Working out has its benefits both physically and mentally, but there are many times when it can be frustrating when the results aren’t what you hope they’d be. You know, like when you go through a two-week stretch and see that you’ve slimmed down more than gaining muscle weight. That can be discouraging.
We know that everyone isn’t trying to get jacked up, but for those who routinely workout, putting on muscle and maintaining a toned physique is the ultimate goal. That said, when you put in the effort and aren’t seeing the results, it may frustrate you, seeing that you look too skinny and not too toned.
According to Gerardo Miranda-Comas, MD, an Assistant Professor of Rehabilitation Medicine, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, via Men’s Health, losing muscle instead of fat can cause problems in your body, with the doctor explaining why.
“It is bad to lose muscle instead of fat, because muscles are the key players in body movement and function. With loss of muscle mass, strength and endurance are affected negatively, leading to decreased functional performance.”
Seeing how crucial it is for your body to lose fat instead of weight while working out, here are four signs to be aware of.
You’re more sluggish doing everyday activities
If it feels as if you’re struggling with simple tasks that you’re used to doing every single day, this might be the first sign of losing muscle instead of fat while working out. According to Dr. Miranda-Comas, this can come from poor nutrition and even overtraining.
“Inadequate nutrition can lead to a decrease in muscle, which may lead to impaired function. This is usually caused by an energy deficiency and possible overtraining. In the very active individual who is losing weight along with a decrease in performance, we must consider overtraining,” says Dr. Miranda-Comas.
This is important info to remember when it comes to working out, because pushing yourself too hard can be a problem.
Working out feels more strained than usual
Naturally, if you feel as if your body just can’t deal with the amount of weight or cardio that you’re used to doing, this might be one of the first signs of losing muscle instead of fat. Worse, if you ever get to the point of skipping a workout, that’s when you know things have become a big issue.
Added Spencer Nadolsky, D.O., author of The Fat Loss Prescription:
“You’ll notice less strength in the gym. The weight you used to be able to do for reps may decrease or you may not be able to get as many reps as you once did for each set.”
Remember to get into a good routine and not jump in weight. The key to maintaining weight loss and a toned physique is low weight with high reps, and if you try to jump too much, you could injure yourself and be forced to hit the reset button.
You’re losing weight way too fast
Unless you have a lot of fat to lose in the first place, you’re probably not too pumped about seeing such weight being lost — especially if you’ve already got a healthy amount of muscle mass on you. That said, when you find yourself losing weight way too fast, this is both unhealthy and not sustainable.
That’s according to the aforementioned Dr. Nadolsky, who said that “the more fat you have, the more likely you’ll lose more fat than muscle when losing weight.” But don’t confuse this with extreme results, because weight loss while working out requires patience and a plan, acting more of a marathon than a sprint.
To see more information about how to maintain a healthy diet and workout, head on over to Men’s Health, who details this topic even more.