Does weight training help in losing weight?
Weight training, also known as strength training or resistance training, is often associated with building muscle and increasing strength. However, it can also be an effective tool for losing weight. While cardiovascular exercise is commonly recommended for weight loss, weight training offers unique benefits that can contribute to a successful weight loss journey.
How does weight training aid in weight loss?
Weight training helps in weight loss through various mechanisms:
1. Increased muscle mass and metabolism
Weight training stimulates the growth and development of muscle tissue. As muscles are metabolically active, having more muscle mass increases the body's resting metabolic rate. This means that even at rest, individuals with more muscle burn more calories than those with less muscle. Therefore, weight training can help boost metabolism and facilitate weight loss.
2. Enhanced fat burning
Weight training not only burns calories during the workout but also has a lasting effect on fat burning. Intense weight training sessions create an "afterburn" effect known as excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC). This means that the body continues to burn calories at an elevated rate even after the workout is over, aiding in fat loss. Studies have shown that the body still burning fat up to 72 hours after a heavy weight lifting session, therefore making weightlifting a very effective weight loss programme.
3. Improved insulin sensitivity
Weight training can improve insulin sensitivity, which is the body's ability to efficiently utilize carbohydrates. By enhancing insulin sensitivity, weight training helps regulate blood sugar levels and prevents excess glucose from being stored as fat. This can be particularly beneficial for individuals with insulin resistance or type 2 diabetes.
4. Increased calorie expenditure
Weight training is a form of resistance exercise that requires significant energy expenditure. The more intense the workout, the more calories are burned. Incorporating weight training into a weight loss program can help create a calorie deficit, which is essential for losing weight. A great way to achieve this is to focus on compound exercises. Compound exercises are those where the body has to move the load through multiple muscle groups and joints. Such exercises are: Squats, Deadlifts, Bent over barbells rows, bench presses. Also, reducing rest times between sets will increase cardio vascular demand thus the need for more oxygen and increased calorie burning.
5. Maintenance of lean body mass
During some weight loss programmes, it is common to lose both fat and muscle mass. Losing fat at the expense of of muscle mass loss might be counterproductive on your overall health. However, weight training can help preserve lean body mass while primarily targeting fat loss. This is important because maintaining muscle mass is crucial for overall health, metabolism, and long-term weight management. Weight training has the benefit of increasing bone density and ligaments strength hence giving you better over all muscle-skeleton health.
Weight training is not only beneficial for building strength and muscle but also for losing weight. It offers unique advantages such as increased metabolism, enhanced fat burning, improved insulin sensitivity, increased calorie expenditure, and maintenance of lean body mass. Incorporating weight training into a comprehensive weight loss program can lead to more effective and sustainable results.