Dec 05, 2014
A superb guest blog by Mike Adams, editor of NaturalNews.com
Did you know that strength training is crucial for successfully losing weight and keeping it off? I'm talking about weight-bearing exercise. It doesn't have to be a huge, hulking workout where you're trying to look like Arnold Schwarzenegger in his prime; it just has to be some basic strength training.
Why is strength training important for losing weight? Because a lot of people try to starve themselves into weight loss. They think it's all about controlling calories. Unfortunately, a lot of dieticians and nutritionists don't really understand strength training, and they also think that it's just about calories. Calories in, calories out. If you have a calorie deficit, you're going to lose weight, if you consume extra calories, you'll gain body fat. While that's true, it's only part of the picture. Sure, you need a calorie deficit to lose weight, but how does your body actually use calories? It's your lean body mass, that muscle mass underneath your body fat that burns calories 24/7, allowing you to actually eat more calories without gaining weight.
Let's say you happen to have a high percentage of body fat. I used to be in that situation; I know what it feels like. Underneath that body fat you actually have a very strong skeleton and strong muscles. Your body has built up those muscles in order to carry all of that extra body fat when you move your body. Just the very act of standing up, walking across a parking lot, going up a flight of stairs or lifting your arms requires more effort when you're overweight, especially if you're obese. So the heavier you are, the stronger your muscles have to be just to allow you to do basic, everyday things.
Now this can actually work to your advantage -- if you manage to keep all of that muscle mass and bone density in place while you are losing body fat, then you can maintain the high metabolism that's associated with that lean body mass even while you are dropping body fat. But if you starve yourself, you're going to lose all the muscle resources you already have. It's a mistake a lot of people make. They try to lose body fat by starving themselves, and as the body fat vanishes from their body, their muscle mass also disappears. Why would the body get rid of muscle mass? Because, frankly, it doesn't need it.
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