by Andrew Bicknell
When most women think about losing weight they usually attempt one of two options. The first is to go on a diet which involves eating fewer calories over the course of the day. The second option normally involves some form of aerobic exercise, whether it be jogging, bike riding or an aerobics class. The more intrepid losers of weight will combine the two approaches and will have some success getting rid of the extra weight. But more often then not the results are short lived and the weight comes right back on when they fall off the fat loss bandwagon and return to their more normal way of life.
But why is this? Isn't the latest infomercial exercise guru exclaiming loudly the benefits of this diet or that piece of cardio exercise equipment? Unfortunately the ability to lose weight and keep it off is controlled by your body's calorie burning engine. That engine is referred to as your metabolism. It's simple really, the higher your metabolism the more calories you burn, even when doing nothing. That's right, burn away that unwanted fat even when doing nothing.
So how do you increase your metabolism to the point that it is a constant fat burning machine?
It will come down to your dedication to do the things required to permanently lose the weight and keep it off because the rate at which your metabolism runs is based on the diet you eat and how active you are. It takes calories to burn calories, that's the way your body's metabolism works. But it is the type of calories that determines this. The healthier your diet the more calories you can eat without adding any additional fat.
But diet is only one part of the equation. The other is your level of fitness. There are two parts to any good exercise program, aerobic conditioning and weight training. Aerobic conditioning does burn calories, but once you are done with your workout your metabolism gradually slows down. You burn calories only during the time you are exercising. That doesn't mean you shouldn't do aerobic exercise because strong cardiovascular health is very important in this day and age.
But if you are truly looking for the ultimate in metabolism boosting fat burning exercises then you need to weight train.
And here's why.
Weight training forces your body to build muscle. This muscle building process does not happen while you are lifting weights, it occurs for hours after your workout is over. Lifting weights actually breaks down muscle fibers, which react by getting stronger during the time after your workout is over when you are resting. It takes energy to rebuild these muscles. Calories, lots and lots of calories. Not only that, but the more lean muscle mass you posses the more calories are needed just to maintain that muscle. And we're not talking about getting huge massive muscles. When you weight train you can adjust the amount of weight you use and sculpt your body anyway you see fit. Just firming up your overall musculature will tone and shape your body while at the same time making it possible to keep the weight off. It's a win-win situation for anyone who is serious about losing weight and then keeping it off.
Weight training is the best way to boost your metabolism to its fat burning heights. Not only does it strengthen your body it burns calories while you are sleeping, turning your metabolism into a fat wasting machine.
If you have tried the diets and the aerobic machines but have little to show for it try combining them with actual weight training. You may be surprised by the changes you see.
About the Author
Andrew Bicknell writes freelance articles about health and fitness.