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Combining Strength Training and Diet to Lose Weight Safely and Steadily

Aug 17, 2007
People who go on a diet do so for a few main reasons: to lose weight, to improve their overall well-being or both. Many people who diet for weight loss fail to lose weight or, if they do lose, fail to maintain the weight they lost.

As any fitness expert will tell you, losing weight comes down to two main factors: consuming less calories and exercising. This is so true that if someone significantly increases the amount of exercise they do but maintains the same caloric intake, they will almost certainly lose weight anyway. Forget all that you've heard about fad dieting - the safest and smartest way to lose weight is through combining diet with exercise.

One of the best forms of exercise to perform if you are trying to lose weight is strength training. Contrary to what you may think, strength training may be more important than aerobic exercise for weight loss because although it increases muscle tissue, strength training burns more fat than aerobic exercise. Of course, this is not to say that people who are overweight should not perform aerobic exercise - as aerobic exercise has its place in any exercise routine. However, strength training should also be included in your routine as well.

Many people - particularly women, shy away from strength training exercise as they think that strength training will cause them to "bulk up" and look unnatural. The image that many people have about strength training is probably an unrealistic one for most people. Unless you are a serious bodybuilder, you will probably not gain the amount of muscles mass that most bodybuilders have. It is important to emphasize, therefore, that if you are trying to lose weight, strength training exercise will help you to maintain the lean muscle mass that you already have underneath your body fat while you are in the process of losing weight. In the end what you will have is a greater proportion of lean body mass to body fat. This means you will be thinner but you will have the muscle and strength that you had when you were overweight.

Unfortunately, many people who go on rapid weight loss programs will usually lose a good deal of their muscle mass along with the fat they lose. It's important to note that a significant loss of muscle mass can lead not only to lowered metabolism and a loss of bone density as well.

Conversely, strength training exercise will not only speed up the rate at which you lose weight, it has numerous other health benefits as well, including:

1) Builds and strengthens your bones - which protects you from osteoporosis

2) Increases your endurance - giving you more energy for your activities

3) Tones and sculpts your muscles - giving you a better looking physique

4) Increases your self-confidence - the better you look the better you feel!

If you are considering beginning a strength training program, don't think, however, that you need to workout in a gym for hours at a time to get the benefit that strength training offers. Significant benefits can be gotten with consistent workouts lasting about 30 minutes each time and performed 2 -3 times per week. An easy way to begin is to train with simple weights in your home.

The most important thing you will need to keep in mind about weight loss is if you want to lose weight effectively and keep it off, including some form of strength training exercise in your routine is essential not only to your overall weight loss program but also to your general health and well-being and the way that you age as well.

Furthermore, by combining strength training exercise and taking full control of your eating habits, you will begin to lose weight the best way possible - safely and steadily.
About the Author
Patricia has been interested in health and fitness since the early 70's and takes a no nonsense approach to weight loss
Strength Training & Fitness
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