Weight loss can affect how much muscle you have in a negative manner. When you lose weight, you normally lose both fat tissue and muscle tissue. In order to lose weight, you have to burn more calories than you consume. The body doesn’t normally differentiate where the calories come from during weight loss, so some of it comes from using muscle tissue. That can actually slow your progress when you have less muscle tissue. Muscle tissue requires more calories than fat tissue does for maintenance, so the more you have, the higher your metabolism is and the more calories you burn 24/7.
If you’re not using your muscles, you’ll lose them.
Even if you aren’t trying to lose weight, muscle tissue waste away when you don’t use them. However, if you have a program of regular exercise, you’ll be building muscle tissue while the body burns fat. Not all exercise is equal. Running, for instance, can actually cause muscle tissue loss. However, strength training and resistance exercises do the opposite. While both burn calories, strength training burns calories, while building more muscle tissue, to boost metabolism and make weight loss even easier.
How do you know if you’re burning muscle tissue and not fat tissue?
The body is programmed to burn a specific amount of fat and then it dips into the muscle tissue. How do you determine that it’s fat not muscle? Taking a measurement with a body fat scales before you start and throughout the weight loss process is one way. Checking out inches, rather than pounds—since muscle tissue weighs more per cubic inch than fat tissue does, so as your inches shrink, even if there’s no weight loss, you’re building more muscle. If you feel exhausted, you may be losing more muscle tissue than fat.
Make protein an important part of your weight loss program.
Just like fat and fiber, protein keeps you feeling full longer, so it can help any type of weight loss program. You also need to have adequate program to both build and maintain muscle tissue. It’s one reason fad diets often don’t work. You may lose weight, but it’s muscle weight, which makes weight loss even harder and weight gain easier when the diet’s over. There are studies that show when protein is increased in the diet, there’s less loss of muscle mass.
- Besides getting adequate exercise and the right type of exercise, you need to make sure you have adequate recovery time. Too much cardio without recovery time can waste muscle tissue.
- Getting all types of workouts is important for both your health and to avoid muscle loss. Mixing cardio with resistance training in an HIIT—high intensity interval training—-workout can help shed pounds faster, while keeping endurance and strength high.
- Getting adequate sleep is important when you’re trying to shed weight. Lack of sleep not only makes you less energetic during a workout, it messes with your hormones that affect hunger and the storage of fat.
- While building muscle tissue and trying to shed pounds, don’t use a starvation diet. A small deficit will help you burn fat, while building muscle tissue. Both give you a shapely, thinner look.
For more information, contact us today at Studio Fit Richmond Hill