Why are muscles important for weight loss? Muscles at rest require calories while fat cells at rest do not. So the greater your lean body mass, the more calories you will burn all day long not just when you’re working out and including in your sleep. More muscle mass equates to high metabolism.
For weight loss, you absolutely need cardio. But cardio plus weight training will provide real results. Here’s the mechanics of muscle building. We have over 600 muscles which translate to 1/3 – 1/2 of our body weight. They bind us together, hold us up, and help us move. Muscles when stressed lead to microscopic tears, which releases cytokines to repair the injury. This activates the immune system and builds muscles. Once this damage and repair happens, we build stronger and bigger muscles.
In order for this to all happen, we also need proper nutrition and adequate sleep because repair happens when we are sleeping. Gender and age plays a role too. That’s why young men with higher testosterone have an advantage.
We want to do strength training of different body parts throughout the week or at least 2 – 3 times per week. Don’t forget to include rest days so that the body can heal. If you’re not a fan of weights, try HIIT (high intensity interval training), swimming, surfing, yoga, pilates, or calisthenic workouts (use of just body weight). The more muscle groups you use at once, the better the results which is why calisthenic workouts are so effective.
The take home lesson here is tear muscles, rest, eat right in order to build muscles, which lead to higher metabolism, which leads to weight loss. Please do NOT go on a restrictive diet. That only leads to binging later and potentially inadequate nutrition.
If you need help understanding nutrition and all the mixed messages out there, give us a call. We will address your stress level, eating habits, exercise, cravings, emotional eating, and overall health and happiness. Start with a free health consultation at www.HappyFoodHealth.com or (619) 876-2655. See if this is the right match for you. I do things very differently to make health a natural lifestyle and this is not for everyone. Check out Yelp for other people’s opinion of Happy Food.
~ Samantha Hua, Nutrition & Holistic Health Coach, San Diego, CA