Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Why It's Important to Lift Weights While Trying to Lose Weight

I was reading a post that I wrote earlier about getting into the mindset of weight loss and I realized that I told you if you wanted to lose weight that it is important not only to focus on cardio, but also on lifting weights.

I never explained why...so, here it goes:

As you gain weight, your skin stretches and depending on how long you've retained the extra weight, your skin slowly starts to become used to the stretched out state and that state becomes the "new normal." Think of a rubber band and how if you were to hold it in a stretched state for only a minute, it would just go back to the way it used to be before you stretched it. BUT if you were to hold it stretched out for a few days, then it might retract SOME, but not all the way back down to the way it used to be.

Your skin behaves the same way. If the skin is stretched for a short period of time and is then released, then it's no harm done...BUT, if you hold extra weight for a long time, then when you start losing that weight, the skin is not able to retract all the way back down and pull itself tight over your abs, legs, butt, etc.

So, you're probably wondering what this "skin" conversation has to do with lifting weights and weight loss. Well...if you're only doing cardio, then sure, you'll lose the weight, but the problem is that, as I stated before, depending on how long its been that your skin has been stretched over the fat, your skin will not want to retract all the way back down. So, once you've achieved your goal weight, you'll have extra skin. You'll be at the weight that you wanted to be, but you still won't have the body that you wanted to have.

Weight lifting helps to solve this issue.

If you're lifting weights and doing cardio exercises, then not only are you burning lots of calories while doing your cardio, but you're also building up the muscle as you're losing the fat.

NOTE: By lifting weights, you are NOT turning your fat into muscle. Fat does not ever turn into muscle and muscle does not ever turn into fat. They are two distinct different chemical and material compounds.

After that above statement, let me say it again in a different way: By lifting weights, you are building up your muscle while your cardio workouts are helping you to lose the fat. So, what you're doing is replacing the space where you had fat - now, with muscle. This is good because your muscle will take up some of the space where you had fat, so that when you start losing your fat, you won't necessarily have the extra skin that I talked about before.

Something else that muscle helps you to do is speed up your metabolism. So, as you are losing fat and gaining muscle, your metabolism is also speeding up so that your body will naturally burn more calories every day - enhancing your weight loss even more.

Hope this helps!

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