In bodybuilding, the overall “name of the game” is to maintain muscle while trying to lose fat. This is however one of the most difficult things to do with the body because how one accomplishes maintaining muscle can sometimes counteract with what needs to be done to lose fat.
You may be someone who is always counting calories. You also may already know that you must be in more of a calorie deficit to lose fat and overall weight. But the challenge is now present with maintaining muscle because by having low calories, you can easily start eating away and losing hard earned muscle.
There are numerous angles to hit this dilemma from, so we will start from the most crucial and work our way down.
This is by far the biggest concern anyone who works out and lifts should have. When it comes to maintaining muscle with low calories, you have to get very particular with the calories you are consuming. This is where macronutrients, or “macros” are important. Stop counting calories as one number and start looking at them in the 3 macros; protein (4 calories per gram), carbs (4 calories per gram), and fat (9 calories per gram). These 3 will make up your total calorie intake for the day. The majority of your total calorie intake should of course be from protein calories.
Everyone loves to train and yes, a lot of what you will accomplish will start in the gym. How your body looks and takes shape is based off of the way you do train but be smart. When training on low calories, being smart and resourceful is critical. You cannot go into the gym and expect to train for 3 hours all out while consuming low calories and expect to maintain muscle. The opposite will occur a matter of fact. The body will begin to eat muscle to help supply it with the energy it needs to train. Keep your training sessions moderate in regard to intensity, and do not slouch on getting some low intensity cardio in (50-60 percent of your MHR) as well to help expedite the fat burning process while saving muscle.
Rest could easily be number 1 on the list because of its overall significance in fitness. Since your calories are low, making sure the body has ample time to recover from training and just every day life is vital. Feeling worn out is a common feeling with people who are not eating that much period, but add in training of any sort, rest becomes that much more important. Get good sleep at night and do not underestimate the important of a nap here and there.