Unfortunately, those same dieters are setting themselves up for disappointment, because those muscles that they are trying to avoid are the very thing that they need to get and keep the weight off. Muscles fuel and trigger the body’s power to burn fat. Most of the time, when we lose weight, we are in fact not losing fat – we are losing the muscle that we need to lose the fat – and because we are watching our intake of food, we often don’t feed our bodies the protein that it needs to replace that lost muscle, or to make our muscles strong enough to help burn off the fat.
On the surface it seems like a no win situation – but there is hope. There is a way to lose weight with a diet and feed and build necessary muscle without bulking up.’ You still need to exercise, as this also strengthens muscles and burns calories, but you can also lose weight by feeding and building the muscles. You can start by throwing the scale away, and using a tape measure instead. It doesn’t matter how much you weigh in the long run – it only matters how you look and feel.
Anytime you build muscle, you will notice a weight gain on the scales. This can be detrimental to a dieters resolve to get the excess weight off. So, don’t weigh – measure. Even though there may be some weight gain, you will see that you are losing inches, which in the long run is more important. Eventually, the numbers on the scale will go down as well – but not at first. So, just avoid the scale. Next, start a low calorie and low fat diet, or a low-carb diet – whatever you and your health care professional decide will suit your lifestyle the best.
Both work – so don’t let anyone tell you differently. Many people have trouble with low-carb diets because they don’t like meat, or can’t eat meat – which is the main ingredient in a low-carb diet. Start an exercise regimen. Walking is a great place to start – especially if you are really out of shape. As time goes by, you need to start doing some strength training, and you may choose to do some muscle building exercises as well. Strength training strengthens the muscles, but does not bulk’ them up like muscle building exercises do.
Finally, feed your muscles so that they are better able to help you, and so you can replace the muscle you are losing with your diet. There is no way around losing the muscle when you cut your food intake. It is inevitable. But that muscle can be replaced with good muscle, and the remaining muscle can grow stronger, to the point where the muscle is strong enough to fuel the body to burn the fat, instead of the muscle. No more yo-yo dieting! You can finally get the weight off for good if you just learn to work with your muscles, instead of against them!
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