Do Muscles Help Lose Weight?
Yes. Muscles help lose weight. In fact, they are your strongest weapon in burning fat and keeping it off longer, as well as whole range of other reasons and amazing health benefits you get for building and maintaining your muscle. Research and evidence is quickly building up and up on the effect muscle mass has on your level of body fat as well a whole spectrum of other lifestyle health issues.
Now more than ever, resistance training should become part of your regular exercise plan. There are so many fitness fads, pills and potions out there that sometimes it is hard to know what to believe, but with all of that aside, one thing is for sure – in your fight against the bulge, muscles help lose weight.
Muscles Help Lose Weight, 44% more actually!
That’s right. A recent study at Tufts University in the US showed that women who follow a weight loss diet combined with weight training exercises lost 44 per cent more fat than women who only followed the diet. And I emphasise that they lost 44% extra fat, not just weight.
You see, I have been preaching this for so long my throat is getting sore! So forgive me if you’ve heard this from me a thousand times before, but- dieting without exercise will only make you fatter. When women diet, at least 25-30 per cent of the weight lost isn’t actually fat. It is water, muscle, bone and other lean tissue. That’s why you gain all your weight back and even more, because you just lost the lean tissue which is what burns your fat in the first place.
How Do Muscles Help Lose Weight?
People on restrictive diets are slowing their metabolism because the calorie intake is so low your body goes into safety mode and tries to prolong it’s life as long as possible by burning muscle instead of fat. And when muscles help lose weight, you’ve got a problem. Then your metabolism goes down, you find it harder to lose weight and when you starting eating normally again your metabolism is slower than before and you pile on more weight than before and faster.
I don’t think I need to convince you anymore that muscles help lose weight but check out this stat. 1 kilogram of muscle will burn about 627 to 1465 kilojoules per day while a kilo of fat will only burn around 20. So it makes perfect sense to not only preserve your muscle mass, but build it. And don’t worry, building large amounts muscle mass and bulking up depends majorly on hormones levels that females just don’t have.
Don’t We Lose Muscle As We Age?
After the age of 20 you can lose muscle tissue at a rate from 2.2kg to 3.2kg every 10 years without training them. As muscles help lose weight, we need to keep up the training as you get older to stop this muscular atrophy and also the middle age spread!
Toning is more about losing fat than building muscles. With too much body fat your skin can sag, your body will look soft and undefined. Just by building a little muscle we can raise your metabolism, burn more fat, increase your definition and improve your shape.
Help Your Muscles Help Lose Weight
Firstly, do away with small one joint small muscle exercises like bicep curls. The more muscle you use, and the more weight you move, the more energy you will burn and the more fat you will shed! Use big body movements like lunges and push-ups to burn the maximum amount of fat in the minimum amount of time. And make it hard. Intensity is the key. As long as you can control the movement safely, make it as hard as possible for yourself.
For the first few weeks you might not see a difference in the scales, but you will find your clothes are getting loser, your body is tightening up and you shape is changing. Muscle weighs more than fat so a small increase in muscle and a larger decrease in fat will keep the scales pretty close but will make you smaller and more defined.
Don’t forget the other benefits either. As your muscles help lose weight, they also increase your strength making day-to-day tasks easier, strengthen bones, increases balance, flexibility, mobility and also, your mental health.
Although it is very cool that as any exercise will burn fat while you do it resistance training your metabolism burning for up to 39 hours afterwards! Imagine how you quickly you could change your body and life training hard every second day!
Work harder, work smarter
Swimming outdoors is different to swimming in a pool. Practice swimming in different environments (check safe first) as rock pools, lakes, harbours, and protected beaches. The main difference is not having a black line to follow, and no wall to rest on, plus you may need to lift head up and arms more from the water (to see and lift above swell). Whilst swimming in an event aim to observe and follow the more experienced swimmers.Wollongong Harbour is mostly protected and offers shelter from the seas and most winds but it can get bumpy depending on tide and water activity. The water is mostly clean and you can see the bottom on most days. Lifeguards patrol the waters and as a small boat harbour, it is well away from any commercial large vessels. Build up distance. If your aim is 200m (kids or ladies tryaqua) or the short (400m swim) or long (900m), work up to achieving half of the distance in one go. Once you achieve this, add two lots of half distance (ie 200m + 200m with a minute or two rest), than reduce the ‘rest’ to when you can pretty well make the full distance – ideally aim to cover 100-200m more than the event distance before the event day. OPEN water practice: Try rock pools, protected beaches, harbours, lakes and safe open water venues to get used to no black line, bumpy conditions and feeling of ‘open water swim’ grab a Beachside teammate, book a 1-on-1 or private group PT session in by yourself or with a friend or two and of course come to our free group training sessions on Saturday morning. Get the correct gear: swimmers and a good pair of googles is all you need but for those that want extra floatation (for speed and/or comfort) a wetsuit can make a large difference.
• For most people the majority of training will be done in a pool. If it’s your first open water swim, aim to complete a distance a bit further than the event
• You may need to breathe to a side you’re not used to because of swell, other competitors or to help sighting, so try and practice breathing to both sides.Bilateral breathing is better for training anyway because it keeps your stroke balanced.
• You don’t need to just do long distance swims to train for an open water race.Sets of shorter repetitions with rest intervals work well when combined with longer distances, plus they keep training interesting.
• The more efficient your stroke is, the easier it is to swim further. Practice trying to extend each arm pull, and aim to do less strokes per length while keeping your rhythm smooth.
• Get help: join our swim group and run group, come every week and you'll be surprised how quickly your swimming and running fitness develops.