Monday, September 15, 2014

Fat vs. Muscle


We all know the two simple concepts to living a healthy lifestyle is exercise and eating nutritious foods. When it comes to weight loss which is more important? Most people tend to lean toward either eating healthy and exercising less or exercising more and not focusing on what they are eating but does it make a difference in losing weight ??

It does !! The most effective way to remain healthy is by combining both exercise and diet together ! You can lose weight by just dieting and eating less calories OR by exercising more but there are a few misconceptions that I am going to clear up along the way !

If you chose to watch what you eat but exercise less, you will in fact be able to control the calorie content therefore a decrease in calories will result in weight loss. But where is that coming from ? Chances are you are losing fat, bone density and muscle ! You might look at the scale and see that you lost a few pounds but fat is LESS dense then muscle meaning it will weigh less. On the flip side your body composition will look "soft" without much muscle definition. The muscle helps support a higher caloric burn at rest and without it you are just eating up all the muscle in you body !!! Not good !!!

If you exercise but don't watch your caloric intake you might just be running yourself into a big circle !!! Many people OVERESTIMATE how many calories they burn in the gym and then underestimate how much they eat. In order to lose weight you need to consume fewer calories than you burn. Many people use exercise as a "reward" and then use a free pass to eat whatever they want !! This is a bad habit to get into !! Exercising, escpecially weight training will increase the amount of muscle in your body causing you to burn more calories at rest. The more muscle you have the more your body burns !! Hours on the cardio machine will strip away that precious muscle and that is what you want !!!

So what do you do ?? You need to combine the two together. In order to lose weight 1 pound is 3000 calories. You cannot simply workout to burn 3000 calories nor can you just not eat !! You need to create a deficit and use both calorie restriction and working out to reach that desired 3000 or 1 pound loss. Now remember that fat is more dense than muscle and when looking at it side by side takes up A LOT of room in the body. The scale should NOT be the indicator of success!! Ensure that you are creating a healthy balance between working out and eating healthy and you are on your way to the best combination to remain vibrant and healthy !!!

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