Saturday, April 21

Weight Loss - I

Building muscle is the key to reducing bodyfat!

In this article, I will discuss a fundamental principle that is imperative in losing weight or more specific body fat loss. I think that the fundamentals have been drowned in an enormous mass of information. Most of it is great and can definitely help but there is a major misconception about weight training and it's "weight gaining" effects.

We've been lead to believe that aerobic exercise is necessary for weight loss. Common prescription for weight loss is walking, running or other cardio type exercises. "You run to lose weight" is the common thinking. While this may work in some cases, research has shown that aerobic exercise alone is not sufficient for weight loss.
Wanna know why?

Because although you burn calories when training aerobically, you only burn a relatively small amount. For example in a 30 min jogging session you may burn around 200-300 calories depending on your body weight (especially muscle), age and other things. What you've just burned is the equivalent of a large apple and banana. But that's comparing it to fruits. Considering a Big Mac is around 500 Calories and a Hungry Jacks Vege Burger Supreme coming in at more than 600 Calories you can see how that's a relatively small amount.
Don't get me wrong, I'm in no way saying that aerobic exercise has no value. Aerobic exercise has been shown in numerous scientific studies to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, prevent the onset of diabetes, prevent some cancers and many other health benefits. But aerobic exercise alone is not the most effective way to lose bodyfat or "lose weight". And again science has proven this.

This may be not only because of the relatively small amounts of calories burned but also due to the potential loss of muscle mass. Aerobic exercise, especially heavy exercise may increase your chances of burning muscle. This muscle burning effect is further enhanced when coupling aerobic exercise with a reduced calorie diet. This is a situation you want to avoid at all costs.

When aerobic exercise is performed your body burns both carbohydrate and fat. But when you increase the aerobic/cardio intensity your body also switches to burning more carbohydrates and less bodyfat proportionately. If not enough carbohydrates are consumed your body will switch to making carbohydrates from protein. That is called catabolism and results in losing muscle mass, which is the exact opposite of what you should be aiming for. Therefore, if you are already on a low calorie diet and you add aerobic exercise, you will further accelerate this catastrophe.

No comments: