6 Undervalued Benefits of Lifting Weights on a Diet
Lose Fat Faster, Build Muscle, and Look Better Than Ever Before...
Whether your goal is to lose or maintain weight, lifting weights - or resistance training - becomes and invaluable tool in your fitness arsenal.
Don’t believe me? Skeptical? Hey, I would be too...
However, I hope that once you reading this article you'll have become fully aware of the amazing benefits that lifting weights can have for your health, weight loss, and longevity!
Your Body Weight and Muscle
Whenever someone has a large amount of fat to lose, they often neglect the importance of gaining and maintaining muscle mass.
Preoccupation with a number on the scale creates a mindset in people that the quicker that number goes down, the quicker they will achieve their dream physique...
Day to day changes in the mirror don’t happen as fast as the dropping of a number on the scale, so it makes sense that so many people get addicted to weighing themselves constantly.
The problem is that the numbers dropping on the scale aren't just from unwanted fat...
Yes, you lose fat while dieting, but you also lose Lean Body Mass (LBM). LBM includes everything in your body that is NOT fat (think muscle and organs).
Our bodies are pretty smart and prefer to use fat as energy to support the lack of calories during a diet, but that won’t last forever.. eventually LBM will start to dwindle.
This is where weight lifting comes in...
By engaging is resistance training, you basically “give your muscles a reason to stay”.
That is a gross over-simplification of what is happening, but the mechanisms behind it aren’t really that important....
(but there are plenty of research papers and articles to explain this if you are interested.)
Takeaway: Lifting weights is going to be your best friend during a diet. it will allow you to retain and even gain muscle while dropping fat which will ultimately improve your physique and body composition.
Become Unbreakable from Increased Bone Density
For most young people, thinking about something like BMD (Bone Mineral Density) can be yawn-provoking... However, there is no question regarding the importance of bone density when it comes to longevity.
Lower BMD has been directly correlated to all-cause mortality!
Basically, the lower your BMD, the more likely you’re to suffer from cardiovascular diseases, stroke, and many other negative health problems. study
Another interesting phenomenon is how hip-fractures are a big sign of early mortality in elderly people. study
I am not someone who is totally concerned with trying to optimize every part of my life, but the fact that lifting weights can increase longevity while also providing many other awesome benefits is pretty cool to me...
Takeaway: Improving your Bone Density is a great way to ensure you live a long and healthy life. Lifting weights have been proven to help keep your bones strong and healthy.
Need to Chill Out? Go Lift a Dumbbell Already...
Lifting weights is one of the best ways to de-stress from any problems you are having in life... I can say this from a scientific and personal standpoint.
Putting on headphones and lifting weights always gets my mind off of whatever problems or dragging situations I may be dealing with...
What's more is that there is actually physiological processes that occur while lifting weights and exercising.
Whenever you engage in physical activity, your body releases hormones called Endorphins.
Endorphins are these things called opioid peptides, which modify the actions of neurotransmitters in the brain. They provide pain relief and induce euphoria.
Takeaway: Scientific and anecdotal evidence have both shown how exercising is an effective way to reduce stress. when we exercise, our bodies release endorphins which provide relief and a sense of euphoria
Protein and Lifting Makes Eating Whole-Foods Meaningful
When it comes to losing bodyweight, simply being in a calorie deficit is all you need to be successful...HOWEVER, this is not the case when body composition is a concern.
In order to retain and gain muscle, you need to make sure you are getting an adequate amount of protein.
This number is somewhere around .64-82 grams per pound of bodyweight.
I also believe in eating a diet high in quality, you know, those things that are brightly colored and taste weird? Whether you are losing, gaining, or maintaining weight, a whole-foods based diet is the way to go...
What's more is that eating a higher protein diet helps to promote healthier eating in general...
Whenever I am eating a delicious steak, I normally enjoy it with healthier sides like a baked potato and vegetables.
(If I'm going to spend the time to season and cook a steak, I find that I like to compliment it with healthier sides.)
But hey... maybe thats just me...maybe you like ice cream with your steak...
I have also found that eating a healthier diet improves my performance in the gym...
This makes total sense if you think about it. If your body is functioning optimally through getting adequate vitamins and minerals, it is no surprise that you’ll have more energy and perform better in the gym.
Better gym performance = greater muscle and strength gains
Thats not necessarily "scientific", but I don't think anyone would disagree.
Takeaway: When your goal is to gain muscle, eating a healthy diet becomes much more appealing. It becomes abundantly clear that eating a diet high in micronutrients and vitamins will give you more energy in the gym, consequently giving you better results.
You'll Become a Confident Macho-Man (or Woman...)
When I first started losing weight, I was terrified of lifting in the gym...
The truth is that the large majority of people really don’t care that you are heavy and lifting weights… it is mostly in your head. People at the gym are going to either feel indifferent about you lifting, or will encourage and support you.
Also, keep in mind...
Lifting weights is going to feel awkward and you’re going to be clumsy in the beginning... but that is only temporary. Adapting to weight lifting is actually quite easy and you’ll be surprised how quickly you start to feel confident while doing it.
Finally, lifting is going to drastically improve your appearance, which will increase your confidence and self-esteem.
What's more is that lifting provides an outlet for consistent achievement which will translate positively to other aspects of your life.
Takeaway: There are many ways that lifting weights can improve your confidence. It is very unlikely that anyone is going to judge you for lifting, on the contrary, they will probably be encouraging about it. Lifting weights is also a great way to improve your self-esteem.
You'll Burn More Calories than DIeting Alone
Not only will lifting weights help you gain/maintain Lean Body Mass (muscle), it'll also aid your body in burning even more fat!
When I work with clients, I don’t prescribe a ton of cardio, instead, I like to focus on a few intense lifting sessions a week. This will help them burn 200-300 extra calories on those days...
But more importantly...promote muscle preservation.
Trying to create a huge calorie deficit from cardio alone is going to be hard, and very unenjoyable.
Who wants to run for hours a day just to burn a few hundred calories???
The other problem is that your body learns to adopt to exercise when in a deficit, making cardio even LESS effective. This is why I believe that the two most important things that you can do while dieting are:
- Create a calorie deficit through diet
- lift heavy weights to promote strength for muscle gain/preservation
If you feel the need to expend some more energy, then walking for 30-45 minutes on days you aren’t working out can be beneficial and not cause any negative side effects.
Walking at a moderate pace isn’t going to hinder your ability to recover from your heavy lifting sessions (which is crucial).
Takeaway: I prefer lifting weights to doing excessive cardio. Lifting weights is going to promote muscle gain/preservation while also burning extra calories.
Your body needs time to recover between workouts, so moderate intensity walks on days you’re not lifting should be your cardio. A calorie deficit should come primarily from one’s diet.
Lifting is one of the best things you can do when losing weight. It will help you hold onto LBM and possibly even gain muscle (if you are new to lifting).
No matter where you are currently (extremely obese, or just looking to lose 10-15 pounds), starting an effective workout routine will help you not only burn more fat, but also build muscle, which will ultimately improve your physique.
If you're looking for an effective and affordable approach to leaning down and building muscle, then I highly recommend the Aggressive Fat Loss Program.
This is the program that I used to blast past my weight loss plateau and build a lean, muscular physique!