Weight loss is hard work without a bit of muscle in your body, which is why muscle and weight loss are like best friends. You can make your job of weight loss a lot easier by building up a bit of the stuff that feeds off fat.
This is something not mentioned by most diets. In fact most diets cause muscle loss - this is one of the reasons why it’s so easy to pile on the pounds once you stop your diet. See the Yo Yo Dieting Blog for more info on this.
When thinking about weight loss and where exercise fits in, most people just think about burning fat. This is really good but you will burn fat much quicker if you have a bit more muscle.
Muscle is metabolically active – this means it burns energy and calories, even if it isn’t doing very much at the time.
Compare that to fat which is much less metabolically active.
Fat takes up to 5 times the amount of room on your body compared to muscle, which I guess is the reason it takes the front seat on most diets and muscle is often ignored.
Ideally your weight loss goals should really be about fat loss and muscle gain – the two things going on together.
With a bit more muscle you will burn a lot more calories every day, just by doing your ordinary daily routine.
How to Start Building Muscle
You have to use your muscles a bit more
Your biggest muscles are found in your lower body, so this is a good place to start.
- Start with just simple walking to begin toning and building a bit of muscle in your legs.
- Consider power-walking up a gradient – the sort that will have your leg muscles aching a bit.
- A bit of resistance exercise for your lower body is good too, e.g. squats – easy to fit into a busy day.
- Get going with this and then add in some upper body resistance exercise, e.g. biceps curls
My next fat loss course is starting soon. You can find out more details here.