I was speaking with a friend of mine last week who is trying to lose 15 lbs., get in shape, and then build some muscle. His plan was to do a lot of cardio and minimal weight lifting to cut the fat from his body, and then hit up a gym to start putting on some muscle and getting some definition. His heart is in the right place, and as long as this plan has him eating better and exercising I’m all for it. However, there are a few things I suggested to my friend that I thought would be good information to pass along to you guys as well!
More lean muscle = faster metabolism – If you’re trying to lose weight, you need to get that metabolism of yours jump-started. The faster your metabolism, the faster you process food and the more weight you’ll lose. Did you know that the higher percentage of lean muscle mass you have, the faster your metabolism will operate? How do you build lean muscle? By lifting weights! It’s a good cycle to get in. When you lift weights, you build muscle, which speeds up your metabolism, which will help you burn calories better, which will make you lose body fat, which will increase the percentage of your body that’s lean muscle, that will speed up your metabolism more, and on and on. Do not ignore lifting weights as part of a plan to lose weight.
Want to keep your metabolism working all day long? EAT BREAKFAST (read here for the full reasons why you need to eat breakfast).
Muscle weighs more than fat – everybody knows this, but it’s important to think about when you’re trying to lose weight and only concentrating on the number on the scale in front of you. Muscle does in fact weigh more than fat, which means you can weigh 185 lbs and look like Ryan Reynolds and have 3% bodyfat, or you can weigh 185 lbs and look like a slob with a big beer gut. If you’re trying to lose weight, pay more attention to what you look like and less what your scale says. That number doesn’t tell the whole story.
To summarize: rather than doubling your work, losing weight and then building muscle, work on being as efficiently as possible by doing both at the same time. If you go with this plan, pay more attention to what you look like rather than what the scale says. If the number stays the same but you’re noticing your shoulders and chest are getting bigger and your waistline is getting smaller, you’re doing something right!