Here’s How To Burn Fat by Building Muscle
Building muscle is a great way to burn fat. Burning muscle does not directly burn fat, in that fat does not “turn” into muscle. In order to understand how building muscle aids in fat loss, we must first understand why we gain fat in the first place.
Part One — Simplified
- Your body has certain energy requirements based on 1) your basal metabolic rate, and 2) your level of activity.
- The food that you consume serves to meet these energy requirements.
- Each time you eat, an insulin spike occurs which sends the nutrients you just consumed to areas of your body that require those nutrients.
- Any energy left over is then stored as fat.
Part Two — The Insulin Spike
Have you ever experienced a “food coma” right after you eat a meal. One reason could be that you overate. But sometimes we still feel groggy after our lunch, even if we did not eat a large meal.
When you eat, the food is broken down into vital nutrients. Insulin’s job is to either move the nutrients into muscles, or store them as fat. Insulin levels will remain spiked until all nutrients are either used or stored. Then they will return back to normal.
How Insulin Spikes Work
Carbohydrates are often seen as the culprit. The problem isn’t carbs, per say. Even if you eat a high-calorie, high-protein diet, the food will still be stored as fat. Perhaps you won’t feel the food coma right away since protein takes longer to break down — but if there is no reason for you to use that protein, it will be stored as fat.
Building muscle gives you that reason. When you perform cardiovascular exercise, you’re not breaking anything down. You’re just burning energy that you already have stored. You are not dealing with the problem of more energy being stored.
Yes, you can eat less, but how low are you going to drop those calories? The common formula for weight loss has always been to reduce calories + increase cardiovascular/aerobic exercise. Sure, this works for a while, but it’s not sustainable.
Part Three — Sustainable Fat Loss
Those that want to burn fat view insulin as some evil hormone making their lives miserable. Those wanting to build muscle view insulin as the ultimate miracle.
Why is that?
Insulin can either help you, or hurt you. You’re better off using the hormone to your advantage, instead of trying everything in your power to deter insulin from doing it’s job.
Bodybuilders love insulin because it helps build muscle by bringing vital nutrients to muscle tissue for recovery and regeneration. Even though we do not want to become bodybuilders, we can use this idea to our advantage.
The simple shift is in where we spend our exercise time. Instead of getting on the treadmill to perform cardio, do a resistance exercise to break down and tear muscle fibers. The next time you eat, instead of the nutrients being stored as fat, insulin will deliver the nutrients to hungry muscles.
Through this process, you can look better without having to follow starvation diets. Of course, there are certain dietary changes you must make, but please understand just how important it is for you to focus on building lean muscle mass if you truly want to see success with your fat loss.
Part Four — Dealing with Final Reservations
Take a look at this picture: 5 pounds of muscle vs 5 pounds of fat. Fat is ugly, soft, and blubbery. Muscle is lean and mean. Muscle looks better then fat.
Don’t worry, you won’t turn into a bulky bodybuilder if you don’t want to. Everyone builds muscle at different levels. Two other hormones play a role in building muscle as well: testosterone and human growth hormone.
Women in particular simply do not produce enough testosterone to be able to get super bulky. Those female bodybuilders you see are usually on some “special sauce.”
For men, if you find that you’re building too much muscle, then you can obviously cut down on the intensity of your workouts, eat less, or do some cardio. However, I have never had any dude complain that they’re putting on too much muscle.
Do not simply exist, conquer!