Why You Lose Fast Faster if You Lift Weights
Strength training is the key to improving your metabolism, shedding fat, and getting the body you want. If you want to lose fat faster, then it’s time to add strength training to your routine.
If you despise running and all forms of cardio to lose weight, then there’s great news for you.
Although running is commonly suggested as one of the first types of exercises to start doing if you want to lose weight, it’s not the only option. And it’s not even your best option.
In all the dieting and exercise you’ve done on your weight loss journey, how much of it has been strength training?
Strength training is actually one of the best kinds of exercise to do if you want to lose fat faster.
Building more muscle is the key to lose fat faster
Strength training is how you build muscle on your body.
Whether you lift weights or do bodyweight exercises, any exercise that’s intended to make your muscles stronger is a strength training exercise.
And when you build strength, your body composition changes in ways that make it easier to lose fat.
Your body composition is your ratio of lean tissue to fat tissue on your body. And your lean mass is basically anything that’s not fat.
As you build muscle, your body requires more energy to sustain it. Even at rest–which means your resting metabolism increases when you have more muscle.
In fact, one pound of muscle tissue burns 3x more calories than one pound of fat.
So if your body uses more calories to fuel muscle than fat, then the more muscle you have the more calories you burn—even at rest. And your body will start to break down those extra fat stores for fuel between meals.
Now, the downside is you may feel more hungry. This means it’s still so important to follow a healthy diet that’s high in proteins, healthy fats, and complex carbs. It’s also a good idea to count your calories until you get into a rhythm to do more intuitive eating for your needs.
Because to lose weight you still need to be in a calorie deficit each day.
You still can’t out-exercise a bad diet
Despite how wonderful strength training is for your metabolism and your ability to lose fat, you still have to maintain a healthy diet.
In fact, diet alone is going to lead to greater weight loss than exercise alone—simply because it’s easier to cut out enough calories to be in a deficit than to burn enough calories through exercise and work yourself into a calorie deficit.
So in the short term, diet is especially important to start losing weight by getting into a caloric deficit.
But that doesn’t mean you should only diet and not exercise. Because the studies show that if you want to lose weight and keep the weight off, combining exercise and diet leads to more long-term weight loss far better than diet alone.
But if you want to lose weight more efficiently and build the body you’ve always wanted to have —one that is strong and lean, then weight training is essential to include in your routine.
Does cardio also help with weight loss?
Of course! Any type of exercise that helps you burn more calories than you take in helps you lose weight.
But if you only focus on cardio your heart health and entire cardiovascular system will be in tip-top shape.
But what you won’t achieve is the same balance, stability, strength, and bone-density results that you get from strength training.
All of these are essential to maintain a high standard of living and improve your health. And that’s what you get from strength training.
So the next time you think that burning more calories on the treadmill will get you closer to your weight loss goals than lifting some weights, remember how important it is to build muscle! And think about how you can factor both modes of training into your routine.
The lowest recommendation for strength training each week is two days. But 3 or 4 is even better—especially if you want to lose weight faster.
If you need help with your full diet and exercise weight loss plan, we’re here for you.
At Valley Medical Weight Loss, we do more than specialize in medical weight loss options.
Our doctors are experts in weight loss using holistic options like diet and exercise too. While many of our patients use FDA approved injections and supplements to help achieve their weight loss goals faster, there are plenty of others who don’t.
We help all of our patients learn and develop healthy lifestyle habits to see a drastic improvement in their health and wellbeing. And they learn how to lose the fat and keep it off.
To start your weight loss journey with compassionate professionals who create personalized programs to fit your needs—reach out to your closest Valley Medical Weight Loss Center today to book your first appointment.
- “Does Strength Training Really Increase Metabolism?” ACAP HealthWorks, 22 Sept. 2017, www.acaphealthworks.com/strength-training-increase-metabolism/.
- Donald Hensrud, M.D. “Exercise or Diet: Which Works Best?” Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 20 Feb. 2020, www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/weight-loss/expert-answers/weight-loss/faq-20058292#:~:text=Which%20is%20better%20for%20weight,fewer%20calories%20than%20you%20burn.
- Miller, WC, et al. “A Meta-Analysis of the Past 25 Years of Weight Loss Research Using Diet, Exercise or Diet plus Exercise Intervention.” Nature News, Nature Publishing Group, www.nature.com/articles/0800499.
By Jodi Jaffe
March 31, 2021