While many people are placing all their faith in losing weight through this or that diet plan or program, there is a much better and more long lasting way to not only lose weight but to attain the great looking body that they really desire. While making sure you have a good, healthy diet is of great importance, you need to build muscle strength and mass in order for your body to effectively use that diet to not only reduce your store of fat and its weight, but to tone up a soft, flabby body into a slim, trim and toned body that is, after all, the true desired result. Here is how it works.
When you eat a healthy diet that also restricts the amount of calories you are consuming, you are setting your body up to lose weight, but without exercise it will lose that weight through a combination of fat and muscle loss. This is not a good, long lasting way to do that because the reduction in muscle density and mass will mean that once the diet is stopped, the weight will come back on again.
That happens because the reduced muscle mass is even less effective at burning the calories your regular diet puts into your body than it was before you started your diet. So what is the answer to long term weight loss and a healthy, fit and slim body?
Exercise and Muscle Gain
While by volume, muscle tissue actually weighs more than fat, you need more muscle tissue for your body to be more effective at burning fat. Diet alone cannot do this as you need your muscles to first use the sugars in your blood stream as energy. Once those sugars are depleted, your body must supply more energy for the muscles to carry on working, so it then manufactures more from its store of fat.
It therefore follows that the more muscle mass you have in your body, the more energy it will demand when working and therefore the more fat you will burn to satisfy that demand for energy. A good diet also helps because a well balanced and nutritious diet that is high in protein helps to build muscles when they are worked through exercise or hard manual labor.
This does not mean you need to build up your body to look like a bodybuilder, which is taking this practice to the extreme. Bodybuilders achieve such huge muscles by working out with very heavy weights and high resistance apparatus with low reps combined with a very high protein diet.
While you don't need to build up your muscles to such a degree, you can achieve the same result in fat reduction while looking slim and lithe by exercising to build muscle strength, mass and density at a much lower level. This is done through prolonged exercise or higher reps with less resistance. Athletes such as runners, swimmers or cyclists for example are good role models as they train hard yet generally remain slim looking with very toned, well defined and fit looking bodies.
The benefits of building more muscle mass through weight loss exercise or simple hard work are not only fat reduction but also the overall slimming and toning of your body including legs and thighs, buttocks, belly, torso, arms and even your face will appear slimmer as you lose fat from all areas. This effect is, after all what the true goal of anyone who wishes to lose weight really wants to achieve.
While many people think they can take the easy road by just eating a calorie restrictive diet, they will not achieve the kind of body shape and appearance as someone who eats a healthy diet and exercises regularly will attain and keep in the long term. Surely this is worth putting in the extra effort to not just lose weight but to gain a great looking body that will stay great looking for as long as you keep exercising to stay fit and healthy.