Does Building Muscle Burn Fat?
One of the more common questions I’m asked is whether or not building muscle burns fat. And taking that question to the next level, how can you increase lean muscle mass to boost your ability to burn calories? This article will finally answer that question once and for all.
As it turns out, building muscles is actually the best way to lose weight. It is not only possible to lose weight and gain muscle simultaneously; it should be encouraged by personal trainers.
That said, there are a few widespread misconceptions about weight loss:
First, it’s a misconception that you don’t need to build muscle to burn that extra fat. The truth, however, is that if you want to achieve sustainable weight loss, and look great, you will need to generate more muscle mass along the way.
Second, building muscle is not as bad as it sounds. So don’t worry, not all fitness plans are designed to add large amounts of bulk. Those plans are specifically designed to achieve maximum gains. Lean muscle will actually make you much more attractive as it tones your body and rids your skin of wrinkles and sagging skin, leaving you feeling great, young and robust.
Third, temporary changes come easy — a little too easily — but long-term success calls you to formulate a smart, straightforward plan to achieve your ideal weight related goals in no time. In other words, it is very possible to lose weight fast, but it is utterly useless to rely on shortcuts to do so.
Now, we can now look into the real mechanism that the body employs — during muscle build — to torch triglycerides, the excess body fat that’s stored in different body parts for various reasons. The “bad” fat is the main conspirator behind most heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and stroke cases around the globe according to the American Heart Association (AHA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Building Muscle Helps Burn Fat — How It Works
Muscle tissue all throughout your body uses up the most energy derived from your diet. To turn a diet to energy requires that the body breaks down calories found in the food. But to initiate this reaction the body needs an effective, safe and natural stimulus.
The smarter way to go about it is to deploy a combination of several weight loss techniques such as weight training, running over short distances, and taking muscle building supplements. Employing only one technique has shown to deteriorate good results in the medium to long-term.
In order to lose 1 pound (0.45 kg), you’d need to burn about 3500 calories above what your body systems take up for normal function. According to the Mayo Clinic, your body’s basal metabolic rate accounts for about 70% of the food you consume. For example, around 300 – 800 calories are used up during digestion, absorption, transportation and, ultimately, the assimilation of food you eat.
Building Muscle Helps You Burn Fat
The trick lies in two processes that take place on a daily basis: protein synthesis and deliberate calorie deficit induction.
Protein synthesis is the process through which the body builds new lean muscle mass to replace destroyed ones. Muscle destruction may occur as a result of a workout or any other activity that stresses a muscle fiber more than it was meant to handle. Protein synthesis ensures that you not only re-grow muscle mass, but that bigger and stronger muscle tissue replaces the previous — this is muscle building at its finest. However, muscle building requires lots of calories to pull off successfully.
But What Should You Do? Induce a Calorie Deficit.
Creating a calorie deficit is a deliberate attempt at controlling how much energy the body gets from food consumption. The lesser the food consumed, the fewer the calories that are available to the body. While it may seem counter intuitive to eat less while trying to build muscle, this is the best strategy to lose body fat.
An induced calorie deficit ensures your body is not getting enough calories from your diet to maintain the new muscle build energy demand. As a result, the body converts excess body fat to energy through fat oxidation. This strategy defines the main difference between building muscle to gain weight and size and muscle building for weight loss.
If weight loss is your goal, the 3-step mechanism of cutting, muscle build and maintenance will work best to achieve it. All you need to do is maintain a balance between protein synthesis and fat oxidation to meet your weight loss/muscle gain goals.
How to Gain Lean Muscle While Losing Weight
Now, while it is possible to build muscle and lose fat simultaneously, we must recognize that these are two separate processes. Your body is not physically capable of converting fat to muscle. That is a common misconception.
Your body must first burn fat through exercise and controlling calorie intake and output. Then your body is able to replace the fat that was lost with lean muscle mass.
However, when lifting weights to lose weight, the process seems as if you are simply converting fat to muscles even though that isn’t the process that your body is going through.
How to Lift Weights to Lose Weight
When it comes to exercising to lose weight, we often think of cardio. But rarely, if ever, do we think of lifting weights as a type of cardio. It’s usually referred to and talked about as a muscle building exercise.
But, that couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, these days, more and more fitness programs are catering toward building muscle and burning fat simultaneously. Workout programs that are famous for accomplishing the best of both worlds are Crossfit and a variety of Beachbody’s DVD programs.
The secret is to always keep your heart rate elevated. When your heart rate is elevated – whether you’re running or lifting – your cardiovascular system goes into overdrive and burns fat for energy. This is how you’re able to lose weight by lifting weights.
Simply minimizing your breaks between sets, or jump roping between sets, will keep your heart rate elevated, and the fat melting off while you’re simultaneously performing muscle building exercises.
Yes. Building muscle does burn fat. However, it depends on the way you exercise. Building for enormous mass is different than building for lean muscle mass. Plan your workout routine around lifting for lean mass and an elevated heart rate and you will see the results. To speed up your results, take a look at how our supplements can get you to your fitness goals quicker.