Another new female personal training client, another new explanation of how adding muscle will help them lose weight without looking bulky. Since I’ve become a personal trainer, I’ve had countless conversations with women about the need to add muscle by performing resistance training exercises as opposed to just doing cardio and burning calories. I’ve had so many of these conversations that I’ve decided to just put in writing for all to see. In this article, I’m going to explain to you how adding just 5 pounds of muscle is going to help you lose weight without making you bulky.
Weight loss really comes down to a simple mathematical equation: if you burn more calories than your body takes in, your body will lose fat, thus making you weigh less. If your preferred method of weight loss is to starve yourself, your body will start to use your muscle as energy. When your body does this, you start to lose muscle, which causes your body to actually burn fewer calories. You see, one pound of muscle burns more calories than one pound of fat does, about 50 more calories per day actually.
So let’s say you add 5 pounds of muscle without losing any weight at all. So now you’re actually 5 pounds heavier (don’t panic, the weight loss is coming). So now that you have 5 more pounds of muscle, your body is going to burn about 250 extra calories per day (50 extra calories burned per day x 5 days=250 extra calories burned per day). So what does 250 extra calories burned per day get you? One pound of fat is equal to 3500 calories, so if you burned 250 extra calories per day by having 5 more pounds of muscle, you would lose approximately 26 pounds in one year! That’s not even counting if you ate any more healthy or did any extra cardio! Imagine how easy it would be to lose weight if your body burned off 26 extra pounds of pure fat off your body in a year.
Not only will adding 5 pounds of muscle make you burn more calories which will help you lose weight, it will also make you appear slimmer. A 135 pound woman with 40% body fat is going to look drastically different from a 135 pound woman with 20% body fat. That’s because a pound of muscle is more dense than a pound of fat, meaning a pound of muscle will take us less space. Check out the picture above. The reddish colored mass is muscle while the gross yellow mass is the same weight in fat. Which one takes up more space? If you just replaced 5 pounds of fat with 5 pounds of muscle, you’d lose that much mass, without losing a single pound on the scale! Pretty cool, huh? Need even more evidence? Check out the picture below. This woman is 155 pounds in both pictures. The one on the left is her with a higher fat percentage (lower muscle mass percentage) and the one on the right is taken after a resistance training program. She is the exact same weight but looks drastically different.
Still not convinced? Check out the video below showing my client Barbara doing lunges with 50 lbs in her hands! Most women might think lunging with that much weight would bulk them up, but she’s actually gone from a size 10 to a size 0 by lifting like this! The muscle she has added to her body has helped speed up her metabolism which helped her lose over 35 pounds! (P.S. Don’t forget to click “Like” when your mouse is hovered over the video!)