One aspect that I have not really gone over is the importance of resistance training and how impactful it can be over time. Especially since most of us are on our journey to ultimately cut weight and feel amazingly confident again, it is important to use all the tools we can to achieve our goals.
Resistance training can sometimes be overlooked, because quite frankly, it can be complicated and there are so many different exercises. Plus, we want to use this style of training to enhance our efforts. Resistance training (weight bearing, or any resistance that ultimately puts pressure on our bone structure) ultimately builds leaner muscle. This is important because leaner muscle essentially helps to burn fat over the long run.
It is true that a more traditional resistance training routine will burn fewer calories in one session when compared to a vigorous cardio session, but lean muscle mass actually helps to burn more calories. This means, the more lean muscle mass on the body, the more calories that can be burned when the body is at rest. There are many reasons for this, but lean muscle must be maintained, hence more energy is utilized in the process.
Not to mention if we add the calories that are taken to maintain muscle plus the calories burned to complete the resistance workouts, over time we can optimize our calorie deficit goals. This is why it’s so important to make sure as part of a weekly fitness program, resistance training is incorporated. So, my strong suggestion is that we get at least 3 days a week in of resistance training sessions as part of our fitness routine.
However, I cannot stress enough that resistance training alone is not enough. For a balanced lifestyle and to meet weight loss goals, nutrition and more vigorous exercises (i.e. running, cycling) must also be incorporated into our weekly routines to meet our desired goals. Also, we have to be aware of our stress levels. All these factors come into play.