The importance of gaining muscle for that ultimate fat loss goal
Importance of building muscle
The importance of keeping that muscle on and reducing the fat is paramount however, to many are getting it wrong with very low calorie diets and constant cardio which is accelerating muscle loss which is disastrous for long term fat loss.
Gaining muscle mass offers plenty of benefits for everyone. Strength training increases lean muscle mass, which helps your body burn calories more efficiently and improves your quality of life. But many are sabotaging their long term goals due to short term fad diets and quick fixes to repair long term damage.
My aim in my 40,s is to retain muscle and lose body fat. This is why I partake in resistance (weight) training. Many people as they age are on a constant battle to lose weight and many do this by constant cardio and extreme dieting but at some point in your 30s, you start to lose muscle mass and function. The cause is age-related sarcopenia or sarcopenia with aging. Physically inactive people can lose as much as 3% to 5% of their muscle mass each decade after age 30. Even if you are active, you’ll still have some muscle loss hence the reason I work so god damn hard to maintain it.
Extreme weight loss practices
So why do so many accelerate this loss with their extreme weight loss practices? Because they don’t understand how the body works, how to maintain and how to balance their macronutrients! I am on a constant battle to educate clients about the importance of resistance training and unfortunately a few have slipped through the net and joined weight watchers/slimming world/Herbalife etc. They will lose weight on these extreme diets however muscle will also reduce, slowing their metabolism effectively making it harder to lose that unwanted fat but easy to lose that much needed muscle!
Evidence has proven in most cases that a majority will put the fat back on if they don’t eat correct macronutrients and partake in strength training. I don’t do extreme cardio, I certainly don’t diet but consume balanced healthy real food sources which allows my body to continue to grow in the correct manner.
It takes years to become overweight yet many want a quick fix eating shit fuel! Your body would rather lose the muscle rather than the fat unless you stimulate the muscle fibers! Don’t get caught in the same trap millions have fallen in to.
Why do people lose muscle when on low calories diets?
Because the body begins seeking out new means of acquiring energy, and begins harvesting the muscle tissue instead of its normal food source, glucose in the blood.
How can I achieve fat loss
If you wish to lose the fat you need to workout what your calorie intake should be and this is based on your energy expenditure and goals to include macro nutrient breakdown. Take it down too low or high and it may have a negative effect on your goals.
My advice is too:
- Exceed 10000 steps daily
- Eat more unprocessed foods
- Eat at regular intervals throughout the day (preferably small sustainable snacks throughout the day around five times)
- Consume more omega 3 fats
- Increase protein ( its uses up to 30% of its own energy when digesting plus it assists in muscle growth as well as keeping you fuller longer)
- Get adequate sleep
- Avoid crash diets
- Keep yourself consistent with nutrition and training
- Build muscle through weight training (5 hours per week)
- Become more physically active (not only through exercise)
How a client of mine lost weight and body fat eating more.
Below is an abstract from my presentation which details how I increased a clients calories, started her on strength training as well as increasing cardiovascular output resulting in 22kg loss of weight.
- I manipulated the clients calorie intake to increase it above her current intake and included all macronutrients to allow her to eat a healthy balance diet giving her the energy required for exercise.
- I have increased her activity levels to include a minimum of 10000 steps a day to include 2 days swimming and 1 session a week strength training with me increasing her energy expenditure.
- Client is to eat breakfast each morning as she didn’t eat since 5pm the night before which is to long without food.
- Client reduced from 110kg – 88 kg whilst on this program
While cardio will burn calories, it won’t increase your resting metabolic rate the way having more muscle does. Basically, the more muscle mass you have, the more calories you’ll burn naturally each day.”
Do this: Add a few days of weightlifting and body weight exercises into your fitness routine.