Want to make your muscles look more defined? You need to put an emphasis on good quality protein, explains Pip Taylor.

When we talk about losing weight, ideally we are meaning fat loss. Lose weight too quickly, or through a restrictive diet inadequate in protein or even through non-strength cardio training, and you run the risk of losing muscle rather than fat. Less muscle means a lower metabolism, which can hamper further weight loss. You can counter this by tweaking your diet and exercise.

Aside from hitting the weight room, which will aid in muscle retention and stimulate burning fat, what you put on your plate will really determine what your body looks like. Whether you want to build muscle or just to make muscles look more defined, you need to put an emphasis on good quality protein.

What to eat

Make sure that every meal contains protein and then fill the plate with nutrient dense vegetables. For example, make a mushroom and spinach omelette for breakfast, a grilled chicken salad at lunch and a beef and vegie stir-fry for dinner. Avoid heavy and refined carbs such as breads, pastas, cakes and muffins that are nutrient poor and can lead to snacking by stimulating hunger further.

Pip Taylor is a professional triathlete and nutritionist. Follow her on twitter @PipTaylorRacing or visit piptaylor.com

Want to lose weight? Use our handy online calculator to find out your BMI and ideal weight, then choose a workout plan.