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Weight Training to Lose Weight?

Fitness Management Magazine conducted a study to determine the role of weight training on body composition changes. In this study, 72 overweight men and women were put into two groups. Both ate the same diets and exercised 30 minutes a day for 8 weeks. But one group followed a typical weight-loss exercise program, spending all 30 minutes on aerobic exercise, while the second group did 15 minutes of aerobic exercise (exercycling) and 15 minutes of weight training (Nautilus machines). Here are the results:

Exercise Program Body Weight Changes Fat Weight Changes Muscle Weight Changes
Endurance exercise only -3.5 pounds -3.0 pounds -0.5 pounds
Endurance and strength exercise -8.0 pounds -10.0 pounds +2.0 pounds

Won't Exercise Increase My Appetite?

High intensity exercise will stimulate your appetite. It lowers your blood glucose levels and your body will demand more food than normal.

But several recent studies have shown that moderate exercise tends to actually decrease appetite for several hours after your workout, the reason being that blood is directed away from the stomach to your working muscles. That's why taking a walk during your lunch break will help.

No Loss of Weight at First?

When you start an exercise program along with dietary changes to lose weight, it's important to understand the difference between fat loss and lean tissue loss. As you get older, if you do not exercise you lose lean tissue -- mainly bone and muscle mass. This is especially true for people who sit most of the day.

But when you start to exercise you tend to gain lean weight (fat-free weight). Thus, when you start an exercise program, you may not lose weight on the scale for a few weeks, or even a few months. This is normal, and you shouldn't worry. Fat weight is being lost, but lean weight is being added at about the same rate. You're losing fat and gaining muscle, so don't sweat it!

Don't depend on the scale to chart your progress especially at first. Just look at yourself in the mirror. How do your clothes fit? Are good changes going on with your body shape or physique? Do you feel better?

Click on the imagebelow to get a larger PDF version.

from: Getting In Shape © 2002
Shelter Publications, Inc., Bolinas, CA

  1. Stretching for flexibility 
  1. Lifting for strength 
  1. Moving for stronger heart and lungs and better circulation

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