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How to Eliminate Body Fat and Preserve Muscle Mass

by | Diet and Nutrition

Aug 25, 2020

The World Health Organization (WHO) alerts about health problems in overweight people, such as cardiovascular diseases, chronic diseases, and some types of cancer. Now, body fat should not exceed 25% for men and 32% for women.[1] Whenever we lose body weight, we shed fat and some of the lean muscle mass that makes up our body. This is not good. The aim of the article is to help you eliminate body fat and preserve muscle mass.

Asides from aesthetic reasons, there are also health reasons why we must know how to eliminate body fat and preserve muscle mass. Having too much body fat increases your risk of severe health complications. You will not be able to eliminate or reduce body fat and preserve an adequate muscular system without a proper diet and training plan.

Combining fruit, fish, legumes, and vegetables, along with a thirty-minute walk a day, is enough to keep fit. However, that’s not all; read on to gain more insight into the other things you should do to eliminate body fat and preserve muscle mass.

Tips to eliminate body fat and preserve muscle mass

1. Perform high-intensity bodybuilding: It is important to engage in rigorous weight training to build our muscles. If you exclusively dedicate your time to cardiovascular exercise, your goal to eliminate body fat and preserve muscle mass will be defeated. Focusing on exercise alone will rid us of lean muscle mass, which will, in turn, cause a basal metabolic rate (BMR) reduction.

In such cases, the ideal thing would be to perform workouts in ranges of strength, usually between one to five repetitions. Some of the routines you can follow are:

  • 5×5 or 5/3/1 strength routines.[2]
  • Full-body routines
  • Torso/leg routines
  • Weider (well planned)

Whatever method we choose, an intense execution of the technique is key. It would be best for one to accumulate strength progressively. The progressive approach helps to ensure that we maintain as much muscle as possible. It also facilitates our next volume stage by raising our maximums.

2. Get enough sleep: The amount of sleep you get goes a long way to determine which you lose more between body fat and muscles. This is so because the synthesis of muscles depends on the hormone responsible for human growth sleep, which only attains its peak at night during sleep. Furthermore, cortisol, a hormone that causes inflammation, is boosted by the lack or reduction of sleep. A hight amount of cortisol not only hinders weight loss but also degrades the body’s muscle mass.  

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3. Change your lifestyle, make changes that you can live with for a long time: Adjust the diet without eliminating the calories entirely. Also, find an exercise plan with which you are comfortable with. This will allow new habits to be built along with them.

4. Drinking water: Water is a fundamental element for the development of cellular activities. Being calorie-free, water will give you a sense of satisfaction. This satisfaction will make you consume less food than you ordinarily would. Now, as for the amount of water one needs to take in, there is no generic standard applicable to all. However, it is useful to consider your own weight, diet type, and the kind of training you might prefer.

5. Reduce your intake of starchy carbohydrates: Whenever people want to eliminate body fat, curtailing the consumption of certain foods is always recommendable. This check often applies to foods like potatoes, rice, pasta, and bread as they provide more carbohydrates than the body requires. A cup of any of them is enough for a day.

6. Make a complete breakfast, consisting of about 30 to 40 grams of protein, a carbohydrate such as oatmeal, and fruit: this will provide energy. Do not replace breakfast or any other meal with cereal or supplements. This will negatively affect the training program. [3]

7. Put a limit on sugar consumption: Although post-workout sugar restores muscle glycogen, excess of it gets stored as fat. Consequently, you must substitute your intake of sugary drinks with fresh fruits, water, coffee, tea, or diet sodas.

8. Drink black coffee before exercising: The caffeine in coffee causes the body to use fat as fuel during exercise instead of glucose. Cultivating a habit of taking just one or two cups of coffee without sugar or milk after a workout. Doing this will go a long way toward boosting their efficacy. It is not advisable to take black coffee at other times of the day.

9. Avoid drastic calorie reduction: A gradual decrease is more effective. The most advisable calorie reduction target lies within the range of 200-300 calories per daily workout session.[4] A sudden calorie reduction will cause your body to convert residual fat to fuel, which is unhealthy.

10. Using creatine as a muscle regenerator will also help get rid of unwanted fat and preserve your muscles: Taking a dose of three to five grams of creatine with a meal is recommended after training every day.

11. Increase your intake of vegetables rich in nutrients and high nutritional value with a minimum of calories: If possible, consume five servings of vegetables per day. The vegetables can serve either as an appetizer or as a full meal.

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12. Correct use of supplements can help you eliminate body fat and preserve muscle mass: If you wish to use supplements to burn fat, do not forget that you must always take a proper diet containing vegetables, fiber, and healthy fats afterward. A training plan is also essential.

Three mistakes to avoid when burning body fat

  • Skip breakfast
  • Failure to comply with the training program
  • Not getting enough sleep or rest

A healthy plan to eliminate unwanted body fat and preserve muscle mass must always complement a diet containing proteins. Your training plan should be moderate but consistent—at least four times a week. 

Eliminating fat is a marathon, not a sprint

Don’t be in a rush to magically shed undesired body fat. Simply follow the guidelines highlighted above: be constant in your workouts, diet, as well as your rest, and you will be able to eliminate body fat and preserve muscle mass as much as possible.

There are no effective shortcuts. Recent studies indicate that most of the existing thermogenic do not work, and those that do work only help between 1% and 2% as long as the diet is rigorous.

As a personal tip, a good coffee just 30 minutes before training will help you do it more intensely. We will also take advantage of the small acceleration in our metabolism to burn some extra calories.

Do not wait until summertime, then try to get rid of all your excess fat within a month. Instead, determine your current percentage, decide how much of it you wish to lose, and start working hard immediately!


With the above steps to eliminate body fat and preserve muscle mass, you will achieve your goal of having a healthier and more aesthetically attractive body. 

Also, you will retain good shape and more tone. Thanks to the muscles still present in your body. Remember that when you lose weight, it is important to reduce the kilos shown on the scale. It is also essential that those kilos are mostly fat and not muscle. The more muscle and less fat, the more health and aesthetics for your body. Therefore, do not forget the keys given above if you want to achieve valuable benefits.


  1. http://pennshape.upenn.edu/files/pennshape/Body-Composition-Fact-Sheet.pdf
  2. https://barbend.com/5-3-1-vs-stronglifts-vs-starting-strength/
  3. https://www.prevention.com/food-nutrition/healthy-eating/g23709836/high-protein-breakfasts/
  4. https://www.nytimes.com/2019/07/16/well/eat/cutting-300-calories-a-day-shows-health-benefits.html

By Sara Leandro

Sara Leandro is a certified health coach who helps others feel their best through individualized lifestyle changes that meet their unique needs and health goals. She covers topics ranging from health and productivity to relationships.

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