Am I losing muscle by eating healthy?

So you started on your journey of eating healthy. You made the decision for various reasons, including losing weight, feeling better, and improving your performance at the gym.

Now, you are a few weeks in and you have great momentum, except, you feel like you’re losing muscle. You might even be lifting a little less.

What is happening?

Clients come to me with this question all the time. There are a few reasons why you might be losing muscle in the early stages of a new eating plan.

1. A severe decrease in calories consumed/severe calorie restriction: Weight loss is about numbers. If you consume less calories than you burn, you will lose weight. If you are restricting your calories too much, you will be losing muscle and fat. This is why it is important to do a scan to see exactly how many calories and macronutrients you need to achieve fat loss while preserving your lean muscle mass.

2. Not consuming sufficient protein: You should be consuming a specific amount of protein based on your body composition and exercise level. Not meeting this amount will lead to muscle loss.

3. Not eating around your workouts: Consuming the right foods before and after workouts is essential to maintaining and building muscle. Protein and carbohydrates in liquid form are absorbed faster. Whey protein is the gold standard for building lean muscle mass. At NOVA, we have partnered with SFH Protein to provide the one of the cleanest products in the market.

4. The types of training you are doing: In order to maintain and build muscle, you must do strength training. Extended metabolic conditioning sessions alone without strength training could lead to a decrease in muscle.

If you fall into any one of those categories, you could be losing muscle. But don’t worry! Just a few adjustments and you will be back on track.

To find out exactly what you are consuming on a daily basis, we recommend tracking your food through MyFitnessPal. This will give you a baseline to ensure you are not falling short on protein or severely restricting your calories which will lead to a decrease in lean muscle mass.

If you have any questions at all, please let me know. You want to make sure all your hard work in the gym is paying off!

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