While many dieters believe that their great low calorie diet is really helping them to lose weight, they are really getting only half the story. While its quite true that they will lose weight because of the restriction placed on their bodies by their diet, the weight is unlikely to stay off in the long term unless they can stick rigidly to the diet for ever and a day.
This is not something many people would like to do, so they tend to put the weight back on that they lost and often a pound or two extra for their trouble. So why does this happen? And what are the best weight loss tips to help in losing weight for the long term without having to eat a restrictive diet for the rest of your life?
In a word, exercise! That’s right. Exercise is the key to completing the weight loss picture along with a good, healthy diet. But it is what exercise does for you that really makes all the difference. And it’s all to do with your muscles and the way in which they use energy. But it is fairly common knowledge that muscle weighs more than fat. So how does building up your muscles help you lose weight? Here’s how it works:
Exercise Builds Muscle Strength
The more you exercise, the more you use your muscles in different parts of your body and the more energy they need to keep working. Also, the increased exercise causes your muscles to grow in both strength and density. This means they will begin to weigh more, but the additional weight is in part offset by the corresponding reduction in body fat. Body fat is used up as you exercise more because the muscles that are doing the work demand energy that the body must supply them, or you can’t continue to work and fatigue and tiredness will set in until you have to stop. This energy comes initially from the sugars dissolved in your bloodstream, which supply the muscles with the energy they need to keep working. The harder they work, the faster the heart pumps to force the blood around the body and to the muscles with fresh supplies of the sugars they need. After exercising constantly for a certain amount of time, usually 20 minutes or so, the sugars present in your bloodstream become so depleted that they cannot provide the energy the muscles need to continue working. To compensate for this, the body is forced to metabolize the fat that is stored around the body and convert it back to usable sugars that enter the bloodstream and are carried to the muscles that are demanding it so they can carry on working and you can continue exercising.
This process can go on for a long time, so a single exercise session is not enough to burn all the body’s store of fat. In fact it can take several weeks of daily exercise coupled with a carbohydrate and fat restrictive diet to completely strip all the usable fat from the body’s store. Bodybuilders use this knowledge to strip their bodies to lean muscle while building that muscle with a high protein diet and very heavy workouts using high resistance apparatus and heavy weights combined with low reps. This is what gives them such large and well defined muscles.
For the average person who does not want to look like a bodybuilder, the exercise can take a different form to achieve the same result of stripping the body fat to leave lean muscle and this is by using lighter resistance apparatus and lighter weights or more stamina exercises such as running, swimming, skipping, cycling etc. This will result in a slim, trim and well toned body after a few weeks of constant exercise coupled with a low fat, low carb, high protein diet.
The increased muscle strength obtained by this form of exercise means that the muscles will demand more energy to do the work needed and therefore burn fat faster. This situation builds up over time and this is why it is a good idea to start exercising slowly and gradually build up to longer sessions to improve stamina and strength. Once this has been achieved, you will even be burning fat while you sleep, because this is the time that muscles that have been worked hard during the day repair themselves and grow new tissue to enable the body to work harder the following day.
From a weight loss perspective, this is perfect for achieving that great looking, slim body that fits into all the best clothes. Your weight will reduce but you will not look thin and unfit because of it. Quite the opposite, in fact! You will look and be healthy, fit and able to maintain that perfect weight and body shape as long as you continue to exercise often, while your diet will not need to be so restrictive and you can eat pretty much what you want within reason. This leads to a happy situation where the exercise keeps the muscles burning off all the calories that you can put into it through your diet so you will not gain any weight or get out of shape as long as you continue to exercise.
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