Be sure that while you’re cleaning up your diet this year, you don’t suffer muscle loss in the process. Many people embark on a diet, and later find their muscles are deteriorating right out from under them. That’s no good, right? Muscles burn fat and enhance lean muscle formation to support your entire body. To prevent muscle loss, keep these things in mind about your diet that could cause muscle loss. They’re easy mistakes to make, and usually ones that seem like healthy choices.
1. Lack of Protein
We’re told protein is bad for us one day, and good the next, but protein deficiency is actually a large cause of muscle loss. If your body either isn’t getting enough protein, or isn’t absorbing what you do eat, you’ll suffer muscle loss quickly. Protein builds muscle and feeds muscle at the same time. Not everyone needs the same amounts, so quit counting grams, and start paying attention to your body.
2. Veggie Overload
Hey, I’m a veggie nut, and eat more than most people could think about, but if veggies are all you eat and you’re lacking with other foods, you’ll likely suffer muscle loss. Veggies are fantastic for you, but they’re not the only foods to make sure you get enough of.
3. You’re a Calorie Phobe
Do you fear calories like they’re the plague? If so, you might also suffer muscle loss. Your body needs calories to prevent your body from eating its own muscle for fuel. Yes, this does happen! As this happens, your metabolism slows so you’re even less hungry, which fuels the vicious cycle. So, to end this issue, force yourself to eat a bit more and quit counting calories. Your muscles will start to show again, and your metabolism will pick up.
4. You Went Vegan
Now hold on a minute, all you veggie lovers, don’t get upset. First, you should know I’m a HUGE fan of vegan foods and usually eat vegan most of the time myself. Yet, if you’ve went on a vegan diet and start to see more flab around your body, or you just don’t look lean like you used to, your new healthy diet could be why. Many vegans either don’t eat the right proteins for their body, or don’t eat enough. This can cause muscle deterioration quickly. Fiber overload can also interfere with protein absorption, which can be easy to do on a vegan diet. For this, I find vegan protein powders to be very useful, so try one and see if it helps. They offer an easy to deliver protein to your body that’s easier to digest, and will fuel muscles quickly.
5. You’re Not Exercising
Along with your healthy diet, don’t forget to move your body too! Exercise basically forms lean muscle all on its own. Get your daily dose of exercise, however you like, but don’t forget it!
6. Calcium Loss
One reason you might also suffer muscle loss is a lack of calcium. Calcium builds bones in your body, and not getting enough can cause calcium loss. Don’t load up on milk just yet though! It’s been found that calcium from dairy is actually harmful to your bones, despite all the marketing around it. By the way, the milk industry pays for those ads, so you know! Calcium from dairy can actually cause your bones to excrete calcium due to high uric acid found in dairy. Yikes, right?! So, be sure to get your calcium from fortified non-dairy milks, all leafy greens, and nuts and seeds, which are rich in calcium, even more than dairy in some forms.
7. Too Much Cardio
If you’re a cardio queen, like I am, then you need to be sure to add some weights to your routine, along with those cardio sessions. Cardio is great for your muscles, but too much can eat away at them. Do some yoga, pick up some kettle bells or hand weights, or hit the gym machines. All of these are great ways to build muscle quickly and efficiently without bulking up. Higher reps and moderate weight keeps lean muscles on your body, while lower reps and higher weights will cause bulky muscles. Whatever you’re going for, go by that rule, and don’t forget them, no matter what!
Have you ever had muscle loss? What did you do to fix the problem?