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Before counting calories, replacing meals with shakes, exercising, coaching or other essential weight loss activities, you need to learn how to lose weight.
Education is and always will be one of your best tools in progressing toward your goals. It’s an ongoing process and as you learn more, you’ll burn more and eventually, lose more.
Today’s lesson: how building muscle will help you on your weight loss journey.
Many people think that the best way to lose weight is to work out, then not eat afterwards, but nothing could be further from the truth. Sure, you need to create a calorie deficit and burn more than you consume, but luckily, your body is much more complex and it’s possible to lose as you gain. Here’s how.
Muscle is more efficient at burning calories than fat. When you build muscle, you can actually increase your metabolism. So, by increasing your muscle mass, you can burn more calories per day, which will help you get closer to your body composition goals. There is a term that you need to become familiar with if you want to maximize your training and body composition results – basal metabolic rate (BMR). It is used to describe the number of calories your body needs to burn each day to survive at rest. This number is important because it’s part of the equation that is used to determine how many calories you should eat each day to support your bodily functions and daily activities. When you exercise and focus on building muscle, this increased muscle mass will increase your BMR, which, in short, means that your body will be burning more calories at rest. It also means that your body will need more calories each day in order to maintain your weight. Having an increased BMR due to having good body composition is a great strategy for making weight loss feel easier.
You’ve probably heard the term “lean muscle” and how important it is, but what exactly is it? Gaining lean muscle is basically building muscle without adding fat, which, for most fit goals, is the ideal way to gain muscle. By consuming 20 to 40 grams of high-quality protein, combined with some carbohydrates post workout, you will begin to build lean muscle. For a quick guide on how to start building muscle, check out this article.
Aside from burning extra calories, there are other advantages to building muscle. For instance, it can help you get the body you want, faster. Strength training can result in a greater proportion of lean vs. fat tissue. Also, muscle takes up less space in your body per pound than fat, so having muscle, especially lean muscle, can start to make you look as good as you feel. Imagine feeling good about your body after a strength training session then, seeing the positive results in your mirror at home. How would that make you feel? Pretty good, right? Good enough to motivate you to go back to the gym?
Building muscle and seeing its effects on your body and how you feel can create a positive cycle. It’s one reason that people who don’t live an active lifestyle choose to start one. When you make a conscious decision to be committed and disciplined with your exercise plan, you may find your good habits and dedication transfer into other areas of your life. As you become more active in the gym, you may become more aware of how your body feels and what your body needs in order to feel its best. This increased awareness in the gym often transfers to developing good nutritional habits in the kitchen. Once you experience it for yourself, your weight loss journey may begin to look a lot brighter, and your goals a lot closer.