To lose weight you have to do tons of cardio and cut your calorie intake by 50 percent right? Wrong. You can actually lose weight using different methods. One of them is by lifting weights. Now don’t get me wrong, just because you’re lifting weights doesn’t mean your nutrition can look like shit. Because that won’t outbalance the diet portion but neither will just be doing any form of cardio. Whatever form of exercise you get into, it will never-ever replace or make up for bad nutrition habits. A lot of people have tried and non-have succeeded in the long run.
I understand how easy it is to fall into the habit of losing weight by just doing cardio. The reason why it’s easy is because it makes you sweat, it burns a good number of calories while you’re moving and the barrier of entry to running is much lower than going into a gym to lift weights.
Now, while cardio does burn a good number of calories while you’re moving, it doesn’t do that much once you’re done. This is the complete opposite of what lifting weights does to the body. While you’re lifting weights your heartrate doesn’t go over 130-140 bpm which is not going feel anywhere close to a running workout. However, the amount of energy (calories) your body uses to recover from these workouts is exponentially higher than the running workout.
The second reason why lifting weights will help you burn more calories (by doing that, losing weight) is because muscle mass burns more calories than fat does. Science doesn’t show us a definitive number of calories burned by muscle mass; it could range anywhere between 6 to 50 calories per pound of muscle mass per day. I know that seems like a big margin (and it is) but at the very least it will still be 3 times as much as a pound of fat would. Every pound of muscle mass adds 42-350 calories a week, you do the math on the long-term benefits.
Reason number 3. Building off the two points we have just talked about, as you’re lifting weights your muscle mass should increase, don’t worry you won’t look like Arnold Schwarzenegger any time soon. By increasing your muscle mass your appetite will go up. Why is that a good thing? Because your body adjusts to the amount of energy it receives. If you feed your body more, it will burn more in the long run, if you give your body less, it will burn less in the long run. Of course, there is a limit there and I understand that eating more to lose weight sounds backwards, but it works if done correctly.
If you feed yourself the appropriate number of calories, while burning 5-10% more than you take in, you will lose weight. Once you get to a plateau while using that number of calories, you lower that number again by 5-10%. You keep following this process until you reach your weight loss goal. This way your body is consistently adapting to your weight changes, this allows you to actually keep the weight off when you finally reach your goal.
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