Old fashioned thinking: “If I want to lose fat, I should do lots of cardio, then do weight training to build muscle.” So, you think you can’t or shouldn’t build muscle underneath fat?
It is true that the more we exercise and the more calories we expend, the sooner our bodies tap into our fat storages for energy. But by building muscle and still doing the cardio activity, we can burn a lot more calories. Lean muscle tissue will maximize the amount of calories burned at rest as well. As that unsightly layer of fat begins to melt away, there will be lean muscle definition to be seen…..and envied.
Since muscle burns more calories, if we lose muscle it will make burning fat much more difficult. The more muscle you have, the more calories you burn. So, a good exercise program will combine resistance activities that build muscle with aerobic cardio activity, giving you the combination to actively lose weight.
When you exercise your body will use the stored fat for fuel before it begins breaking down muscle for fuel. That is why professional runners and swimmers can consume so many calories and still look lean and streamlined. They can often handle thousands of calories a day because they have such low percentages of body fat. These athletes have to provide their bodies with the fuel they need so that it will not break down the muscle to provide the fuel it needs. Wouldn’t that be a dream come true for most of us – to be able to eat 5,000+ calories a day and not gain weight?