Let’s pretend two individuals are sitting at home on the couch one day. The first guy, Mr. Skinny, is 130 pounds. The second guy, Mr. Muscle, is 240 pounds. They both sit on the couch at about 10% body fat. Mr. Muscle just sits there holding about 110 pounds of muscle that Mr. Skinny does not.
We give them the same pile of food to eat, every day, for one month. Totaling 4,000 calories, this it’s a diet rich in poultry, beef, rice, and pasta. They have to just sit on the couch and do nothing for that month.
What do they look like at the end of the month? Remember they have had identical activity levels (none) and eaten the exact same amount of food. At the end of that month, Mr. Skinny would have gained a great deal of weight. Mr. Muscle would remain the same.
How can this be? Why would Mr. Muscle automatically burn up more calories than Mr. Skinny, who got fat as a result of what were excess calories to him? The answer lies in lean body mass. Mr. Muscle carries about 110 more pound of muscle on his frame than Mr. Skinny does. And all that muscle requires more maintenance calories, even if it is just to sit on the couch all day.
The secret to being lean then, of course, is to hold more muscle on your frame. The more muscle you hold, the more calories your metabolism will automatically burn up each day. The less muscle you hold, the fewer calories you need each day.
Mr. Skinny is an example of those habitual dieters you see who can never seem to keep fat off. Mr. Muscle is an example of the guy you know who never does cardio, yet holds some good muscle and always seems to be at a low body fat anyway. What is his secret? Simple. He holds more muscle.
The lesson you can learn from this is simple. Add muscle to your body to lose body fat. If you wish to be lean, you shouldn’t just diet continually until you are essentially a ‘bone rack’. Instead, you should take a few months to add muscle, and don’t worry about dieting down. Once you have an additional ten-pound of muscle on your frame, you will discover you are able to automatically stay leaner all year round.
Bottom line: If you want to lose fat, you need to gain muscle!