Why Weight Training is the Key to Weight Loss
There are many reasons to start a weight loss journey, one of which is the health risks associated with excess fat. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition estimated that obesity is credited for the death of nearly 2.8 million worldwide every year. If you’re looking to start your weight loss journey, there are more than enough companies and products that promise to help you do that. Whether it’s a meal replacement shake or a strict no-carb diet, these get-skinny-quick diets may work initially. However, whether or not the use of these products is sustainable enough to keep the weight off permanently is another story.
While diet is an important puzzle piece in creating a healthy lifestyle, you might be surprised to know that a calorie-deficient diet is not enough to generate significant, long-term weight loss. According to a study conducted by The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, those who started a reduced-calorie weight loss program without increasing energy expended (i.e. without working out) did not lose the weight that was predicted because their metabolism adjusted to conserve energy. This group also regained the weight they did lose faster after reverting to a normal diet compared to the group that increased energy expended, but did not decrease calories consumed.
So what sort of workout is most efficient in losing weight?
A recent study conducted by Harvard’s School of Public Health found that “...healthy men who did twenty minutes of daily weight training had less of an increase in age-related abdominal fat compared with men who spent the same amount of time doing aerobic activities.” Increased muscle mass can increase the number of calories you burn per workout, as well as increase your metabolism.
Another reason that strength training can be more effective in burning fat than aerobic exercise is that after any workout, your metabolism is temporarily elevated due to a process called excess postexercise oxygen consumption (EPOC). This refers to all the oxygen and calories the body uses to recover and repair your muscles. Research shows that because weight training can create higher physiological stress on the body compared to cardiovascular or aerobic exercise, strength training is particularly affect at raising EPOC. It should also be noted that stressing larger muscle groups increases EPOC at a much higher rate than stressing smaller muscle groups. In other words, large muscle group exercises such as squats and deadlifts can increase EPOC at a mucher higher rate than small muscle group exercises such as bicep curls.
This is not to say, of course, that aerobic exercise is unnecessary or should be skipped, but rather that weight training is an important part of weight loss that is often overlooked.
Of course, weight training can be intimidating to those who are new to it. Some avoid weight training because they know that training without proper form could aggravate a preexisting injury. Also, some women shy away from weight training because a gym can often feel a bit like a boys club. If for any reason the weight training area of the gym feels uncomfortable, training with a personal trainer is a great way to hurdle that obstacle. A personal trainer will customize your workout to you, your goals, and your body’s specifications. A personal trainer can help breakdown each exercise, the muscle it’s working, and how to use the equipment safely and effectively.
If you’re considering using a personal trainer in Chicago, the trainers at Evolve Fitness Chicago are the best in their field and understand the importance of safe weight training in any weight loss plan.