Encouraging Health and Happiness

Cutting calories alone? There goes muscle!

 By Scott A. JansenScott Jan July Article

Stop losing weight solely by cutting calories! As much as 25 percent of what you lose could be muscle.  Muscle is your body’s calorie-burning machine; we need every pound we can get.

That’s why coupling healthy diet with regular resistance training is the secret to lasting weight control. Resistance training offers several benefits:

Boosts metabolism        

Muscle burns calories even while you are at rest. If you’ve broken down muscle fibers while strength training, the immediate result is energy your body spends to repair and grow the muscle again. That’s hundreds of calories which you didn’t have to spend while on a treadmill.

Studies show that the average woman who strength-trains 2 to 3 times per week for two months, swaps 3.5 pounds of body fat for nearly 2 pounds of muscle; on average, for every pound of muscle you gain, you burn 35 to 50 more calories a day. A great example of this is to step off the cardio machine and feel your leg heat versus your belly fat. Muscle uses thermogenics to burn energy, like a super heater.

Slimmer appearance     

Muscle takes up less space than fat, creating that lean, toned appearance everyone wants. Muscle is denser than fat. Don’t you all remember the first time Oprah Winfrey lost all the weight? She brought out the comparison of the amount of weight in muscle versus fat. It was etched in my brain from that point forward. The difference is very similar to the ratio of kernel of popcorn versus the popped size. If you want your pants to fit better add more muscle it’ll help you burn the fat and drop sizes.

Better posture and core stability

Even moderate weight training can increase a woman’s strength by 30 to 50 percent. Strength training builds stronger core muscles, as well as stronger connective tissues and better joint stability.  Ask your trainer for specific exercises to increase core strength and improve thoracic extension.

Enhanced mood

In a 2009 Harvard study( Link to study )  strength training during a 10-week period reduced clinical depression symptoms more successfully than standard counseling or antidepressants.

Health

Numerous studies have shown that weight training can help lower LDL (“bad”) cholesterol, increase HDL (“good”) cholesterol, and lower blood pressure. Weight training has also been shown to increase spinal bone mineral density, and it may help lower diabetes risk by improving the way the body processes sugar.

Conclusion 

If you’re attempting to lose body fat, add resistance training to your plan. This will sustain your muscles and assist with your goal. I’d recommend 2 days of strength training per week, along with another two days of HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) style cardiovascular conditioning.

Eat a clean diet with lean proteins, healthy plant based carbs (with plenty of fiber), and plenty of water.  I hope you achieve your goals this summer and look and feel your best!

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