When you jump on the scales to weigh yourself and it shows you’ve lost weight, the feeling is amazing! All your hard work is paying off…or is it? Are you actually losing fat or muscle! ‘What does it matter, the scales are going in the right direction’, you might say. Hmmm, not so! If you want to lose weight, keep it off and stay health you need to be losing the fat, losing muscle isn’t helpful and could make things harder.
If you read my last post on weight loss motivation with scales, this follows on with why its important to know whether you’re losing fat or muscle and why. Learning this stuff helped me understand my body and lose over ten stone in weight, I hope its beneficial to you, too.
Some fat, we like! It contains essential nutrients, helps manufacture hormones, is a source of energy, cushions your skin and reduces heat loss. Lots of fat, we don’t like! It can make you sluggish, unhappy, have a lack of confidence and lead to diabetes, breathing difficulties, high blood pressure, arthritis and heart disease, along with many other negative effects on your health, body and life.
Muscle, we like, lots! The health benefits of having/building muscle are endless. They include feeling happier (thanks to the release of opiates), having a better immune system, more energy, stronger bones, better sleep, more confidence….the list goes on.
And don’t think for a second having muscle means being some beef cake with biceps bulging and thighs the size of tree trunks, being nicely toned is good enough.
Fat vs. Muscle
In a nutshell, when you eat or drink anything your bodies metabolism breaks it down into energy that your body uses to power itself. The more muscle/toned you are the quicker that energy gets used up. If you’re body has excess energy that isn’t needed by muscles, or other body functions, that energy gets stored as fat. So, the more muscle/toned you are, the faster your metabolism is and the quicker you burn that energy (even when at rest/sitting around doing nothing). The more fat you have, in general, the slower your metabolism, and the longer it takes your body to use the energy.
A toned person and a fat person could eat the same pizza, but because the toned person has a faster metabolism, burning energy quicker, none of it may get turned into fat because the energy has been used up by the muscles and in keeping the body going. Because the fat person has a slower metabolism, the body doesn’t need as much energy to run, so it’ll store the extra energy as fat.
That’s why some people can go through life eating what they want and never put on weight; they’ve most likely got a fast metabolism. Metabolism is a complicated topic; this is just an overview to help in understanding how to lose weight. One way to raise your metabolism is to build muscle. As you build muscle and stick to a healthy eating plan, your body will use up the energy stored in your fat to power and grow the muscle. This leads to weight loss, and the good kind, using the fat.
Summary – Losing Weight Fat vs. Muscle
Using body fat monitoring scales will help you see where the weight is coming off; it’ll show whether you’re losing fat or muscle. Losing fat is good; carry on doing what you’re doing. Losing muscle is bad, your body is basically eating the muscle to power itself and this can be a sign that you’re diets not right, you’re working out too hard or doing the wrong kind of exercise. In the previous p
If you missed the previous post, here are the body fat scales I use. The dont just monitor your body fat, but also water and muscle.
Tanita UM-075 Body Fat Monitor and Visceral Fat Indicator Scale
Roberto isn’t a doctor or personal trainer, he’s just a guy who lost over ten stone in weight. Through his own first hand experiences of weight loss, and how hard it can be, he’s now helping others achieve their weight loss goals.