Summer Body: How To Retain Your Muscle Mass?

The summer is coming, and with it the desire to get back in shape. If you have already tried to achieve this goal then you probably know that is not exactly easy.

The phase of definition requires proper combination of a diet plan, exercise program, appropriate supplements and time for an active rest.

Calorie intake

Logically, if you want to get rid of excess body fat you should reduce the intake of calories.

But what you may not know is how and how much to reduce calories.

Generally, a decrease of 5 calories per kilogram of body weight can significantly reduce the level of fat in the body.  You can do this by cutting out food which has a lot of calories and only a few nutrients.

Protein intake

The amount of protein you need to consume on a daily basis is the most common dilemma.

Remember, protein is the most important macronutrient for the body, especially if you want to retain muscle mass and reduce fat.

If you exercise and do not give the body the necessary amount of protein, it will cause muscle atrophy. The general recommendation is 1.5 to 2 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight.

For example, if you weigh 170 pounds you will need to import about 120-160 grams of quality protein per day. Quality protein can be found in meat, fish, dairy products and supplements.

 

Carbohydrate intake

We often say that carbohydrates are the biggest “enemy” in the fight against excess body fat, but this generalization often leads people to mistakes.

It is therefore necessary to understand the role of carbohydrates and have the proper intake at the correct time.

Carbohydrates and fats are the main sources of energy for the body and their role in the body is closely related. Therefore, when you are focused on increasing weight and muscle mass, the presence of carbohydrates will reduce the spending of fat as an energy source.

And when losing weight, what you need is the spending of fat and therefore you should reduce the intake of carbohydrates, but not to cut them out of your diet entirely.

Here are some tips on how to properly control the intake of carbohydrates:

  • Cut out refined carbohydrates and high calorie foods of your diet.
  • Don’t consume unnecessary carbohydrates during the day – choose foods rich in protein and healthy fats.
  • Choose sources of carbohydrates with low to medium glycemic index, which are rich in nutrients instead of calories – leguminous vegetables, legumes, quinoa, potatoes, spinach, kale, broccoli and other vegetables.

Supplements

When supplements are in question, you must remember that they are not magic potions that will get you back in shape overnight.

To increase their effect you need to have a proper diet and exercise regularly. These are the most helpful supplements when losing weight:

  • Whey protein – the whey protein is called a complete protein because it supplies the body with all kinds of amino acids and promotes the growth and maintenance of muscle mass.
  • BCAA – branched-chain amino acids – leucine, isoleucine and valine are one of the nine essential amino acids which our body can’t produce, so you need to consume them through your diet or supplements.
  • L-Carnitine – L-Carnitine is naturally present in the muscles and is a major component in the transmission of molecules of fatty acids in the mitochondria cells where they can oxidize and contribute to energy production.
  • Casein – casein contains a high percentage of the milk protein, which contributes to the maintenance and growth of muscle mass, thanks to the calcium which it contains.

 

The training program

If you want drastic results, you need to take drastic measures, or to combine and modify your training program. Do not let your body get used to the challenges, but combine exercises with various weights, sets and reps, different intensity and different types of cardio.

Rest time

When we talk about rest, it refers to the hours that you spend sleeping, and also the rest period from intense workouts.

No matter how dedicated and willing you are to work on your goal, you may be wrong and overdo with exercise.

Sleep regularly and include rest days into your training program and you will see how your results will improve.