Gabby's Guide to Health & Fitness
Want to boost your metabolism? Be a musclehead. All you ladies out there who don't want to get "too big" lifting weights at the gym, listen up.
The one thing that really does help you lose weight or stay slim is how efficiently your metabolism works. So what does resistance training have to do with your metabolism? Science.
The reason an individual becomes overweight is scientific: They're taking in more calories then they're burning. On the rare occasion, it can be attributed to something else, but usually it's that simple. Crazy, huh? All this talk about losing weight and it really comes down to burning more calories or the same amount of calories you consume in a day. Did the heavens just part for you and the light coming shining down? Why have we gotten so far away from the simple truth of it all?
OK, enough preaching-let's get back to your muscles. If you're doing a cardiovascular activity (running, biking, swimming, walking), you burn calories for the duration of the time you're exercising. Now if you build muscles, your muscles become a calorie-burning machine. So let's say you lift weights for an hour. Your muscles will burn calories all day long.
I read about a study done by Tufts University that stated women who resistance trained for 15 weeks increased their metabolic rate by 15%. That's 1% a week! Walk that one around the block.
Why? By building muscle tissue, the ladies create tissue that burns calories even when they're not exercising. That's why when you go on a starvation diet, the first place your body attacks for calories is not the stored fat, it's the healthy yummy muscle tissue. Good stuff, those muscles.
I'm not talking about becoming Arnold. I'm talking about supplementing your exercise life with some form of resistance training. If you're truly paranoid about getting too big, then lift very light weights and do 12 to 15 reps. If you're not doing any kind of sport performance, then do time under tension training. That's where you do an exercise for a minute or two. Time under tension training isn't good for you if you're trying to be explosive (jumping or sprinting). It's not great for the fast twitch muscles. If you're just working out to look good and stay healthy, then it's wonderful. Any weight you can lift for 2 minutes isn't going to make you big. Trust me. Muscle is your metabolism and butt's friend. Love muscles.
If you want to take care of your metabolism function, then try to get decent sleep and don't skip meals (especially breakfast). You start off your day behind the metabolic eight ball if you skip the first meal of the day. Your body spends the rest of the day playing catch up, and you're not functioning at an optimum level. Once you get this system dialed-eating well, exercising, and adding resistance training to your life-it does become easier. It's like priming the water pump. Yes, you have to work hard in the beginning to get the water out, but once things start flowing, then you just have to tap the handle to get a bucket of water. Look at your calorie burning efficient self the same way.
I will say it one more time before I go-it's just science. Granted, overeating is a tricky emotional topic, but the way to stay a certain weight or get down to a desired number is very straightforward.