even gain strength.
The answer is yes.
It is easier if you are fairly new to formal exercise and weight loss but wherever you are on the journey it is still possible.
Here’s what you need to do:
1) Go slowly with your weight loss.
Do not try for a ‘crash’ diet or large calorie deficit.
Aim for a moderate decrease in your intake to achieve around 0.25 – 0.5% of bodyweight loss.
Keeping it simple, that would mean a 100kg person would be aiming to lose no more than 0.5kg per week.
It’s quite straightforward to implement if you are tracking calories; to lose 0.5kg you would need a deficit of 550 calories per day or 3850 calories per week.
If you are not tracking then you need to adjust your food intake slightly and monitor your bodyweight.
Weigh every day and track your average.
When you arrive at the level where you are losing the required amount per week, you have it right.
2) Eat enough protein.
At least a palm sized portion with each meal.
I’m talking about ‘first class’ lean protein here, not nuts or beans but lean meat, protein powder, soy etc..
3) Get plenty of good training.
If you are not training appropriately then you will lose muscle.
Your muscles need resistance training – they need to be put to work.
If you do not use it, you will lose it.
Get in a good amount of volume, with tempo and progressive overload.
3 – 5 sessions a week.
Go for slightly lower intensity when you are also trying to lose weight.
Do continue to lift heavy but keep your rate of perceived exertion around 7-8 out of 10.
6 – 10 reps at a time is about right.
Don’t be looking to beat your 1rep max!
When it comes to aerobic exercise, again, keep the intensity lower.
Don’t do too much cardio.
About 1 – 3 times a week is fine, look to keep your heart rate around 120 – 150 bpm – depending on your age and fitness levels.
4) Don’t get in your own head!
Remember you do not ‘have’ to lose strength when you are losing weight.
Eat 1 -3 hours before training and 1 – 3 hours after training.
Eat enough for energy and recovery.
If you are training 1st thing in the morning then have good protein and carbs the night before.
You can then lower your calories/intake outside of your training window.
You can even fast for periods if that suits you.
Do not get in your own way.
You can lose weight and gain strength at the same time.
If you missed the pre-sale list for ‘Operation Don’t Call It A Comeback’ then there may be a chance to get on the course.
On Wednesday this week it will be open to all, if there are any spaces left.
Please keep an eye on my Instagram @jonnylandels @nextstepnutritionltd