Mistakes That Make You Lose Muscle, Not Fat

To some people losing weight may be a real challenge.

Even if you are trying to live a healthy lifestyle, there may be times when you feel like your efforts are not paying off.

It is therefore necessary for you to take a step back and reflect on what you may or may not be doing right. Your bodybuilding diet could be all wrong or you could be living a lifestyle that is totally detrimental to your weight loss goals.

In light of this, we decided to highlight some of the most typical blunders that dieters seem to make which are obvious mistakes to lose muscle rather than fat.

Happy reading!

Your Calorie Deficit Is Too High

For weight loss to occur, a calorie deficit must be created. To achieve this, you should expend more energy each day than you take in.

For a long time, people assumed that if they cut their caloric intake by 3,500 per week, they would lose 1 lb (or 0.45 kg) of fat. Recent studies, however, have shown that the necessary calorie deficit varies from person to person as in some days, you might actually be under consuming calories.

Yet research shows that people frequently overestimate the number of calories in the food they eat.

In one experiment, adults were asked to run on a treadmill, guess how many calories they burned, and come up with a meal idea to match their calorie expenditure.

Results showed that both underestimating and overestimating calorie intake from food and exercise were common among participants.

You might be eating a lot of nuts and fish, which are both nutritious and calorie-dense. But keeping your serving sizes reasonable is essential to weight management.

However, excessive calorie restriction can have the exact opposite effect. Research on an extremely low-calorie bodybuilding diet suggests they can cause muscle loss and a significantly slow rate of metabolism.


Overeating is a major stumbling block to weight loss. Conversely, eating too few calories can lead to fatigue, weakness, and hunger. It may also lead to a loss of muscle mass and a sluggish metabolism.

You’re Not Paying Attention To Protein

If you are watching your weight, make sure you are getting enough protein. Protein has been shown to aid weight loss in a variety of ways.

Protein helps to:

  •  lessen cravings
  •  elevate satiety
  •  reduce the rate of weight regain and/or keep your metabolism at a healthy level
  •  maintain muscle mass even while you are dieting and experiencing weight loss

A review also found that eating more protein between 0.6 to 0.8 grams per lb (or 1.2 to 1.6 g/kg may help with controlling appetite and altering one’s body composition.

You should aim to incorporate a high-protein food into every meal, as it can aid in weight loss. Just remember that there are other sources of protein besides meat and dairy products. Good and inexpensive protein choices include flaxseed, quinoa, legumes, and beans.


Eating more protein may help you lose weight by increasing your metabolism, making you feel full for a longer period of time, decreasing your appetite and hunger pangs.

You’re Doing Too Much Cardio

Excessive exercise has been linked to increased stress and is not healthy for most people in the long term. Furthermore, it may interfere with the endocrine hormones that keep your body running smoothly.

Exercising excessively to force your body to burn more calories is therefore ineffective and unhealthy.

However, doing resistance training and cardio regularly can be an effective way to keep your metabolism steady while you are losing weight.


One’s metabolism and skeletal muscle mass can both decrease with a lack of exercise. However, excessive workouts are counterproductive and one of the most common mistakes to lose muscle, as it can increase your cortisol hormones and stress levels.

You Aren’t Training With Weights

Resistance training has long proven to be an effective workout routine for promoting weight loss.

Researchers have found that weightlifting is one of the best ways to boost both metabolism and skeletal muscle mass. In addition to reducing abdominal or visceral fat, enhancing strength, and improving other physical functions.

It has also been proven that combining aerobic exercise with weightlifting seems to be the most effective method for lowering body fat, according to a meta-analysis of 32 studies that involved over 4,700 obese people.


Weightlifting and other forms of resistance training have been shown to increase metabolic rate, build skeletal muscles, and aid in fat loss.

You Go Hungry After A Workout

The standard piece of advice has been to eat every few hours to keep from getting hungry and letting your metabolism slow down.

But in truth, this could cause you to take in more calories than your body requires on a daily basis. Additionally, you might never feel full, at least not to your satisfaction.

In one study, it was surmised that having 2 to 3 meals daily can help to lower your risk of inflammation while also protecting you against weight gain.

It also seems like a bad idea to insist that people eat breakfast every morning, even if they are not really hungry.

According to a study, women that typically DO NOT have breakfast were asked to start doing so before 8:30 AM and for a period of 4 weeks. It was discovered in the research that participants who had breakfast each morning wound up consuming more calories overall and putting on more weight over the course of the study.

It appears that the key to successfully losing weight is to eat only when you are hungry and not necessarily in accordance with societal norms.


Frequent consumption of food is capable of hindering your weight loss goals. Therefore, you should only consume food when you are truly hungry.

You’re Sleep Deprived

Although everyone has different sleep needs, studies have shown that when people get less than 7 hours of sleep, their weight tends to spiral out of control.

Increases in body mass index (BMI) and weight gain have been repeatedly linked to reduced sleep quality.

Weight gain also exacerbates the symptoms of many sleep disorders, including sleep apnea. In truth, it is a never-ending cycle, as gaining weight has been linked to a decline in sleep quality, and vice versa.

Additionally, sleep deprivation is a strong catabolic stressor that can lead to metabolic dysfunction and a decline in physical function and skeletal muscle mass.


Sleep deprivation affects hormones that signal hunger and fullness, which may explain why sleep-deprived people tend to consume more food than well-rested individuals. Loss of skeletal muscle mass, rather than body fat, is also the most noticeable effect of sleep deprivation on your metabolism.

In Conclusion

If you want to lose fat and not muscle mass, you should avoid making these 6 mistakes today. Get sufficient sleep to enhance your metabolic function, train with weights to build skeletal muscle mass, eat sufficient amounts of protein to aid muscle growth, repair and recovery.

Also, avoid doing too much cardio and eat the right amounts of food to avoid hunger pangs that may force you to eat excessively and/or unhealthy foods. If you need advice on how you can build muscle mass while losing body fat, do not hesitate to chat for free with a coach here and avoid these common mistakes to lose muscle today.

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