If you are looking to lose weight, but want to retain your muscle mass, then you should think about doing the following:
First, in the morning you need to do cardio on an empty stomach. This is ideal because your insulin levels are lowest, hormone sensitive lipase is fully active, and the fat cell releasing enzyme is dormant. Make sure to keep your cardio session under 60 minutes because if you do it too long it will start to eat muscle tissue.
Next, it is very important not to eat carbs when you don’t need to. This means that if you’re not about to workout, or just completed a workout, you don’t need carbohydrates.
Third, you don’t want to let yourself get hungry. Lapses in your diet may occur due to the fact you’re hungry, so make sure you eat often to stay full even if its lots of veggies and water. Also, when it comes to eating be careful not to eat large amounts of fat and carbohydrates together. The carbohydrates will be absorbed first as energy and then the fat will be consumed as just that, fat. Taking fish oils is a great way to increase your sensitivity to carbohydrates and will assist with fat loss. When cutting fat you will be hungry when you go to bed so the best thing to do is to eat 1-1.5 cups of cottage cheese 30-60 minutes before bed. This will give your body some slow digesting protein to breakdown and also it will have calcium, which can help you sleep. Eat citrus fruits if you must eat fruits as they are acidic and raise insulin much less than most typical fruits with the exception of pineapple. Plus, they contain flavinoids such as naringin in oranges and grapefruit, which also help with fat loss by extending caffeine’s effects. Do not eat grapefruit with prescription meds as it will amplify its effects in most cases.
Maintain some form of weight training at least 3x a week. If doing cardio for 45 minutes stops working for you then try doing 30 minutes of interval training. Meaning you will go hard for a certain time then go easy for your “rest” period. If you follow these rules you start cutting fat while keeping the majority of your muscle mass.