By January 28, 2012

The Difference Between Losing Weight and Building Muscle

Diets and exercise are different for everyone. Some people start their diet with a clear objective in mind. They might be overweight, and they want to get healthier; simple as that. Some people may stare at the scale with a look that’s a bit more perplexed. You might be of average weight for your age and height, but your stomach still pushes out a little and parts of your body are a bit flabby. Why is that?

When dieting and exercising, it’s important to remember that muscle weighs more than fat. You can be of average weight for your height and age and still have some “flab”.

Being “cosmetically” overweight means that your weight doesn’t pose any immediate health issue, but you’re still not slim and muscled.

When planning your workout and dieting routine, consider how much of your fat needs to be turned into muscle, and how much of it needs to be lost entirely. If you’re very overweight, you can’t just turn all of it into muscle, some of it needs to be eliminated entirely. If you’re average weight but your body has some flab, you may not need to lose much weight at all but instead just focus on toning.

Different exercises will play a part in different self-improvement routines. For instance, lifting weights and doing pushups will NOT do very much if your primary goal is just to lose weight. Weight lifting, pushups, sit-ups, and so forth; are primarily for toning fat into muscle. You shouldn’t start with this kind of workout if your first objective is to just lose weight. Work-outs like running, swimming, and bike-riding (while still helping with muscle tone) will do more for burning off weight throughout the entire body, instead of just toning muscles in one spot.

If you don’t need to lose much weight but want your body to be more smooth and toned, then the work-outs like weight lifting and pushups become more prudent. You don’t burn much excess fat by doing this; you just tone your body. Most people do this just for a cosmetic improvement, although it will also give you more body strength as a bonus.

Rather you’re losing weight or building muscle will also affect how you diet. Some people who are trying to buff-up may even want to GAIN weight, as crazy as that sounds to those of us who are trying to lose it. This is mostly just for people who are going to be playing an active role in physical activities, such as sports or a job that require physical labor. Gaining weight must be done very carefully, and you need to be certain in advance that you’re going to be sticking with your exercises. If you start taking on more weight than your workout can handle, it’ll turn into nothing but flab.

Remember, a toned, muscled body will often weigh more than a weak, flabby body. Losing extra weight is important, but keeping the weight you have “in shape” is important, also.