Role of Exercise in Fat Loss
Part 2 of 6: Increased Basal Metabolism
In our last article, we discussed the most important weight loss factor with respect to our health and well-being: ensuring discriminate fat loss versus indiscriminate weight loss. Think about it, do you want to lose weight from your bones or your vital organs? Do you want to lose your hair and nails? Surely, you do not want to lose your hard-earned muscle. No, in this case, we want to discriminate. We want to lose fat and only fat.
So now we know that our best solution for discriminated fat loss is to reduce our caloric intake in combination with strength training for exercise. The second most important factor for the role of exercise in fat loss is increasing our basal metabolism. It is now believed that for every pound of muscle added, a human will burn an additional 10-16 calories per day.
You say that 10-16 calories per day doesn’t sound like much?
Well, you’re right, it’s not much. And this is where most dieters get confused or impatient. As a result, they put themselves on the wrong track (or treadmill, or elliptical, or stationary bike). Most dieters assume that if they pick-up their “cardio” they will burn extra calories. With those extra calories “in the bank” they believe they will
• Create a larger caloric deficit and lose weight faster
• Or believe they can eat more calories and still lose weight
This first belief is insidious because on the scale it looks like its working great. Never mind, that you look gaunt, have little energy, are constantly hungry and are indiscriminately wasting your muscle, bone, and vital organ tissues thereby actually REDUCING your basal metabolism and preparing your body for easy fat gain later.
The problem with the belief that “cardio” lets you to eat a more while dieting gets people into trouble, too. Most of us (including the electronic calorie-counting treadmills) over-estimate the caloric affect of exercise. This often results in your consuming more calories than you thought you had exercised away.
Raising your metabolic rate is far more important than burning calories through exercise. The key to getting rid of body fat (vs. weight) is to increase our basal metabolism, and the only practical way to increase our basal metabolism is to build muscle.