Friday

An ideal way to lose weight

Many of you will identify with this. You are about 5-7 kg overweight and want to get your weight down to the recommended level. So you sign on at the gym and are regular during the first few weeks. But when you weight yourself day after day, the needle refuses to budge. You get disheartened and stop. ‘The gym doesn’t work for me,’ you recon, and hang up your gym shoes.

Giving up on the gym a few weeks into the effort is the worst thing you can do because if you are regular, it is entirely possible that you may not be losing weight, but you are losing fat.

How is that?

What happens is that when you are slightly overweight and your workout is a combination of cardio vascular exercise like walking/ running and weight training, you lose fat. But your muscle mass has increased at the same time, your weight remains static.

One pound of muscle looks denser than one pound of fat. Fat is a flab, it is loose, all over the place. Muscles are denser, more compact. So, you weight won’t change, at least in the beginning. Because the fat loss is compensated by muscle gain, there will be signs to indicate that you are on the right track. After some time you will notice that your clothes are getting looser, your stomach and arms feel taut, and your strength is up.

But this does not mean that you start doing weights with a vengeance to build muscle in the hope that it will make you look super toned and sculpted. Yes, you can weight train, you will build muscle. But you can only lose the excess fat in your body through cardio-vascular exercise. You can not achieve fat lose without cardio. Ideally, you should do a combination of cardio and weights. Cardio to lose fat and weights to tone your body.

The good news is that unlike fat, muscle burn a lot of calories. So the more muscle mass you have, the easier it is to burn fat and your efforts at gym will sooner or later translate into weight loss too.

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