How to Build Muscle and Figure Out How Much Extra Fat You Carry Around

belly fatBeauty may be in the eye of the beholder, but let’s face it – muscle looks better fat. Fat fills in all the lines and “cuts” that separate each distinct muscle group. It up the muscles with a thick layer of spongy insulation, obscuring the muscle below and adding a round, soft and doughy quality to the entire body.

Muscle vs. fat

Muscle what makes your body solid, chiseled and athletic-looking. But muscle has more than aesthetic value. Your goal should be to build and maintain muscle not just for how it but also because of what it will do for you. Muscle is your secret weapon in your war against fat. Muscle is your “metabolic furnace,” burning calories even as you sleep and watch TV. Muscle is active tissue – it is the catalyst for a fast metabolism. Fat just sits there idly in clumps on your body. Worse than getting a nitrous oxide root canal. Unfortunately, most people pay little attention to their amount of muscle because they’re too busy worshiping the almighty scale. This is a huge mistake!

Most people are totally obsessed with scale weight. The problem with the scale is that it doesn’t tell you how much of your weight is fat and how much is muscle. Another problem is that scale weight can fluctuate wildly on a daily basis based on your water levels. This can blur the real picture.

sexy-woman-bellyLosing weight is very easy. Losing fat – and keeping it off – without losing muscle, is a much bigger challenge. If you simply wanted to lose weight, I could show you how to drop 10 –15 pounds over the weekend just by dehydrating yourself and using natural diuretics or an alli pill or some of the healthiest tea to drink. Bodybuilders and wrestlers do it all the time to make a weight class. But what good would that do if it’s almost all water and you’re just going to gain it all back within days?

If you want to achieve solid muscle gain or permanent fat loss and get off the diet roller coaster once and for all, you must squash your preoccupation with scale weight and instead judge your progress based on lean body mass and body fat. Ignoring the scale in favor of body fat is a difficult shift in mindset to make, but it’s essential to your long term success. So is rest. Make sure you’re getting enough rest at night. 6-8 hours is usually pretty good but the more you stress your body with muscle gains and fat loss the more you have to rest. If you’re not resting well check with a Doctor. You may need to get a sleep test to check for unusual sleep patterns or sleep apnea. Maybe I can suggest a natural sleep aid if you’re having trouble sleeping.

Height and Weight Charts Are Obsolete

One of the most common methods of determining your so-called “ideal weight” is the height and weight chart. These charts, often used by insurance companies, physicians, sports teams and the military, tell you how much you should weigh based on your height alone. Although these charts are still popular, they’re very misleading, especially to athletes and bodybuilders who carry more muscle than most people.

A 5 foot 8 inch male bodybuilder weighing 200 pounds would be grossly overweight according to a height-weight chart. However, such an athlete could have a body fat level well into the single digits with visible “six-pack” abs. On the other hand, people with “normal” body weights could easily be classified as obese when you take into account their body fat level. For example, a 105-pound woman could have 33% body fat.

A 172-pound man could be 27%. Both have “acceptable” bodyweights according to the charts, but their body fat levels put them in the “obese” category. These people, who have with low body weights, but a high fat to muscle ratio are what I call “skinny fat people.”

Height & weight charts don’t account for body fat

The reason for this discrepancy between so-called “ideal weight” and ideal body fat is obvious: “Ideal weights” from height-weight tables don’t take body fat into consideration; therefore, they can’t accurately recommend how much you should weigh.

Losing weight is not the same thing as losing fat. Weight loss is not a good thing if the weight comes mostly from muscle. Likewise, gaining weight is not the same thing as gaining fat (gaining lean body weight is always good). So forget about “ideal weights” and focus more on “ideal body fat.”

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