Instead of focusing on dropping calories out of your diet needlessly and practicing unsafe weight loss techniques to drop a few pounds, or even a lot, we’ve got the solution – when you build muscle, you lose fat. The more lean muscle you have, the more calories you burn while your body is at rest. This also means you’re losing a lot more calories when you’re active as well, contributing to your fat loss.
How Fat Burns and Muscle Forms
A common misconception about losing weight and gaining muscle is that you still need to cut down on eating, and it’s only a half truth. While it’s true you have to keep down on junk consumption, as is the case with all diets, those with more muscle actually need more calories in order to help maintain that muscle mass. The energy your body needs to help keep that muscle is harnessed through burning calories which, you guessed it, also helps keep fat at bay.
As your body burns calories, not only is it producing energy to help keep your muscles strong and toned, the energy being created can also be accredited to fat loss in your body. The science behind this is simple and pertains to how much work your body has to go through in order to maintain the amount of fat or muscle within it:
- A body has to do a lot of extra work to help maintain muscles. As a tissue, muscle is very metabolically active and it makes your body work more to stay in shape.
- Fat, on the other hand, doesn’t take any work at all in order to maintain it. Once it’s there, it’s likely to stay there unless energy occurs in order to make it leave.
Think about this in terms of general exercising. Haven’t you always been told that exercising contributes to losing weight? While you may understand this general cause and effect here, the reality is that the energy production isn’t simpatico with fat because it takes two different methods to maintain each type of tissue.
Calorie Deficits and Weight Loss
So what’s the benefit of all this fat burning? It’s been touched on above, but the concept works like this: the more lean muscles you build, the more calories will be burn. You constantly burn calories regardless of what you do, but building lean muscle tissue helps you burn even more doing daily tasks, sleeping or even sitting. While you do burn calories this way while having a large fat content in your body, your body burns considerably less calories in this state and you’re typically always consuming more than you burn.
Thus, it’s important to be in a constant state of calorie deficit when you’re trying to lose weight. This means that you’re consuming less calories than you burn each day, which also means you’re losing weight by not retaining excess calories. Your stored body fat that you lose when you create lean muscle and maintain a calorie deficit, your body’s muscle tissue will move from eating away at those stored calories to using your daily intake calories. This is how you move from losing weight to maintaining a healthy weight.
The best way to pull all of this scientific magic off is to start considering weight training, or resistance training. Resistance training is one of the most common exercise methods to help build lean muscle, thus making it one of the best ways to start losing weight through exercise. Resistance training is also extremely useful for women over menopausal age in order to reverse and fight bone density loss and osteoporosis.
Resistance training isn’t an all-day, everyday kind of weight loss method, though. It’s usually recommended that two to three hours of resistance training a week is ideal for losing and maintaining weight, while more can be counterproductive. Also, remember that resistance training shouldn’t be your only method of exercise – balance your weight training regimen with cardio and a healthy diet for best results.
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