Burning Fat and Building Muscle

Burning fat and building muscle, although related, are two separate entities.  There is a common misconception that you can turn fat into muscle.  Unfortunately, this is not true.  It's physiologically impossible to turn fat into muscle because each is an entirely different type of body tissue with a different cell type (fat is made up of adipose tissue, while muscle is made of protein). So fat is fat and muscle is muscle. 

The key to getting into better shape, feeling fitter and healthier is to get rid of the fat and grow the muscle.

Building Muscle

To grow muscle, you must engage in a weight-resistant programme and ensure protein is a staple in your diet.  The best weight training programme is hypertrophy.  The idea is to do many sets but only 5 to 6 reps on each exercise where you are close to fatigue on the 5th to 6th rep.  Hypertrophy is quite advanced and it is important to get sound advice before starting. 

The good news is muscle burns calories 24/7, so the more muscle mass you have, the more calories are burned, even at rest. In other words, your metabolism increases.

Burning Fat

Now that your metabolism has increased, to burn fat you must reduce your daily calorie intake by about 300 to 500 calories.  It is very important you keep a balanced diet, roughly 55% carbohydrate, 25% protein and 20% fat.  The release of insulin into the bloodstream has a huge effect on fat stores.  How much and how fast depends entirely on the type of carbohydrate.  The best advice is to cut back on starchy carbs and increase non-starchy carbs.

In summary, the weight training programme will build muscle, increase metabolism and many more benefits.  To reduce fat you must alter your diet so it is healthy, balanced and about 500 calories below your metabolic rate.

Everybody’s metabolic rate is different, depending on age, size, weight and amount of exercise.  If you would like a free metabolic reading please send your details to carl@fitnesstogether.ie