Most people are tricked to believe that the only way to lose fat is through endless hours of boring cardio, thousands of situps, or plain old starvation. As it turns out, none of this is true at all. In fact, you can use weight lifting to allow you to lose fat even as you increase your food intake. Read on to learn more.
Hit the Weights, Not the Elliptical
You don’t need houres of cardio to lose weight. Simply eat fewer calories than you burn. Figure out your maintenance calories and don’t forget to add the calories you burn while lifting weights (a couple hundred for a half an hour of a challenging workout is a good benchmark). Then eat below that level.
How Cardio Should Be Done
You’ll burn calories while you lift weights, but you can still do a little cardio, too. Simply keep it to five to ten minutes or better yet, do interval cardio where you follow short bursts of high activity with longer recovery periods. You can also lift weights with shorter rest periods to keep your heart rate up.
Why Lifting Helps
Weight lifting will add muscle to your body, which is beneficial for weight loss because muscle burns more calories than fat does. Furthermore, you’ll continue to burn calories at an elevated rate for hours after a weight lifting workout.
You Won’t Get Big Accidentally
Most people object to weight training because they falsely believe that they’ll accidentally end up looking like bodybuilders. Women especially fear this. Don’t worry- bodybuilders require hours in the gym, hundreds of grams of protein each day and supplements (not all legal, mind you) to look like they do. You won’t get there by accident.
To Lose Weight, Make Sure You Eat
It’s critical to understand that for your weight lifting efforts to pay off in fat reduction, you have to eat. It may sound counterintuitive to eat while losing weight, but your actual goal here is not just to lose weight, but gain muscle and lose fat, specifically. You can’t build muscle without food.
Starving Yourself Doesn’t Work
Besides, starving yourself isn’t effective. After a while of eating far under your maintenance level, your body will think it’s starving and adjust, stalling your weight loss in the process. Plus, what you do lose won’t be just fat, but muscle as well.
Don’t Diet All The Time
If you’re intention is to lose fat, make sure you aren’t going too long eating at a caloric deficit. Occasional (read: not every day or every week) times where you eat at excess will keep your body in balance and set you up for more sustained results.