Many people don’t realize this, but by building muscle you actually burn a lot more fat than if you just try to burn fat. You have to gain muscle to lose weight; it is the closest thing you have to a miracle fat burning technique. Indeed, just by virtue of exercising, you’ll be building some muscles, but concentrating on gaining muscle will have you losing weight more efficiently. How are you best able to gain muscle to lose weight?
Although exercise is the first thing you may think of when you think of gaining muscle, you also have to consider the implications of what you’re eating and drinking. Building muscle requires energy and energy means you have to eat! Focus on eating more lean proteins (Fish, chicken), more complex carbohydrates like whole grains, and fruits and vegetables. And don’t underestimate the power of water. Aim to drink about a gallon of water a day in order to keep your system well flushed and everything hydrated so that your body can keep functioning properly.
Also keep in mind your portions. While dieting and exercising, you will want to cut back on your caloric intake. Take this seriously; use a free online calculator to see how many calories you should be eating to maintain your weight and then drop no more than 400-500 calories a day from your diet, less once you start exercising hard. Obviously you have to burn more fuel than you put in so that you lose weight, but you don’t want to drop too many calories or you’ll end up retarding your metabolism and forcing your body to destroy its own muscles to survive and obviously that’s backtracking! Monitor what you eat and drink carefully until it becomes routine.
As always, the other side of the coin to gain muscle to lose weight is exercise. In the case of muscle building, short and intense workouts are best. Alternate between cardiovascular activity and weight training. ‘Short’ workouts mean about thirty minutes a day of really going hard; pushing yourself just a bit harder every time so that your muscles are forced to grow and your body is forced to change.
If you can pull it off, two fifteen minute sessions of hard workouts are actually best of all because you can do even harder activities in a shorter period of time which is good for your body’s growth. And no matter how you schedule your workouts, don’t forget to stretch and cool off before and after or else you risk serious injury and that would really throw your muscle building program out of whack!
Finally, keep it short and sweet. Only workout 2-3 muscle groups a session, a week or one group 5-6 times a week and concentrate on quality, not quantity. Doing ten reps with a weight that is almost too heavy for you is far more beneficial than doing a hundred reps with something that is light.
Don’t put off your activities to build muscle to lose weight; they are intrinsically tied together and one cannot be done without the other, at least not with any degree of efficiency. You have to build some muscle in order to burn the maximum number of calories and to be able to exercise properly. Make sure to take the time to build muscle to lose weight; you won’t regret it!