For some reason, people seem to think that they have to lose weight before they build muscle. In reality, there’s no reason a person should first focus on losing weight and only then focus on building muscle. In fact, the best strategy is to do both at the same time.
Let me show you, HOW!
Weight Training Helps You Lose Weight
You won’t lose weight unless you take in fewer calories than you need. You can achieve this calorie deficit:
- By only eating less; or
- By combining eating less with burning calories through exercise.
And guess what — weight training burns calories. Okay, you won’t burn nearly as much as you would do cardio, but hey — a calorie burned is a calorie burned.
If that didn’t thrill you, this might.
Your body is a natural calorie burner. It burns calories every day just doing what it has to do to function. The more muscle you have, the more calories your body will burn all on its own. Muscles burn calories. This fact might sound too amazing to be true, but it is.
That’s the thing I truly love about weight training. It aids in weight lost and I can spend less time at the gym.
So, building muscle actually helps you lose weight because you burn calories building muscles and the muscles you build, in turn, burn calories by themselves.
The Big Fat Question
Now the thing you can’t do is turning fat into muscle. Admittedly, it would be cool if you could, but fat doesn’t morph into muscle. Fat and muscle are two separate things. Just as weight and fat are two different things.
Now that I think about it, I’m beginning to understand why you might think that you need to lose weight before gaining muscle. You might be confusing weight loss with fat loss.
Your weight is composed of fat, muscles, and water. When you are trying to lose weight, water weight is usually the first thing to go. Thus you lose weight. You may also lose weight due to a decrease in muscle mass. In the long run, however, this is not the way to go. You need your muscles to burn calories.
The thing that is hard, if not impossible to do at the same time is to lose fat and gain muscle. To lose fat, you have to consume fewer calories than your body requires. To gain muscle, you have to consume more. You see the problem.
There are two groups of people that are able to accomplish this nearly impossible feat: people on steroids (yuck) and beginners.
Since a fat/weight loss thing is new to beginner bodies, they will be able to lose fat and gain muscle at the same time. But after some time, even their bodies will adapt to the changes they are putting it through and the miracle will end.
In the meantime though, take advantage of it. Once the honeymoon period is over, a combination of cardio, resistance training, and a healthy diet will help you both lose weight and gain muscle.
Kelvin wears many hats in the fitness and health industry. He believes in a practical, flexible and sustainable approach to bodybuilding. Initially Kelvin had started bodybuilding as a hobby which turned into passion and later, a successful career. He shares his expertise on strength training and body building to help the GFY community.
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