Most people know that a combination of a healthy diet and daily exercise is the best possible way to lose weight. However, there are still some of us that try changing our diets without exercising, or exercise without changing our diets, and expect positive results.
A common misconception exists that exercise alone will shed those unwanted pounds. Along with burning calories, exercise primarily works to build muscle, which can actually make you gain a little bit of weight initially, especially if you have not changed your diet. The process of building muscle, however, is crucial to your body’s ability to metabolize fat.
Increasing your muscle mass is linked to an increase in mitochondria. Mitochondria are the energy centers of our cells, responsible for converting fatty acids and sugars into energy. The more mitochondria that you have, the better your body is able to metabolize fat and burn calories, during workouts, and also during periods of rest.
A study performed in 2010 and published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that one pound of muscle can burn about 5.67 calories per day. This means that the more muscle you build, the better your metabolism will function, and the easier it will be for you to lose weight, provided that you are eating a healthy, balanced diet.
If you are serious about weight loss, the best course of action is to eat a healthy, organic diet, and get at least half an hour of moderate exercise every day. Your diet should be filled with a rainbow of fruits and vegetables, proteins, and healthy saturated fats, which, contrary to popular belief, can actually contribute to healthy weight loss.
Staying away from processed foods is essential, as they contain many additives, and sometimes trans fats, which can interfere with your body’s metabolism, as well as contribute to a host of illnesses. Avoiding refined sugar and grains is also key.
Moderate, daily exercise contributes greatly to building a muscular, toned body. If you want to push your body a little bit harder, however, short periods of high-intensity training have been found to be very effective in building muscle.
Be careful not to push yourself too hard, however, a healthy exercise regimen should work your heart and may tire your muscles, but not cause pain.