Why You Need To Build More Muscle To Lose Fat
Turn Your Body Into A Fat Burning Machine
Many clients want to shed those excess pounds and keep them off over the long-term. I mean, who doesn’t? After all, reducing body fat significantly improves our health, makes us feel a lot better about ourselves and, allows us to perform everyday activities, better. However, the important question everyone is asking: what is the best way of going about getting rid of this fat? Ok, firstly, nutrition is key. In other words, less calories consumed than your body uses over time is needed. But, in this article I want to talk about the mode of exercise people choose to aid in their fat loss journey. Why? Simply because there of many people falling into what I like to call the fat-loss exercise trap when wanting to get rid of fat. This trap actually makes your fat loss task much harder and less effective over time. So, I figured this would be a good time to write about it and help people avoid it!
More Muscle Is A Good Thing!
In my experience, when you talk about building muscle with clients, many clients become afraid that you are trying to simply turn them into bodybuilders. Ok, I can see why clients might be a little hesitant about this! I mean after all, bodybuilding is usually associated with building as much muscle mass as possible. However, building muscle is not only reserved for bodybuilding-specific goals, but for EVERYONE looking to lose fat and keep it off! Believe it or not, muscle is going to be the driver of your fat loss and without more of it, you are never going to lose fat and keep it off in the long-run. You know that last bit of fat you have so desperately wanted to lose for so long? Well the truth is, it won’t come off with more cardio or juice diets. It is only going to go away with building a little more muscle. That, I can promise you!
So, why does building more muscle help you lose more fat? Simple! Muscle utilises and burns calories! Muscle produces force which allows you to move, and this force can only occur in the presence of energy. This energy, you derive from the calories you consume from food. In terms of fat, calories are everything when it comes to losing it over time. At the end of the day, it all comes down to one simple scientific principle: energy balance (energy in and energy out). For fat loss, this means that you must expend more calories than you consume. You can achieve this through two means: eating less food and doing a little more daily activity than usual. Doing both, is optimal.
So this is where muscle building comes into play. Since fat loss is all about expending more calories than you take in on a daily basis, you need a means to allow this without having to resort to drastic measures like restricting your food intake massively or doing hours and hours of cardio each day. Well, building more muscle is the key! Why? Muscle is what we call a metabolically active tissue. In other words, your muscles require energy on a constant basis in order to optimally function (e.g. producing force allowing you to move). The more muscle you can build, the more calories your body utilises throughout an entire day, and the easier it is to maintain a CALORIE DEFICIT in order to lose fat. As I have wrote about in previous articles, a calorie deficit is what you need to lose fat. That is the number of calories you need to subtract away from your current MAINTENANCE. By subtracting your calorie deficit from your maintenance, you get the number of calories you need to eat everyday in order to reach your fat loss target. The great thing about having more muscle is that this whole process becomes easier to manage! This is why I am a big fan of getting clients started on a resistance training program when they want to lose fat. Resistance training will simply allow clients to build up more muscle, in turn making fat loss easier both now and in the longer-term. Cardio, is not the answer despite what the fitness magazines have been telling you.
Fat Loss: Less Boring Old Cardio, And More Resistance Training
Stop wasting your time! Honestly, if you truly want to lose body fat, then you need to stop doing hours of cardio a week and get onto a properly designed resistance training program. Any decent coach or personal trainer will tell you that. If they are telling you to eat less or do more cardio before adopting a proper weight training program, ditch them! You will be on the wrong path. Muscle is your friend when it comes to fat loss. It will quite literally turn your body into a fat burning machine. More muscle will increase your bodies ability to expend more calories over an entire day. This in turn will make it easier for you to maintain a given calorie deficit goal without the need for drastic measures such as lots more cardio or starvation diets. More cardio, will simply eat away your muscle, destroy your metabolism and make it harder for your body to lose fat over time.
Article written by Stephen Moreton.