Weight Loss & Lifting Weights: Why the Two Go Hand in Hand

appearance athletic
View of tired girl after weight lifting

Lifting Your Way to Weight Loss

Some people are unaware about the benefits of weight training.  Lifting weights isn’t purely for those looking to bulk up, as some people would presume.  So many people have weight loss goals, and weight training is a crucial part of your regimen to accomplish weight loss.  It makes no difference whether you’re a man or a woman – if you’re trying to lose weight and you are just spending your time on the treadmill, you are doing yourself (and your goals) a massive disservice. Here are just a few of the many reasons why you’ll want to embrace weight training.

Athlete clapping hands with talc before deadlift barbells workout

Muscle burns fat.

Yes, you read that right – though it’s a little more complicated than that. The more muscle you have on your body, the higher your resting energy expenditure. The amount of calories your body burns at rest equals the lion’s share of total calories burned on a daily basis – they dwarf even the calories burned during the five-mile run you did this morning.  Muscle contributes significantly to how high your resting energy expenditure is. This is because muscle is highly active – it’s always in the process of breaking down and then building up again. Unlike fat, which is more or less just sitting around, muscle is a busy worker bee, hyperactive and making sure everything is in tip top shape.  Every pound of muscle burns about 6 calories a day. For an average man in his twenties, who is about 90 pounds of muscle, this adds up to 540 calories.  As you build more muscle, you see pretty quickly the results of more calories burned without doing anything.

In practice, most men don’t need to be convinced much to go out and put on some more muscle. On the other hand, for many women, it is falsely believed that weight training will lead to bulky she-hulk’s. No two ways about it, this is simply not the case.

Athlete clapping hands with talc before deadlift barbells workout

A little bit of muscle can actually help burn a lot of excess calories.  Additionally, muscle is much more dense than is fat – if you gain 5 pounds of muscle and lose 5 pounds of fat you will look significantly smaller. At the same time, that excess muscle will put your body in a state where it is ideally suited to keep the weight off since it is now burning more energy in its resting state. Pretty amazing, huh?

Even Ronda Rousey, who weight trains as hard if not harder than just about any man, is at no risk of looking like a bodybuilder. We’re not proposing that everyone needs to go out and immediately hit the weights every single day, but we are encouraging that everyone, whether woman or man, incorporate weight training into their workout routine to achieve weight loss or muscle gain.
Training and nutrition are deeply connected to your overall health. Find out how to get your nutrition under control with WellPath’s customized solutions.