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If you’ve ever dieted for fat-loss, you’d know that losing the weight can be hard, but keeping it off often proves itself to be the most challenging!

Why?

Well, the body undergoes Metabolic adaptation essentially when people eat a deficit of calories.  It simply adjusts the amount of energy expenditure that is needed to maintain itself and all of the demands of the day.  This often creates a problem because people looking to lose more weight often hit a plateau or they lose the weight needed but then have trouble keeping it off.

So what do you do to solve this?

Basically, research shows that strength training to keep the weight off is the definite way to go.  For starters, it is important to understand how fat loss has an effect on muscle.  When you burn fat, it is normal to also burn muscle.  In fact, studies show that an average overweight person that is dieting will lose 30-40 percent of their weight in muscle!  The leaner the person is, the more muscle they will lose.

In one study, 140 sedentary overweight women were put on an 800 calorie per day diet with a goal of losing 25 pounds.  One-third of women were assigned a weight-training program, another third aerobic exercise of 40 minutes 3 times per week, and then the last one-third were required to partake in no exercise at all.

The study concluded that women who lifted the weights actually gained on average of 0.3kg of muscle with no drop in metabolic rate.  The other two groups each lost muscle!  We know that having more muscle equates to a higher metabolic rate, which translates into more overall average fat loss.

In addition to these findings, the group that partook in weight training actually became more active in their daily life.  This is often a by-product that comes from when people are gaining more muscle, losing fat, and essentially becoming more fit. When you look and feel better, it becomes addictive to keep getting better results.  Like with many things in life, once the “Ball is rolling”, it becomes easier to keep it rolling. The opposite is true for those that are sedentary.  When they do not get results and gain more fat, they become discouraged and it becomes easier to simply give up and give into tempting unhealthy foods and habits.

The Quick Take-Aways Include:

  1. Sustaining fat loss should include weight training 2-4 times per week.
  2. Focus on being as active as possible when wanting to lose fat.
  3. Try to move every 15-30 minutes and avoid staying stagnant for long periods of time.
  4. Eat enough protein to sustain muscle mass. Studies show that a minimum of 1.6g/kg of protein will actually preserve muscle during weight loss regimens

In conclusion, if you are looking to lose weight, then you need to ensure that you are placing weight training at the top of your priority list.  Your continuous results will depend on it.

References:

https://www.poliquinstore.com/articles/is-strength-training-the-magic-bullet-for-body-comp/

Hunter, G., et. al. Exercise Training and Energy Expenditure following Weight Loss. Medicine And Science And Sports And Exercise. 2015. 47(9): 1950–1957.