Losing Fat Without Losing Muscle

Slim WaistToday’s abundance of unhealthy food choices and fast-paced lifestyle have caused many people to struggle with weight gain. Reaching and maintaining a healthy weight, however, is important for good health. A good diet and exercise plan is essential to prevent muscle loss while trying to lose excess weight.

Burning Fat

A good diet and exercise plan takes motivation and persistence. Muscle burns more calories than fat, therefore, exercise that maintains or increases muscle is essential. One pound of muscle can burn approximately 25 times more calories than a pound of fat. Muscle tissue uses the most energy and therefore, determines the rate at which the body burns energy. This increases metabolic rate. Without a proper regime, a dieter loses weight more slowly and has less success of the excess weight staying off.

Gaining Muscle

Gaining muscle while losing weight is possible with proper exercise. A fitness program that includes strength training and aerobic exercise is important. Strength training works by using resistance to muscular contraction. It builds the strength, endurance and size of the muscles. Besides building muscle, it can provide benefits for overall health. It can increase bone, muscle, tendon and ligament strength and hardiness, improve joint function, reduce the chances for injury, increases bone density and raises the metabolic rate temporarily. It can also increase good cholesterol levels and improve cardiac function.

Aerobic exercise such as running, bicycling and jumping rope, are performed at moderate intensity levels for extended periods of time. It helps improve the oxygen system in the body. This type of exercise helps to strengthen the muscles throughout the body, as well as increase the flow of air in and out of the lungs. It strengthens the heart muscle and reduces the resting heart rate. It increases muscle endurance and the metabolic rate of the body. It also improves the ability of the muscles to use fats during exercise.

Exercise can be dehydrating to the body. Drinking plenty of water is a necessity. When muscle cells are hydrated, it increases the body’s ability to burn fat. It can also suppress the appetite.

Proper Nutrition

Eating the proper foods is also important to maintain muscles. Fast weight loss plans and diet pills don’t normally offer proper nutrition values. Diets that severely cut calories only cause the body’s metabolism to slow. Eat a well balanced diet that is full of fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, healthy fats, low fat dairy, and healthy fiber. Eating several small meals a day keeps the metabolism going and the blood sugar levels even.

With the proper diet and exercise plan, a healthy weight and muscle mass can be achieved. It will take discipline, but it can be accomplished.

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