How to Eliminate Weight Loss Failure by Lifting Weights: The Secret Everyone Ignores
By Johnny Lavot
Many times, when one begins a new fat loss regime; they focus on dieting (hopefully intelligent dieting, not fad diets or very low calorie diets) and hopefully an exercise regime. Most of the time, to accomplish fat loss, people seem to believe that aerobic (aka. cardio) training in addition to a moderate reduction in calories is the best course of action to accomplish this. The main goal is to create a caloric deficit through these methods so that the body must use fat stores to make up for the deficit, therefore accomplishing fat loss. However, many times people run into a plateau that is caused by the lowering of the metabolism due to muscle loss because of the new diet and exercise regime. This lowering of the metabolism is known as the starvation response. You've experienced this if you've ever tried to lose fat before and eventually, even though you may have tried very hard, you seemed to not be able to lose anymore fat.
Aerobic training is the chief way you will burn fat during exercise, and will greatly help to avoid the starvation response compared to changing the diet alone (dieting only, without any exercise will cause it to a much greater degree - but that is the subject for another article - you can find more information at http://www.weight-loss-resources.com). However, dieting and training aerobically can still eat away some of your muscle anyway - unless you know what you're doing. When one weight trains in addition to cardio and intelligent dieting, the body signals a response to keep muscle. Because muscle is one of the major factors that dictates your metabolism at rest, keeping muscle will help you to steer clear of the dreaded starvation response.
In my opinion, the weight lifting part of your exercise program should be the core - it is the meat. While aerobic training is like the steak sauce that goes along with your meat. Cardio is not totally necessary, but it will increase your rate of fat loss in comparison to dieting and weight lifting alone. Weight lifting will increase your muscle mass (cardio does not), which increases your resting metabolism, which helps you to create a healthy caloric deficit. One pound of muscle will burn an additional 35 to 50 calories per day. So, simply gaining 4 pounds of muscle is approximately equivalent to walking for an hour each day. Also, during a weight lifting workout, you are burning calories anyway - don't think that lifting weights does not use up your energy. Another spiffy benefit of weight training is its effect on the body after the workout. This is known as the glowing effect or EPOC - which stands for exercise post oxygen consumption. Essentially, your body must recover from the muscle tears you just imposed upon it, and that requires calories too.
One thing that strict dieting and aerobic exercise can do is cause people to lose so much fat and muscle (as stated before), that a skinny, yet unhealthy and unattractive look is created. In the sense of attractiveness, skinny may look better than fat, but when you have a low body fat percentage and also a healthy dose of muscle tone (male or female), you feel and look much more attractive and healthier (the healthier you look, the more attractive you look) to the opposite sex.
It seems that one reason that many women avoid weight training is for fear that they will become "bulky". More than likely, this belief was created after seeing some overly (and sometimes manly) muscular fitness models on T.V. and in magazines. Well, 99% of those women probably take some sort of hormone or steroid compound; otherwise they wouldn't look as manly as they do. They also follow extremely strict diet and training regimes to attain that level of fitness. However, if you are a woman you probably aren't going to be doing or taking the things those people do. Even if you really wanted to, you would have trouble looking like that. Weight training will not do that to you - even if it did, you can easily stop or turn your weight training regime into a maintenance phase. You are in total control of how muscular you want to become.
If you're goal is fat loss, remember to incorporate weight training into your exercise regime along with cardio and intelligent dieting. The combination of these three things is the key to achieving your goals and sculpting your body without hitting plateaus. You have nothing to lose by weight training except the fat. You can find more information on achieving your weight loss goals at http://www.weight-loss-resources.com.
About The Author
Johnny Lavot is an avid weight-loss and fitness researcher. You can find tons more information on these topics at http://www.weight-loss-resources.com.