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Habits that are burning muscles, not fat

Habits that are burning muscles, not fat

The fitness equation has changed. Long gone are the days when people believed that running for hours could burn fat. Now strength training has replaced the element in the equation. Turns out, it is more effective than trying crash diets and indulging in a long duration of cardiovascular exercises. All because muscles are more effective at burning fat. The more muscles you have, the more fat you burn at rest. Hence, your focus should be on building muscles instead.

To do that, your best bet is to hit the gym, practice strength training exercises and increase your protein intake.

In case you’re already doing that, the last thing you’d want is to do things that burn the muscles you’re trying to build. Hence, you must do your best to avoid these activities that have the potential to bring you back to square one. This blog will discuss some of those things

Following crash diets

Yes, crash diets can give you quick results. But they give you results by burning muscles. You don’t want that if you want to sustain a healthy weight. The issue with crash diets is that you cannot stay consistent with them, you can’t stay on a diet forever. Someday, you have to go back to your former diet and when you do, you’ll gain weight once again.

Not to mention, your body needs macronutrients to build muscles; a crash diet doesn’t have these nutrients you need. When your body doesn’t get those macronutrients, you lose muscles.

Doing excess cardio

In case you want to build muscles but at the same time, you’re going for running daily, you’re not building muscles but instead, you are losing them. Doing excess cardio like running can deplete muscles as your body resorts to melting muscles to provide you with energy for the workout. Ideally, they should resort to fat stores during strength training and low-intensity workouts.

Weight training or strength training, on the other hand, engages all muscle fibres. When you challenge them, muscles rebuild when you’re recovering and eating enough protein. A 45-minute jog is enough for the body to burn muscle for fuel.

Not sleeping enough

Yes, you read that right. Not sleeping enough is a problem. When you sleep, you are helping your body recover from the weight-training workout you just pulled off. It is safe to say that this is the time you build muscles as the growth hormone responsible for building muscles is stimulated.

So, if you are not sleeping, you are not giving your body a window to build muscles. Not to mention, lack of sleep increases your stress levels and when that happens, your body starts to store fat instead of burning it.

Additionally, your workout performance will be impacted if you are tired. Having said that, aim to sleep at least 7-8 hours every night.

Not eating more protein

Remember, protein is the building block of muscles. So, you need protein to build muscles. Aim to have at least 1-2gm of protein per kg of your body weight. Supposing you weigh 70kgs, aim to eat at least 70 gm of protein every day. It is suggested that you distribute your intake of protein throughout the day, instead of having it in one meal.

Not having a cheat day

This may be your favourite. Who would have thought having a cheat day could actually help you burn fat? But remember one cheat day in a week, not 4.

The logic is that, if you stay in a calorie deficit for a longer period of time, your body adapts to the calorie requirement. Hence, a cheat day comes in to prevent that. It prevents the body from adapting to the low-calorie requirement.

You’re drinking excess alcohol

Liquid calories count when you are trying to lose fat and build muscles. Drinking alcohol causes dehydration, which causes muscle breakdown. You must drink enough water and limit alcohol to not more than 2 times a week.

You’re not challenging yourself

Are you doing the same workout or sticking to the same weights for a long time? If that’s the case, you are not challenging your muscles. Your muscles need to be challenged for them to recover and rebuild into a stronger version. This won’t happen if your muscles adapt to one weight or the same workout. Increase the weights you lift from time to time; if that’s not possible, increase the reps or speed to make your workouts more challenging.

Closing thoughts

Building muscles is indeed a mountain to climb. You have to push harder and be consistent with your workout routines. Additionally, you must prevent making these mistakes to ensure you reach your goals without multiple setbacks. Even though it takes real motivation, you got this! Remember, the view is better on the other side of the tunnel.

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