Did you know that you can lose weight by lifting weights?
“But I thought that lifting weights will make me look like a man.”
Wrong. Unless you’re actually a man.
Lifting weights, also known as strength training or resistance training is uh-freaking-mazing for weight loss. And when I say weight loss, (as most people) I mean fat loss! It will shape your body so you’ll look less like a smaller version of yourself and more like a goddess. Plus, you’ll feel like a total baddie after each workout.
So, let’s talk about what lifting actually does to your body and how you can lose weight by lifting weights.
It builds muscle.
Okay, let’s point out the obvious, we all know that.
But, building muscle is what you want! And no, you’re not going to look like Arnold Swarzanegger if you lift heavy. So don’t ever worry about looking bulky. Us gals don’t have the same testosterone levels as men, which is necessary for muscle growth.
Added muscle on your body will make you look more defined. You’ll have curves in all the right places and that is something that you can’t get with only cardio.
Lifting weights 3 times per week is a great starting point for muscle growth.
It burns more calories than cardio.
Yes, you read that right. You will lose weight lifting weights and burn more calories overall than cardio does, with the exception of HIIT.
Cardio fan? Read about the Best Cardio For Fat Loss!
Most cardio is aerobic activity. This means that you’re only burning calories while you’re exercising. Aerobic exercise is not depleting oxygen levels from your body, and therefore has a shorter recovery period.
Anaerobic activity is what will burn more fat. This includes weight lifting. Anaerobic exercise deprives your body from oxygen and must take time to recover. The recovery period is called EPOC (Excess post exercise oxygen consumption). I’ve talked about this before, and basically when you’ve finished a strength training workout, your body will continue to burn more calories than normal for hours (maybe up to a day or two depending on intensity) after your workout!
Your body needs more energy to use more oxygen so that equals more calories burned.
I know it sounds kind of scary to deprive your body from oxygen, but I assure you, you’re not depriving your actual lungs. But to be safe you should always discuss fitness with your healthcare provider before beginning a new workout routine!
More calories burned while at rest.
So, lifting weights puts on muscle. Muscle burns more energy than fat. So we can assume that added muscle will increase your TDEE. (Total daily energy expenditure)
Your TDEE is the amount of energy your body burns on a daily basis, aka calories burned. It is different than your BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate), which is the amount of energy you use by just being alive. It does not count for activity, TDEE does.
Your muscle mass contributes around 20% to your TDEE. Fat cells only chip in about 5%.
The battle with the scale.
I feel this is something I should discuss because when you begin to lift weights this may be an issue, especially if you already have a love/hate relationship with the scale.
Don’t let the numbers on the scale make or break your weight loss journey. You should either get rid of your scale completely, or get a scale that measures body fat. This way you can track that percentage instead of your weight. I personally own this one, and it’s great!
Dieting and cardio will burn fat. But you’ll probably lose some muscle too. That’s why you see the scale go down quickly with this combo. The result will leave you looking like a smaller version of yourself. That may seem like a good thing to you, but if you really want to shape your body, resistance training is the way to go.
Dieting and lifting weights will burn fat, not muscle. In fact, you may even gain a little weight. But don’t be discouraged! Gaining weight does not mean you are gaining fat. You’re most likely putting on muscle. You can burn fat and build muscle at the same time, especially if you’re a beginner trying to get in shape.
When I first started lifting weights, I was probably around 140-150 lbs. That weight didn’t change much at all.
I weighed around the same in these two pictures. My body fat went down while my muscle mass went up.
This is what lifting weights does. This is how much your body can change by switching up your workout and doing something different. The scale may stay the same, but your body will change significantly!
The number on the scale is just that, a number. It does not define you, and once you see your body composition change, you won’t care what the scale says.
Weightlifting can do wonders for your body, and not just aesthetically. Read more about the benefits of weightlifting.
You can lose weight lifting weights even faster than plain ole cardio ever can, so before you hop on the treadmill, consider picking up that barbell instead. You won’t regret it.
After reading this, has your weight loss plan changed? Let me know in the comments!