A lot of times when people, women especially, start a diet they are adverse to lifting weights. They have an unfounded fear that if they lift weights, they will become big and bulky- the opposite of little and lithe.
If you are about to embark on a new healthy lifestyle and have some of these same fears about lifting weights, you should know that, contrary to popular belief, lifting weights doesn’t have to bulk you up or put weight on you.
In fact, weight lifting is actually very effective at reducing body fat, which is why it is incorporated into so many diets. When weights are lifted properly, the activity can easily lead to weight loss.
One of the first things for all people pursuing weight loss should know is that, yes, weight lifting of any sort does have the potential to make the scale go up. However, if that does happen, it’s important to understand that it’s not necessarily a bad thing.
See, the scale can only tell you so much- that’s one of the first things you’ll learn. You should not be focused on the scale. A simple number on the scale is just that- a number.
That number can’t tell you important details, such as what percentage of the weight is fat, what percentage is muscle, and/or what percentage is water. When people gain weight because of weight lifting, it’s usually for one of two reasons.
The first is that they’re simply retaining water. Sometimes, when underworked muscles are suddenly sent into overdrive, they’ll compensate by storing water. This can lead to an uptick in weight, but it’s not real weight. It’s just a measure of the amount of water in the body. Once the body gets used to the change in activity level, things will go back to normal.
The second is that they have gained weight in the form of muscle tissue. Muscle is more dense, powerful, and calorie burning than fat, so sometimes, as you turn fat into muscle, you can end up gaining pounds, but what’s important to understand is that the lean, toned muscle will look much better than the flabby, floppy fat, which is what really matters. That number on the scale doesn’t say a thing about how you look and feel.
So, if you are thinking of lifting weights, don’t shy away and also don’t get too dependent on the scale. When you get too over-focused on a number, you lose the true value of losing weight- which is to look and feel better. After all, if you can accomplish those things, does a number really matter?