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Q I’m a 45-year-old woman, who at 158cm tall weighs 60kg. I’ve been work­ing out in a gym on and off for the last 15 years. But a re­cent body anal­y­sis test re­vealed that I’m los­ing mus­cle and not body fat. How can I build mus­cle and burn fat in­stead of the other way round?

A First, I’m happy that you are eval­u­at­ing your progress based on a body fat anal­y­sis and not just your weight on the scales.

Weight train­ing is so es­sen­tial for women. More mus­cle not only makes us look younger but also helps with hor­monal well-be­ing.

If you are weight train­ing but see­ing your mus­cle go down, the prob­lem lies with your food choices. You’re prob­a­bly not get­ting enough pro­tein.

When you’re lift­ing weights, you are ac­tu­ally tear­ing mus­cles. They be­come stronger and big­ger dur­ing the re­pair and re­cov­ery phase, which hap­pens in the 24 hours fol­low­ing the work­out.

So what you eat, when you eat and how much you rest de­ter­mines whether your body will build mus­cle or lose it.

Start adding nat­u­rally pro­tein-rich foods like whole eggs, nuts, meats and lentils to your diet. If you are lift­ing heavy weights, then make sure to have a good-qual­ity pro­tein like a whey pro­tein shake or two whole eggs, or some meat along with a fast carb such as an orange juice, or co­conut wa­ter im­me­di­ately post work­out. This will help with bet­ter, faster re­cov­ery of mus­cles and ini­ti­ate fat loss.

Rashi Chowd­hary is a nu­tri­tion­ist and inch-loss ex­pert

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