Over the past few generations, countless people have exhausted themselves trying to “lose weight”. Rather, you should focus on exactly what are your “weight loss” goals. There’s no need to throw away the scale, but do keep in mind that in addition to fat, the amount of water and muscle that you have on your body can fluctuate greatly. Sometimes when the number on the scale goes up, it can be a good thing. The reason is simple: muscle takes up less space than fat, so a pound of muscle gained will shape your body differently than a pound of fat, while the number on the scale may remain the same. We don’t have to tell you that muscle looks much more visually pleasing. In addition to the aesthetic difference between muscle and fat, each pound of muscle gained burns roughly an extra 50 calories a day, which means that having more muscle will allow you to eat slightly more and there is some extra leeway in maintaining your body weight. It also means that for every pound of muscle lost, you will burn 50 calories fewer per day, sabotaging long term fat loss.
So what does all of this mean to someone just wanting to shed some body fat? It means that if you want to get the best results, you should take up strength training. While not absolutely necessary for fat loss, strength training makes losing fat much easier while helping you notice faster results. Especially when eating at a calorie deficit diet, your body will protect muscle that is being used over muscle that isn’t, and so strength training preserves what muscle you have during the long term fat loss process. In other words, you lose what you don’t use kind-of-deal.
So just remember that while exercise of any kind is a good addition to proper dieting, strength training has extraordinary benefits that often go overlooked when starting a fat loss program. Not only will you lose weight more easily while keeping muscle tone and improved metabolism, but you may find a new favorite hobby that will keep you fit.
1 thought on “When It Comes to Weight Loss: Muscle Matters”
Great article I don’t know how many times I’ve been told I need to focus on losing weight before I work on building muscle and I’ve had to advise that is inaccurate!