Ok, shouldn’t be rocket science right? The more active you are, the more you move around and the more you make use of your bodies muscles, the more energy is needed, the more calories consumed and the more fat that gets burned.
I love it when I see news stories that make it sound like “scientists just discovered that….” Just last night there was a story on the news how new studies show that those adding strength or weight training to their workouts actually lose more weight than those just walking on a treadmill. Go figure.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s great that we’re starting to hear more and more about healthy living, exercise and all that good stuff. I just think it’s funny that someone thinks it’s some new discovery… exercise. And they need to perform studies to figure it out.
Perhaps it isn’t rocket science, but it gives me a chance to write about my own personal experience as it relates to weight loss and the Beyond Diet solution.
For my first year with the completely changed lifestyle I ended up losing 50 lbs. In the summer of 2011 I started getting more active, riding my bike and going on local hikes. I began pushing myself up the steep hill on my hikes, even trying to incorporate a little “interval” training. What I mean by that is during my 20min walk up this hill, every few minutes I would try and jog up the hill for 15-20 seconds. (I’m not a runner, so it was an accomplishment to do a slow jog.) I did this a few times a week and alternated with a 12 mile bike ride. I’d work up a little sweat and was feeling pretty good that I was at least being active and burning some calories.
Over the summer and early fall I continued to lose on average about 2 lbs a week; as many as 3.5 lbs and as little as no gain. After starting this new lifestyle in March, certainly by the end of the summer I had a fairly consistent routine as far as the foods I was eating. I was pretty content with my rate of progress and by the end of September I had reached the 50 lb loss mark. I was happy with the progress and plugging right along.
I wrote about what happens next in the “My Story” link above, but in a nutshell…. knee surgery(ACL reconstruction,) no exercise, wine and late night snacking changed my course from losing to gaining and by February I had gained back almost 15 lbs. At first the knee injury and surgery was a curse, but once I gained some mobility back my physical therapy started developing in to strength training. Now the knee was a blessing. Leg muscle strength was needed to better help support and protect the knee and the ligament graft that was healing in my knee. After about 6 weeks of stretching and flexibility exercises, I soon started doing squats and leg presses, getting on the treadmill and stationary bike.
By the end of last month, February 2012, I was finishing up with the physical therapy. And for the cost of therapy, it was cheaper to join a gym. So I did. Joined 24HR Fitness at the end of February and started a full body regiment that included not only cardio on the bike and treadmill, but strength training with weights.
To bring this full circle and the reason I wanted write this, the added strength training has actually accelerated my weight loss and I am now back to where I was from October of last year. For 9 months I averaged just over 2 lbs a week, give or take. After 3 weeks in the gym lifting weights AND doing cardio, I’ve lost over 10 lbs. I’m feeling so much better physically and mentally because of the work and I actually look forward to working out.
Folks, you don’t need to join a gym for strength training. You don’t need a personal trainer or become a body builder. Get yourself some dumbbells at Walmart, get some stretch bands, leg weights, whatever. Try spending a little bit of time working different muscle groups and push yourself a little bit.
The gym might not be for everyone. I know my goal is not 6-pack abs or to become a body builder, but I know in my own experience now that I believe that weight training can and does fat burning. I also realize now that the weight loss can for a time be offset by building muscle. Certainly we would rather have muscle than fat. I know Isabel has written about this too. It’s working for me.