Welcome to Week 3! You survived the changes you made in Weeks 1 & 2 and here you are, back for more. This week I’ll share with you one of the most important lessons I’ve ever learned. A lesson that helped me to change my entire perspective and move forward with getting fit.
It’s simple, really. It’s not a big secret. It’s not a huge revelation. But it was the one thing that clicked in my brain to motivate me to change how I live. I admitted in another post that what motivated me to start exercising was that I disliked my arms. Well, what I’m about to reveal to you is just as simple, but was just as profound in my process to change my life.
There isn’t a scheme to buy into to get this information. There isn’t even specific book to purchase that reveals this important clue to making your life different. So, let me share with you the one lesson that triggered my decision to change my life.
The more muscle your body has, the more calories your body burns. (Tweet it now!) That’s right. The more muscle you build in your body, the less difficult it is for you to lose weight, keep weight off, and naturally stay fit.
How do you build more muscle?
When we begin to exercise and train our bodies to function differently and to get stronger, we increase our blood supply to our muscles. Our muscle tissue gets stronger and requires more energy to heal and grow. With each work out, we break down muscle. With the proper diet, plenty of water, safe stretching and care, our muscles rebuild even stronger and healthier than they were before. This process requires energy, ie: CALORIES to complete its work.
As we continue to train and push our limits, our muscles get stronger and healthier, as long as we give them what they need. We must be mindful of the healing process our muscles undertake with each work out and allow ourselves the proper rest and nutrients required to get stronger rather than break down and damage our bodies.
Why do we lose more weight when we have more muscle?
On average, one pound of muscle will burn about 20 calories a day without even working out. Healthy muscle can burn nearly 100 calories in a day simply by existing in your body. 100 calories could be half a meal if you do it right. This is on top of your basic BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate- Check yours here!)
What is a BMR?
Basal Metabolic Rate is the amount of calories you would burn if you were to do nothing all day. Just by doing its normal functions of breathing in, breathing out, digesting, circulating, removing waste, fighting off disease, etc…your body burns this amount of calories. Click here to learn your BMR to get a sense of how many calories you can ingest in a day to create a healthy diet that will help you stay within safe limits of this figure.
Why did learning that muscle burns so many calories change my life so profoundly?
This meant that if all I did was become stronger, I wouldn’t have to work so hard intentionally to stay fit. I could become stronger through exercise, and continued to maintain muscle strength, my body would do the rest. I could eat healthy food and not worry so much about that small amount of Ginger Dressing I put on my chicken, or the cheese I put on my healthy taco (and my muscles love cheese for its protein!).
Building muscle is one of the most noticeable changes you can make in a fitness regimen. If you are severely overweight, cardio exercise and a healthy diet is likely what you need to begin with in order to lose weight and begin strength training. But as always, check with your doctor for the safest plan to follow.
Once you find a workout that challenges you, but is safe for beginners, keep at it for a few weeks. Then, search for another workout routine and switch it up. One thing your muscles will appreciate (maybe not the first day or two!) will be switching the type of exercise you do from time to time to challenge them and stretch their limits.
For the early part of this week, get yourself psyched for beginning a work out. I’ll be back later this week with some suggestions, some links, and tips for getting started.
Make your muscle work for you. Let it help you get strong and fit. You have all the tools you need!
Thanks for reading and good luck this week! And if you want to be sure to catch all of our posts, take a minute to connect with us. And as always, share any thoughts on this topic in the comment section. Your contribution is appreciated and important!