Mar 122010

When people set about to lose weight, they often ignore the specific type of weight they’re losing, as long as they end up being lighter at the end of the week. That’s the wrong way to approach it though – losing weight doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a good thing. The weight you’re losing may very well be muscle mass, and unless you know what you’re doing, there’s no way to prevent it – so read on to familiarize yourself with the basic concepts of losing fat and gaining muscle mass.

The first thing you should remember is that you need to stay well-fed. It may sound counter-productive when you’re trying to actually lose weight, but that’s really the best thing to do – your muscles need to feed on nutrients in order to develop, and unless you provide those nutrients, you won’t see much progress. In fact, if you starve yourself continuously, your body will activate a mechanism meant to protect it, and it will start feeding on muscle mass!

As a result, you’ll start losing weight indeed, but it will be the wrong kind of weight. In the end, you’ll look thin yet flabby, which is probably the worst kind of physique you can have. To prevent this, and actually lose fat while gaining muscle mass, make sure your intake of proteins is high enough, as they’re an important nutrient. Balance your diet too, so that you never eat too much of the same thing.

One of the best sports to burn fat on your entire body while training all of your muscle groups evenly, is swimming. It’s been widely acknowledged that swimming is the most powerful all-around sport, as it puts a lot of strain on both your upper and lower body, while the specifics of the environment it’s practiced in allow you to exercise for a bit longer than usual, as the water serves to provide nice cooling for your body.

Fat burners are also a good idea, but only as a supplement to an existing exercise and diet combination. A high-quality fat burner will give you sufficient energy to exercise to your body’s limits on a daily basis, but if you’re just taking the pills without doing anything else, you’ll be harming your body.

Also, remember that losing fat and gaining muscle mass are two entirely separate things, and the exercises targeted towards the two are going to be different. That is to say, don’t expect to perform just a couple of exercises and see a positive result in both aspects – you’ll need to shape your workout routine in a way that clearly separates the weight loss exercises from those aimed at building muscle mass.

If you get confused tracking your progress, you may want to go to a clinic for a professional body mass index test, so that you can see exactly how much fat you’re burning. Arrange for such tests on a weekly basis if you want to achieve the best results.

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