We find ourselves in the diatribe of wanting to lose weight and burn fat in the most efficient way, but for one reason or another it’s an uphill task, especially after being 40 years old. This is obviously because our metabolism and our habits of life are not the same as when we were in our 20’s. But, what can we do about it? In the first place, we must understand some basic principles about the confrontation that fats and muscles have inside our bodies to follow a tailor made plan that strengthens our mind, body and spirit.
Muscle vs Fat principle: Metabolism
Metabolism is a process by which our bodies convert what you eat and drink into pure energy. This biochemical process turns the calories of what we ingest and combine them with oxygen to release the energy our body needs on its daily function. Even when you’re at rest, your body needs this supply of energy for all its non-conscious functions such as breathing, heart beating, control of hormone levels and, growing and repairing cells (which include hair and nail growth).
The bare minimum of calories your body uses to make these basic functions work is known as your “basal metabolic rate”, which is what you might call “metabolism” (or for a lack of a better word, how fast your body burns those calories). This energy your body needs for those basic functions stays fairly equal during your lifetime and isn’t easily changed, the basal metabolic rate makes for about 70 percent of the calories you burn daily.
Many things determine your individual basal metabolic rate, including your body size and composition, sex and specially your age, because as you get older, the amount of muscle mass in your body tends to decrease and the fat supplants that body weight, slowing down calorie burning. This is the first basic principle on the Muscle vs Fat fight.
Build Muscle – Burn Fat
Beside your basal metabolic rate, there are two other factors that determine how many calories your burn daily: Food processing and physical activity.
The first takes account of your digesting process, absorbing process, transporting process and storing process of the food you consume. This makes up for 100 to 800 of the calories we use each day. The latter, obviously, take account for the rest of the calories your body burns up each day by running, walking, exercising and even having sex.
But how to have correlation with Muscle Vs Fat? This is where muscle building comes in. It’s easy to blame your metabolism for your weight gain but because metabolism is a natural process you may think it’s non-changing subject but it’s been proven that building one pound of muscle burns approximately 5 – 6 calories per day at rest, that means that the bigger you get, the more you burn.
Unfortunately, muscle weight gain is complicated matter. It’s a combination of your genetic blueprint, the way your hormones behave, your diet and the impact of the environment on your lifestyle. This includes your sleeping habits, the amount of physical activity you endure and how you handle everyday stress. All of these results in an imbalance in the energy equation, this means that you may or may not gain more muscle during a week following a high protein diet, or you may or may not lose fat by cutting down your carb consumption. But the basic math of Muscle vs Fat, is that everyone will lose weight when they burn up more calories than they eat, and the best way to keep your body burning up is to build up some muscle.