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How to Lose Weight Without Losing Your Butt

author image Andrea Cespedes
Andrea Cespedes is a professionally trained chef who has focused studies in nutrition. With more than 20 years of experience in the fitness industry, she coaches cycling and running and teaches Pilates and yoga. She is an American Council on Exercise-certified personal trainer, RYT-200 and has degrees from Princeton and Columbia University.
How to Lose Weight Without Losing Your Butt
Woman using rowing machine.

Losing weight doesn't mean you have to sacrifice all your curves. When you drop pounds, you usually lose weight proportionally so your shape is preserved, just in smaller form. To make extra sure you keep a shapely back side, include glute-strengthening exercises as you pursue a weight-loss routine that involves cutting calories and exercising more. Keep your weight loss gradual, too. Faster loss means you'll lose more lean muscle, possibly sacrificing a firm, round butt.

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Losing Weight

You generally lose weight all over your body when you eat less and move more. For a 1/2- to 1-pound-per-week weight loss, create a 250- to 500-calorie deficit per day. Although losing as much as 2 pounds per week can be accomplished in a safe manner, this faster rate requires substantial, potentially unsustainable changes and may cause you to sacrifice muscle in your backside.

Determine your daily burn rate by consulting with a dietitian or plugging your size, age, gender and activity level into an online calculator. Then, subtract about 125 to 250 calories from the number to determine how much you should eat, and commit to burning at least an additional 125 to 250 calories more every day through extra movement, including exercise.

Eating for Weight Loss and to Preserve Muscle

Avoiding sugar, refined grains and saturated fat will help you to reduce your calorie intake. Skip soda, bakery treats, white bread and full-fat dairy, too.

Emphasize moderate portions of protein low in saturated fat, fresh vegetables and whole grains at most meals. A slightly higher intake of protein could help your weight loss and muscle-building cause. A review published in the Sports Medicine in 2014 suggests that consuming 0.6 to 0.8 grams of protein per pound of body weight daily helps you spare lean body mass, such as your glute muscles, during calorie restriction.

Get this protein by consuming white-meat chicken or turkey, tuna, salmon, flank steak, pork tenderloin, tofu or dried beans and legumes. Snacks that support weight-loss and a slightly higher protein intake include plain Greek yogurt, low-fat cottage cheese, hard-boiled eggs, low-fat cheese and protein powder mixed with milk or water.

Weight Loss and Cardio Exercise

Significant weight loss is prompted by 250 minutes or more of moderate-intensity cardiovascular exercise per week. Use this exercise as a time to train your buttocks as well as burn calories. Hike up a steep incline on the treadmill, do all-out sprints outside, climb the stair climber or use a rowing machine, which requires you push off a platform to execute each pull.

Hiking or step climber exercise burns 266 calories per 30 minutes for a 185-pound person, contributing to your deficit. A 30-minute moderate rowing session increases your burn by 311 calories.

Strength Train to Keep Your Butt

When you lose weight, you can't decide which part of your body it comes from. To have a better chance of keeping a bountiful backside, lift weights to create and preserve muscle -- a far healthier tissue -- rather than fat. To tone your tush, incorporate moves such as step-ups, donkey kicks -- also known as quadruped hip extensions -- bridges, lunges and squats for at least one set of 10 to 12 repetitions at least two times per week on non-consecutive days. Use your own body weight for your first sessions and then, as you become stronger, add more sets and weight.

Don't neglect the other major muscle groups either. Work the chest, back, abs, arms, shoulders and legs regularly too. Building more metabolically active lean muscle all over means you're giving your calorie-burning engine a boost, which makes weight loss easier.

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