Really it is true! If you are trying to lose weight then you need to be lifting weights as part of your regular workout. A lot of people start to diet and do some cardio exercises but neglect another important way to help their body which is lifting good old fashioned weights!
Why it Works
One important aspect of weight loss is to increase your metabolic rate. You can do this by adjusting your food intake (more meals per day), water intake, partaking in more activities during the day, and lifting weights.
After a workout the body needs more oxygen to recover. This creates an increase in your metabolic rate while the body compensates and supplies itself during that period (which can be quite long). You basic metabolism is responsible for taking the food you eat and breaking it down into energy for your body to use. Your rate will slow down as you get older so anytime you can naturally increase that rate (which dictates how fast you burn calories) you want to!
Additionally muscles are more efficient at burning calories than fat is by approximately 4x while just being. By this I mean a pound of muscle during the course of a day naturally burns 20 calories. A pound of fat during a day will burn 5 calories. Therefore if you added 10 pounds of muscle to your body, you also gain a net of 200 extra calories burned without doing anything. When active your muscles will burn even more calories!
Lifting for Weight Loss
Another added benefit of weight lifting is to help with your body shape. Adding muscle and tone while losing weight changes the way you look much quicker than just weight loss alone. “Trouble areas” can be more easily focused on to firm up faster and help create a more positive feeling about your appearance. This is turn helps with motivation because you are seeing the changes and improvements that you want.
Ideally you should try to lift weights 3 times per week. Each workout should be hard enough to strain your muscles causing them to grow stronger and larger. You should strive for taking very short rests between sets and keeping the repetition range at 12 to 15 per set. But the sets should be challenging!
If possible try and do you weights in the morning to allow a longer period of the day for the body to enjoy the metabolic increase. Then save your cardiovascular exercise for the evening. Also splitting up your workload this way will help keep a higher metabolic rate over a longer period.
But, only lift an amount of weight that is comfortable and only do exercises that your body can handle. As you transform yourself it will be easier to adjust your lifting program. But initially it makes more sense to take a little time and caution into consideration.
The Bottom Line
Along with all the facts above you have to consider the overall well-being of your body. Typically people who train their muscles sleep better. This allows the body to rest and recover more easily which in turn puts you in a better state each day to take on the world. Plus once you start to reap the benefits from a healthier lifestyle, those added muscles will translate well into all of your daily activities!