Anyone wanting long-term sustainable and effective weight loss needs to lose fat while maintaining or building muscles. This is the only way for men and women to lose weight and keep it off. Muscles help in sustaining weight loss.
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Strength Training Increases Daily Metabolic Rate
In order to preserve or even build muscles, strength training is necessary. Exercise puts a stress on your muscles. This results in your body breaking down those muscles and rebuilding them to be stronger for the next similar stressful situation. Once again, this is the body’s magnificent adaptive mechanism coming into play. Note that the process of tearing down and rebuilding the muscles is extremely energy intensive. The increased metabolic rate and energy expenditure of your body could stay at a higher level for 24-48 hours after the exercise has elapsed.
Another study published in the Journal of Applied Physiology in 1994 looked into the effects of strength training on metabolism. Researchers concluded that this type of exercise increased the resting metabolic rate. This was possibly achieved by the increase of lean body mass or increased sympathetic nervous system activity. Increased sympathetic nervous system activity essentially means increased signaling activity between the muscles and the nervous system or brain.
Another similar study was published in the Journal of Applied Physiology in 1997. Researchers concluded that strength training significantly boosted the average daily metabolic rate.
Sustaining Muscles Require Energy
Muscles burn 6 calories per pound/day while fat cells burn 2 calories per pound/day. If you lose 1 kg of fat and put on 1 kg of muscle, your daily energy requirements would increase by 10 calories. This 10 calorie difference sustained over 1 year means you will burn an extra 0.5 kg of fat just to sustain the extra muscle that you built. This is fat that you will burn while sleeping or painting your nails. Build the muscles once and let it continuously work for you.
Releases Fat Burning Hormones
Strength training releases human growth hormone (HGH) which is an extremely potent fat burning hormone. HGH is also touted as the fountain of youth as it slows down and even reverses aging. In men, these type of exercise releases testosterone. This is a very potent fat burning and muscle-building hormone.
Sustaining Weight Loss
Strength training is essential for sustaining weight loss. The large energy demands of strength training itself and the recovery period thereafter helps boost metabolism. It should form the foundation of your exercise regiment.