Having more lean muscle on your body helps to mobilize (or burn) more fat as fuel. How is this done? Well muscle cells require more calories to maintain that muscle on the human body, so it consumes more calories than fat cells. Let’s look at this further.
Fat loss is achieved by fat-burning; this means using stored fat as a fuel to support body function. The body has a preference in which type of fuel it will use. These fuels fall under three categories (macro-nutrients): carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. There are good and bad macronutrients in each category (including fat!) when fat-loss is on the agenda. The body’s preference of fuel burning will vary greatly between individuals, and heavily between your exercise and dietary habits combined.
What most people desire when they say that they want to “lose weight” involves burning more calories each day than are replaced by calories consumed as food. In a large part, weight loss is achieved by meeting this goal, often with the assistance of exercises that burn fat and exercises that increases lean muscle is crucial, because muscle cells burn more calories at rest than do fat cells.
Here are some rough fact estimates. This will obviously vary from person to person due to all the variables in peoples lives.
Muscle Fact: A kilo of muscle will burn 100 calories/day at rest.
Fat Fact: A kilo of fat will use up only 5 calories/day at rest.
What gets burnt and when? Low to moderate intensity aerobic exercise tends to burn fat, where as high intensity aerobic exercise tends to burn glucose preferentially. With high intensity aerobic exercise the total calories burned even after exercise is complete and, irrespective of the source of these calories glucose or fat, fat burning will be higher than the calories burned in moderate intensity aerobic exercise, hence the emphasis on high intense cardio exercise.
Confused? What this simply means is the harder you exercise the more calories you will burn and that includes fat burning after you’ve finished and when you’re recovering. So go harder with more quality to burn more fat!
So, fat loss refers to two specific goals, increase lean muscle and burn fat as calories. In order to achieve these goals a complete approach is always recommended for maximum sustainable results. That is a sound nutritional program, precise resistance training and a cardio program.
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