Weight loss can be more effective and sustainable when combined with resistance training. With any weight loss program the first week or two are the easiest because that is when you lose the most weight. The following days and weeks may be frustrating because the weight doesn’t come off as quickly as when you started.
Combining diet restriction, choosing appropriate portions and foods along with aerobic exercise allows the body to use stored fat as energy, which results in weight loss. These methods work great in the beginning but often result in a plateau effect. That is why strength training is so important for long-term weight-loss.
Increasing fat-free mass, which refers to the body’s non-fat tissue including bone, muscle, organs and connective tissue, allows your body to burn more calories. Every person has the ability to increase their muscle mass. The more muscle mass your body has, the more energy your body demands, which translates into increased weight loss.
Fat, on the other hand, is mostly energy storage. You need to maintain the body’s ability to target fat for energy and resist losing muscle while losing weight. The perfect way to achieve this is through strength training, smart food choices, portion control and drinking plenty of water.
By Molly McBrayer, clinical manager, Roper St. Francis Bariatrics & Metabolic Services