I read a great article in Success (a magazine) called 'Keep the Resolution' that I would like to share with everyone:
People who look lean don't go on diets and starve themselves, they don't attempt to do countless amounts of exercise every day, and they don't obsess over weight loss and battle the bathroom scale. In fact, they do the opposite. That being said you will be encouraged to know that getting lean and staying lean is absolutely doable from an action standpoint. But looking lean requires you to change the way you think.
People who look lean focus on fat loss, not weight loss. Being lean starts with the understanding that weight loss and fat loss are not the same. Weight loss is an ambiguous term and doesn't tell you whether you've lost fat weight or muscle weight. Fat loss is a specific term with a single meaning: loss of body fat. Most of your body's fat is stored on top of your muscles and consequently determines how 'defined' or lean you are.
The bathroom scale doesn't measure what kind of weight you lose. When you step on the scale and it says you lost 10 pounds, are you 100 percent sure that it came from body fat and not muscle? Measuring your body fat and monitoring your lean body weight is the only way you can be sure. People who look lean ignore the scale and are much more focused on keeping their body fat levels down.
The point is that looking good and feeling great has absolutely nothing to do with general weight loss. It's losing body fat that makes you look leaner, and it's losing body fat that makes you healthier so you feel great.
People who look lean eat wisely, not less. When you don't provide your body with enough fuel (food) to keep up with its energy demands, your body is forced to burn its own muscle tissue as an energy source. Straight to the point, when you deprive yourself, whats actually showing up on the scale is a loss of muscle weight. Why is that such a big deal? The fact is that muscle tissue is one of the largest contributing factors in determining the speed of your metabolism. So when your body is forced to burn its own muscle for energy it sets off a chain reaction of detrimental consequences.
Weight training (not endless hours of cardio) is the absolute key to fat loss. Fact: Muscle tissue helps control the speed of your metabolism. Your metabolic rate is like a fire. When you protect and maintain your muscle, your fire will remain hotter and bigger. Therefore from a fat-burning perspective, protecting the muscle you have and rescuing the muscle you've lost must become your top priority.
Hands down the most effective activity for rescuing and protecting muscle is weight training because it's the only activity that involves all your major muscle groups through a full range of motion. People who look lean understand that even though they may participate in other activities, the other activities cannot and do not replace the benefits you get from eight training.
~ Bruce Day