Building Muscle To Lose Fat

Dr. Jamie Richards's picture
on June 5, 2019 - 9:53am
Move By Design

There’s a fairly standard approach to weight loss…eat less and move more. To most people this means a restrictive diet and hitting the treadmill.

While nibbling on rice cakes and jogging may highlight the accepted procedure, it also doesn’t work as well (nor is it as enjoyable) as a different method – building muscle to lose fat. 

Fat Loss 101

Dropping some lbs is probably on the hit list for most and it’s been that way for decades… you’d think we would have a simple, straight forward understanding of fat loss by now. 

Amidst the complexity there are at least 2 things more experts can agree on:

  1. You need some level of caloric deficit
  2. Fat loss is a hormonal event

Calorie Deficit

In a nutshell, you’re going to need to burn more energy than you more than consume. 

This is how the “obvious” strategy of dieting and cardio come to be the holy grail of fat loss.

Makes sense right? Eat less food and burn 500 calories in 60 minutes getting tortured on your favourite piece of cardio equipment.

It works until you eat that 500 calorie pint of ice cream and completely wipe out any good that came from your suffering. The cycle repeats.

Attempting to win the calorie in – calorie out battle can result in a viscous cycle of failure, one that often has negative psychological results to boot.

Your Hormones

Fat loss is a product of the right hormones telling the body to release the stored “energy” in the fat cells for its own use.

Think of the fat cells like the body’s emergency storage tanks (storing fuel in case we need it for survival in the future).

It’s a built-in survival mechanism but it’s getting all the wrong signals!
The body just wasn’t designed to excel with a constant supply of processed food, low activity levels and extensive external stressors.

The Solution

In order to address the problem in an effective and sustainable way, we need to set up an environment within the body that is conducive to releasing body fat for energy and sustaining that release over long periods of time.

This is where our changed perspective comes in…

What if instead of trying to burn calories and eat less food, we put the attention on building muscle and letting your body do most of the work?

You see, more muscle means more mitochondria, the powerhouses within your cells. More mitochondria means more fat burning, a faster metabolism, better glucose regulation…in short, building more muscle means an increase in ALL DAY, 24 HOUR caloric output.

Hands down, that beats trading calories on the treadmill for calories from your meals any day!

How To Build Muscle

  • Eat protein with EVERY single meal
  • Avoid sugar and refined carbohydrates
  • Add omega 3 fats
  • Lift heavy (for you) weights
  • Get adequate rest and recovery
  • Get some sunlight or supplement with Vitamin D

It may be a new perspective (to you), building muscle to lose fat, but the arrows point to the need for a new culturally accepted methodology for fat loss. This is one you can routinely enjoy both in the gym AND the kitchen.

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