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Burn the Fat, Keep the Muscle

“Do I look fat?”

If you’ve ever asked yourself (or an unsuspecting someone) this question, then there’s a chance you already know the answer. But fret not — it’s relatively easy to do away with the chubbiness and firm up and shape your body, if you know how. First, you need to get your health facts straight, beginning with perhaps, these most important ones.

Muscles burn calories 3 times faster than fat.

(Yes, 3 times faster, not 30 times the amount of fat as so many magazines and articles claim.)

In any case, build and preserve that muscle, and you’re all set to walk the road to looking leaner, trimmer and healthier.

Ideally, you want to make sure you burn maximum fat, while burning minimal muscle, or lean body mass. However, your body isn’t really concerned about what you want. It just knows that in order to keep operating efficiently, it needs to utilise stored energy from somewhere, and this could be from fat or muscle or both. So you’ll need to do everything you can to make sure that only fat is burned, through appropriate methods.

So how would you do this?

Know that the faster you lose weight, it’s probably water and muscle you’re losing. So don’t step down your calorie intake or exercise excessively. The American Family Physician recommends losing no more than 2 pounds per week to lose minimal muscle mass. So aim for a gradual weight reduction curve.

Crash diets are another popular weight loss myth that do nothing for you in the long run. They result in burning both fat and muscle, and if you go into overdrive with skipped meals, according to the National Council of Strength and Fitness, you could lose mostly your lean muscle tissue. What’s recommended then is a combination of diet with exercise. Go with cardio to burn those calories faster, but team it with resistance training to make sure you’re building your muscle mass and keeping it from getting lost along with the fat. It’s important to note that it takes more calories to maintain muscle than fat, and in the same way, more calories are burned at rest when you have more muscle.

Here’s how exercise helps. When you exercise, your muscle is fuelled by glucose and fat. The glucose is derived from carbohydrates in the diet, and absorbed from the bloodstream. The muscles use the stored energy in your fat cells. Low intensity exercises have been found to use more of the fat stores while intense workouts use more glucose from the bloodstream and less fat from the fat cells.

To achieve burning fat while burning minimal muscle, you’ll have to combine diet with cardiovascular exercise and resistance training. It’s a slow but effective process!

Alternatively, The Body Firm’s revolutionary European toning systems help build muscle significantly faster than regular exercises, thanks to an unique square waveform technology which stimulates target muscles. Each treatment takes just 17 – 25 minutes depending on your desired results.

Consult with one of our expert therapists to develop the best approach to a slimmer, trimmer, fitter you.