Often, when you go on a diet, you end up losing both fat and lean mass, compromising (also) muscle tone. In short, a disaster! How to lose weight in a healthy way while staying toned? First of all we need to clarify and understand what we are talking about. Let’s take a step back and start from the beginning. For mass magra we mean the lean “part” of the body, that is the sum of the organs (liver, brain, heart, etc.), muscles, bones and blood. There muscle mass instead it refers only to the muscles and is, therefore, a fraction of the lean one.
In a dietary regimen the mass magra it is important since affects our basal metabolic rate, or the minimum amount of energy that the body uses to perform the functions essential for life. Who has more muscles, to perform any action, even simply stay awake, consume more calories. On the contrary, when you lose lean mass our basal metabolic rate decreases, and with it also decreases weight loss.
However, losing weight while maintaining lean and muscle mass is possible. First of all you should not be in a hurry to lose weight and drastic calorie deficits must be avoided, so ask yourself realistic goals, identifying the weight and the percentage of lean mass you are aiming for. Also in this case physical activity is essential. 2/3 workouts a week are enough, useful for stimulate the metabolism. Perfect is a mix of aerobic activities such as running, exercise bike, and swimming anaerobiche, such as weight training, for tone your muscles. As for nutrition, in order to preserve muscle mass, the diet must provide correct protein requirement, which varies from individual to individual and according to different periods of life. The proteins needed during the growth phase, in fact, are greater than those of adulthood. Protein intake should also be changed when you have an important and frequent physical activity.
What to bring to the table
“A great food strategy for do not lose lean mass and maintain muscle mass is the Zone Diet, as its planning starts from calculation of the protein requirement, which is extremely individual and which varies according to the daily activity index. A sedentary person will have different needs than someone with a more active level of fitness. This diet also aims to divide the protein intake, obviously supplemented by the daily fat and carbohydrate requirements, in every meal and snack. This results in a feeling of satiety at the end of a meal, which will continue in the following hours, and in maintenance of muscle tone and mass. Of course, everyone will be able to choose based on what they prefer from the leanest sources of food that provide the protein, ”he explains Elena Casiraghi, expert in nutrition and sports integration of Equipe Enervit.
Mistakes to avoid at the table
“Not hydrating properly, take mainly carbohydrates and a excess protein per meal as happens, for example, for those who eat a first course for lunch and a second course for dinner. Then eliminating carbohydrates from the diet compromises the maintenance of tone and lean mass. The Zone Diet, thanks to the balance of nutrients in each meal and snack, turns out to be a balanced meal plan. Finally, always being in a hurry does not allow us to prepare a balanced meal by making advantageous choices in the selection of foods. Those who have little time available in the morning for breakfast, for example, can opt for balanced and delicious preparations at the same time, such as the balanced pancakes 40-30-30, which in a few gestures allow to satisfy the needs of the body and the palate ”, Comments the nutritionist.
When to see a specialist
“When we want to define a diet in its strictest sense, that is a food table that as such we will have to adopt for a limited period, or in the case of frequent, prolonged and intense sporting activity, it is necessary to refer to a specialist. The guidelines of a balanced diet will be the basis for a nutritional education that will accompany us over time”, Concludes Elena Casiraghi.
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