Welcome to my article about the importance of burning fat and not muscle! Today, we’re looking at why burning fat over muscle is so important and I’ll be giving you 10 tips to switch your body over to fat burn mode – Permanently!
Most people trying to lose weight focus on just doing exactly that – losing weight on the scales.
The issue with taking this approach is that if you keep weighing yourself on the scales and your weight is decreasing, how do you know what that loss of weight comprises of? Is it fat? Is it water? Is it muscle?
If the weight loss is due to a loss of muscle, then you really aren’t setting yourself up for a permanent, long term solution for keeping the fat off. Ideally, you want to burn fat not muscle. You see if you’re losing muscle, your body isn’t burning as many calories as it would have with the muscle you just lost. In fact, a pound of muscle burns approximately 60 extra calories a day.
Now let’s imagine we lost a pound of muscle – our body burns 60 less calories a day – 420 less calories a week – 1800 less a month – 21,900 less calories a year!! All this from only a pound of muscle! What if we lost two or more pounds? You can quickly see how important maintaining your muscle mass is to ensure that your metabolism stays high. This will make it easier to maintain low body fat levels in the long term too!
The same goes for both men and women. Whoever you are, it is a bad idea to lose weight that consists mainly of muscle. It becomes a vicious circle of losing weight — slowing down your metabolism — the weight (fat) comes back on straight away — you go back to losing weight. The frustrating cycle just keeps repeating itself.
Going through these phases isn’t the most enjoyable of things for us and I imagine we’d all prefer not to have to live in a ‘vicious circle’ but rather keep progressing – in all aspects of our lives.
You get the point – Burn Fat Not Muscle!
With this in mind I’ve compiled 10 quick tips to make sure you burn fat not muscle!
- Make sure you are doing some form of heavy resistance (weight) training to maintain your muscle mass (yes ladies, you too!)
- Try using some form of high intensity interval training for your cardio – Interval training takes less time and creates an ‘afterburn’ effect where your metabolism is raised for 12-48 hours
- Make sure your nutrition is optimal and if you aren’t losing 1-2lbs a week, tweak it.
- Try to utilize cardio training at least every other day to keep your metabolism raised at all times
- Utilize compound movements when you are weight training – I.e Squats, deadlifts, bench presses etc to give you the best metabolic response. Helping to maintain muscle and burn fat.
- Try to get your body fat percentage checked every so often if possible.
- You MAY include some weight loss supplements only if everything else is in order! (training, nutrition and rest) This is optional.
- Try to keep your environment stress free – Too much stress releases the catabolic hormone cortisol which will cannibalize your muscle.
- Get adequate rest and recovery – Not getting enough will again cause cortisol release
- Keep your workouts time efficient. After 45 minutes of hard training, cortisol is released due to the stress you’re placing on your body
I hope this article has helped shed some light as to why it is important to burn fat not muscle. With these tips you’re now better equipped to turn your body into a lean, defined, fat burning furnace!