If you’re overweight, it’s advised that you lose weight, as being overweight is unhealthy and can contribute to many complications. Ideally, when losing weight, you want to burn fat and build muscle. But how do you know if you’re achieving this properly and not losing muscle in the process?
Maintaining strong muscles at any age is crucial as it helps our mobility, strength, and protects our skeleton. Muscle loss can increase the risk of injury and rob someone of their independence.
Generally, if you’re adhering to a balanced program, then you will burn fat and gain muscle. But if you’re not losing weight in a healthy manner, such as cutting calories by not eating and not exercising, then you run the risk of muscle loss.
Registered dietician Wesley Delbridge explained, “A healthy diet is usually 45 to 65 percent carbs, anywhere from 15 to 35 percent protein, and 20 to 35 percent fat. The point is having a balanced diet and not restricting any food very long.”
To determine whether you’re losing fat or muscle, look for these four symptoms.
4 Symptoms of Muscle Loss
Your workouts feel strained: It’s advised to increase intensity during your workouts gradually. But if you haven’t modified your workouts and they seem more difficult, or you don’t feel like working out altogether, this could be a sign of muscle loss.
You feel sluggish after daily activities: When you’re simply going through your day, if by the end you feel tired and sluggish, this could signal muscle loss. You may not have the strength for even minor tasks.
Your body fat percentage isn’t changing: Depending on how serious you are with your weight loss, you may be tracking your body fat percentage. If you notice that this number hasn’t moved in a while regardless of changing things up, this shows that your body is burning muscle and not fat.
You’re losing weight quickly: It may seem like a dream to lose weight quickly, but weight loss occurs over a long period. If the pounds seem to be shedding right off, then consider this a sign of muscle loss. You need muscle to burn off fat. You should aim to lose one kilogram a week for healthy weight loss that’s sustainable.