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Naturopath tip of the week - Gain muscle, gain health

Gain muscle, gain health


bicep curlIf you gained 10kg of muscle and at the same time you lost 10kg of fat, you would look slimmer and your clothing would feel loose, but when measuring your weight on scales it may be the same.

If you gained 10kg of muscle your metabolism would have increased very significantly, and you’d be burning a lot more calories even when resting, allowing you to eat more food to stay at that same weight.

So you can see that losing weight is a good thing if it is fat that is lost, not muscle.
When talking about weight management people are always talking about losing something, but what is more important is what we need to gain - muscle. Healthy weight management has a few determining factors: lifestyle, diet/nutrition, genetics and very importantly muscle mass. All these factors are important but I feel that muscle mass is often overlooked.

The more muscle you have, the more energy/calories you burn at rest and during exercise. Therefore it should be a key focus area in our daily regime. Doing things that will require weight bearing, muscle stimulating activity and regular exercise will be very beneficial not only for weight management, but also active muscles store more glutamine, which is a very important anti-aging amino acid.

Since muscle is where the body stores glutamine, the more muscle we have the higher amounts of glutamine that can be stored and the more our body will have for vital functions that glutamine is involved in, such as immune function, digestive function and energy production. You can find more information about glutamine online.

Many people get discouraged when they go to the gym and work hard on their diet but do not measure differently on the scales. The best way to look at weight management is how your clothes fit, how you feel, your energy levels, and overall health gain.

If you are losing fat at a healthy rate your body will be decreasing in size in the areas you carry extra fat, if you are gaining muscle you will start to look more toned and healthy. Every decision you make impacts your future health, so make it your goal to gain muscle, eat well, exercise and enjoy your body as you gain health.

By Sarah Chambers

BHSc. (Nat), Dip.Remedial Massage, BVA