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How do you burn fat without losing muscle?

Losing weight is not the same as losing fat. The big difference is in what we are eliminating from our body.

Ideally, if we challenge ourselves to lose weight, we achieve it through the elimination of fat and not muscle.

In this article, I’ll explain how to achieve it. You must first know that for fat loss to occur there is only one requirement: a caloric deficit.

That is, when we consume fewer calories than the body needs to burn for proper function.

When this happens, we are actually forcing our body to find an alternative source of energy to burn so we can continue working, and that is when it turns to stored body fat – our goal.

In an ideal world our body would only lose fat when that caloric deficit scenario occurs, however there is a second source of energy available: muscle tissue.

So how do we get the body to turn to fat and not muscle when it needs to keep burning fuel?

The first condition is to make a sufficient intake of protein.

This is a key dietary factor in maintaining muscle mass while trying to lose weight.

Protein-rich foods will gain weight in our diet. We cannot specify with figures and data how much protein to eat daily; for that it is necessary to consult a nutritionist.

Secondly, we must maintain or increase our strength (this already depends on the individual objective of each person).

In any case, we will achieve it by performing bodybuilding exercises. But there is a difference between the two purposes. If we do not want to increase muscle mass but we do want to lose fat, we must perform muscle-building exercises without increasing the load or the number of repetitions.

In this way the body will maintain its amount of muscle mass. On the other hand, if we want to "get muscular" we must gradually increase the weight we lift in the exercises or the number of repetitions for that same weight.

On the other hand, we must control the diet without drastically reducing the calories ingested.

Remember that our goal is to lose weight without losing muscle mass.

This is a very important point, because if, for example, our maintenance level was 2,500 calories and we wanted to generate a 20% deficit, we would have to eat 2,000 calories a day.

But why not try a higher caloric deficit per day to "go faster" towards our goal?

Precisely because if we generate a greater caloric deficit we would be getting into the field of losing muscle, and we do not want that.

In summary, the daily caloric deficit must be low with respect to our personal need.

Regarding cardiovascular physical activity, for the objective that concerns us, we must be clear that we cannot afford an excess. Cardio is an additional exercise that requires extra recovery.

Since our desire is fat loss, we must avoid high-intensity physical activities that "eat" muscle. It is advisable to jog for 20 or 25 minutes at a very comfortable pace or walk for 45 or 60 minutes.



My name is Steven Goldstein

With over 10 years of experience in the fitness industry, I have worked with clients of all ages and fitness levels. From professional athletes to individuals aiming to lose weight, I have helped countless people achieve their goals and improve their overall health through customized training and nutrition plans.

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Consistency leaves clues

Hundreds of clients of all ages, backgrounds, and abilities have put their health in our hands over the years and achieved truly remarkable results. 

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