Losing fat and losing weight are not the same thing. When trying to slim down, aiming to lose fat rather than weight is far more beneficial. This is because losing weight entails losing everything; fat, muscle, fluids and a reduction in organ size. It makes sense that the majority of your weight loss should be fat, since the body doesn’t need much of it to stay healthy. Keeping your muscles strong and your organs hydrated, on the other hand, is essential for both fat loss and overall health. So what is the best way to lose fat for good?
When trying to lose weight, one of the most important things you can do is to gain muscle mass. Exercise puts strain on your muscles and causes their mass to increase. The more muscle tissue you have, the more calories are burned. How do you build up muscle? Lifting weights or doing body-weight exercises (rather than just cardio) is essential to this kind of weight gain. You’ll also need to make sure you’re eating enough calories and consuming muscle-building nutrients, such a protein, carbohydrates and healthy fats.
Losing muscle slows metabolism
While increasing muscle mass helps to burn fat, the opposite is true of losing muscle mass. Muscle is metabolically active so helps to keep your metabolism churning and your body burning calories, even when you’re at rest. It might sound strange but losing muscle can actually lead to weight gain. This is because your metabolism slows down when your muscle mass decreases. So if you stop exercising, you run the risk of your body gaining back the fat you might have lost.
Don’t be fooled by dehydration
We’ve all weighed ourselves first thing in the morning – right after going to the toilet, right before eating our first meal. Maybe the number on the scale looks good but don’t be fooled. If you lose weight because you’re dehydrated, you’ve only lost water, not fat. In fact, water keeps your muscles plump and energised. And without hydration, your muscles shrivel up and fail to perform optimally.
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