Once you gain some body fat and when your body fat is above what is considered a healthy body fat percentage you need to take immediate action to get into shape. If you take the required measures to lose body fat soon after you gained some fat it becomes easier to burn those fats.
When losing body fat percentage many people also lose their body weight and muscle mass. So, can you lower body fat percentage without losing weight or can you lower body fat percentage without losing muscle mass?
The answer is – yes. But to lose body fat percentage without losing weight or muscle mass there are some steps you need to follow.
In this article, you will read how to lower body fat percentage without losing weight and some tips on losing body fat without losing muscle mass.
So, without further ado, let’s check out how you can lose body fat without affecting your body weight and muscle mass.
Steps involved to lower body fat percentage
Before you read more about how to lose body fat percentage without losing weight or muscle mass you need to have a clear idea about the steps involved in lowering your body fat percentage.
This part of this article will help you to understand the process behind losing body fat percentage and how to maintain your weight while you lose body fat. I’ll keep it short.
What it takes to lower your body fat percentage
To lower your body fat percentage you have to maintain a calorie deficit. In other words – you need to burn more calories during a typical day than calories consumed during the day.
Now here’s a crucial part that many people miss when they want to lose body fat percentage without losing weight or muscle mass. Some people try to reduce a lot of calories from their diet. Cutting a lot of calories can help you lose body fat but by doing this you will lose body weight and muscle mass.
The best practice to lose body fat without losing weight or muscle mass is to only lower your calorie intake by 300-500 calories per day.
You can easily measure how many calories you burn daily by using this calorie counter.
Role of physical activity and exercise on losing body fat
If you have used the daily calorie counter given above, then now you know how many calories you burn during a typical day. Now you need to adjust your diet to eat 300-500 fewer calories. Now I’ll cover what foods you should eat to lose body fat percentage later in this article.
There is a direct relationship between how many calories you burn and it depends on your daily physical activity and the number of days you exercise.
If you burn more calories then to lose body fat you don’t need to stress much about your diet.
The sweet spot to burn more calories is to exercise 1-4 days per week. When losing body fat percentage it’s best to exercise for 4 days and workout for 20-45 minutes in each session.
Related: How long does it take to build noticeable muscle?
Other factors involved in lowering your body fat percentage
There are some factors which can affect your results directly and indirectly.
Here are some things you should do and avoid when you want to get the best fat-burning results.
Things you should do and shouldn’t do when you are trying to lose body fat without losing weight or muscle mass:
- You shouldn’t consume alcoholic drinks when you want to lose body fat. Drinking alcohol makes it harder for your body to burn fat.
- You should avoid eating creams in frozen format.
- You should eat less red meat and avoid other food items that increase your body fat percentage.
- You should sleep 6-8 hours if you want better fat-burning results.
- When you want to lose body fat percentage you should eat less fast food and refined carbs.
- Avoid high-calorie and low-nutrition food items.
How to lower body fat percentage
If you want to lower your body fat percentage you need to burn more calories than you consume. And you need to maintain it over a period of time. Thus for better results, you need to be consistent and eat 300-500 fewer calories than you burn. Also, it’s best to workout for 4 days when you are trying to lose body fat percentage.
To lower body fat percentage without losing weight or muscle mass you should not try to lose body fat at a fast rate. Also reducing body fat drastically can cause hormonal disbalance in your body.
You should also know that you can’t reduce fat from particular areas of your body. To lower body fat you have to reduce your overall body fat percentage.
Here are some of the steps you should follow to lower your body fat percentage.
Adjust your diet to lose body fat
As you have already read in this article, you need to adjust your diet in such a way that you burn more calories than you consume. This is very important for losing body fat percentage and getting the best results.
You should try to consume 300-500 calories less than you burn.
Now you should not cherry-pick and stop eating one food item completely. You should follow a balanced diet and only stop eating one food item completely if it’s unhealthy.
How many carbs should you eat?
You should try to consume 150-250 grams of carbs per day when you want to lose body fat percentage.
Within 150-250 grams of carbs, you need to get most of your carbs from vegetables and other healthy carb sources like – sweet potatoes, barley, quinoa, roasted chickpeas, whole grain breakfast cereal, oats, black beans, strawberries etc.
In your lunch and dinner, roughly 70-80 grams of carbs should come from main carb sources like rice and bread. If you want to eat bread while losing body fat you should eat multigrain bread.
Your breakfast is important for losing body fat
When you want to lose your body fat percentage without losing weight, you shouldn’t avoid eating a healthy breakfast. If you skip your breakfast then it increases the chances of overeating in your next meal or you will end up eating unhealthy food items.
If you want to keep your muscle mass and body weight in check while losing body fat percentage then you should eat 2 eggs in your breakfast. You can eat boiled eggs, as an omelette or egg toast with bread(multigrain bread).
Related: Benefits of morning exercise before breakfast.
Physical activity and exercise to burn more calories and body fat
Doing an adequate amount of physical activity will help you to lose body fat percentage and get the best results. If you live an active lifestyle then you can only workout for 4 days a week for 20-45 minutes.
If someone lives a sedentary lifestyle then they need to workout for 5-6 days for 20-30 minutes or more.
For the best fat-burning results, you should add weights to your workout. It doesn’t have to be heavyweight, you can just do a dumbbell workout to lose fat.
Bodyweight exercise is also good for losing body fat but performs less than workouts with weights.
However, what’s important is physical exercise. It can be bodyweight exercise or exercise with weights.
Cardio to lose body fat percentage
To burn more calories and live an active lifestyle there’s nothing better than some cardio training.
But you should not do cardio for long hours if you want to lose body fat percentage without losing body weight or muscle mass.
If you’re exercising 3-4 days per week then you should do cardio for less than 30 minutes. And you can do cardio training on days you are not working out or even as a warm-up before your workout.
Eating habits and food that helps in losing body fat percentage
Here are 5 tips on eating habits and food to eat when you want to lose body fat percentage:
1. Eat more protein
To lose body fat percentage, it’s important that you maintain a calorie deficit. Which in real life means fewer healthy snacks other than your main meals.
So, if you don’t want to feel hungry and don’t end up eating food that will increase your calorie intake then you need to increase the amount of protein you eat in your meals.
Protein takes longer to digest and will keep you full. Eating more protein also means it will help you not to feel hungry soon after eating a meal.
Thus increasing the amount of protein you eat will help you in losing body fat percentage without losing muscle mass.
2. Eat more fibre
The good thing about eating more fibre is – our body can’t digest fibre. Eating more foods that contain fibre can improve your gut health.
If you want to lose body fat then you should try to eat foods which contain more fibre. It’s recommended to consume 20-30 grams of fibre per day.
Here are some foods which contain a good amount of fibre in them:
- Dried fruits
3. Eat food that contains omega-3 fatty acid
Even if you want to lose body fat – you should not stop eating healthy fat sources like fatty fish and other seafood, vegetable oil, nuts, leafy vegetables etc.
These food sources also contain omega-3 fatty acids which have many health benefits and can help in losing body fat.
4. Eat fruits
When you are optimising your diet for losing body fat you should try to maintain healthy eating.
You need to maintain a calorie deficit for losing body fat but you also need essential minerals and nutrients. Fruits are low in calories and can help you to fill your stomach and also provide your body with key nutrients.
5. Avoid highly processed food and refined flour
If you want to lose body fat then you should stop eating that food which increases your body fat percentage.
You should avoid eating highly processed food and foods that are made with refined flour.
Avoiding these two types of food items can help you get better fat-burning results.
Related: Benefits of intermittent fasting.
6 Tips on how to lower body fat percentage without losing weight or muscle mass
Here are some tips you should follow that will help you reduce your body fat percentage safely:
1. You should not aim for fast fat-burning results
After gaining body fat percentage you may want to lose most of your body fat as quickly as possible. You may want to have a slim muscular body before the summer comes or there’s a wedding event after a few days. But not giving your body an adequate amount of time can arise many health problems.
Thus you should not aim for losing body fat fast.
2. It can take 3-6 months to achieve your dream shape
To lose body fat in a healthy way naturally takes time. It can take up to 3 months to see any substantial decrease in your overall body fat percentage.
Depending on how much body fat you have it can take 6-7 months to achieve a healthy body fat percentage or to get a toned body.
3. Consistent effort is the key to seeing good results
Losing fat is a slow process. Many people do not have that much patience. So they get serious about losing body fat and put in effort for some weeks and then they get demotivated.
If you want to get shredded or lose a good amount of body fat then you have to keep patience.
You have to put in small efforts daily and not lose focus if you want to achieve a healthy body fat percentage after 3-7 months.
4. Change your lifestyle
To lose body fat percentage and after losing your body fat to not gain that fat again you need to change your lifestyle and food habits.
Because if your current lifestyle has no issues then you wouldn’t have gained body fat in the first place. So, you need to ask some questions and you need to make some lifestyle changes to avoid gaining body fat once you reduce it.
Here are some of the questions you should ask yourself:
- Am I physically active or live a sedentary lifestyle?
- Do I workout 3-4 hours per week?
- Currently, do I consume 2000-2400 calories per day?
- Is there a large gap between my calorie intake and calories burned?
- Do I consume lots of fast food and highly processed food?
- Is my diet healthy?
5. Exercise to maintain weight and muscle mass
When losing body fat percentage apart from eating the right foods like – eggs, chicken, beans, vegetables and fruits you need to exercise 3-4 days in order to maintain weight and muscle mass.
If you don’t have a balance between your food and exercise then it will hamper your fat-burning goals.
6. Maintaining your body strength while losing body fat
If you lift weights and plan to lose body fat without losing body strength then these tips are for you.
After losing some body fat you may see your body strength get weaker and you are not able to maintain your average reps when lifting weights.
If this happens to you then you should not decrease the amount of weight you lift. Instead, you should lift the same amount of weight and decrease the reps. You should aim for 6-10 reps. It’s ok to lower your reps.
When you see you can’t even be able to do 3-4 reps with the current weight then only reduce that much weight that is enough to do that exercise for 6-10 reps.
To maintain your body strength while losing body fat percentage you should avoid reducing a lot of weights all at once.
How to lose body fat percentage without losing body weight and how to lose body fat percentage without losing muscle mass?
To lose body fat percentage you should follow one simple rule and that is – you need to burn more calories and eat fewer calories. Also, physical work and exercise have a direct connection with losing body fat. The sweet spot is working out 4 days per week to see better fat-burning results.
It’s important that you stop living a sedentary lifestyle to see better fat-burning results. Doing some cardio for 20-30 minutes can help you to live a more active lifestyle. Also if you want to lose body fat percentage without losing body weight then you should not do cardio for long hours.