If there is one goal that, without fail, every woman I’ve conducted a health consultation with has mentioned, it would be weight loss. Whether it’s life-transforming, large scale weight loss or simply ‘toning up’ (which, yes, is fat-loss), it’s always in there. Even friends often can’t resist asking me what the best way to lose weight is. While I don’t like to focus on weight over health and strength, my answer is always the same: besides getting your eating right, the best way to lose weight is resistance training.
It works like this: the more muscle you have in your body, the more fat you burn throughout the day. You also continue to burn fat after the session as your body recovers from doing weights.
A lot of women shrink back at the idea of lifting weights. The two main fears they have are: (1) looking bulky or muscly, and (2) the inability to do it.
The fact is, for women to get bulky and put on seriously noticeable muscle, they have to work extremely hard and eat extremely controlled meals. It’s just not natural for women to get muscly the way men do. Unless you make it a goal and work tirelessly with speciality trainers to get there, you won’t bulk up or look like a man. You will burn fat and tone your body though. It’s a win-win!
As for worrying you won’t be able to do it; you’re already doing resistance training every time you carry a heavy shopping bag, or lift a heavy box! In the gym, you’re not going to start at a level that you can’t handle. An instructor or trainer should help you develop a program that’s suited to what you can do, and you’ll progress from there. Yes, it will sometimes be difficult – that’s just the nature of getting fit and losing weight. And yes, you might need to work on some technique, but most people pick it up fairly easily (and for those who don’t, that’s what gym instructors are there for!).
Weight lifting has incredible health benefits – especially for women! Not only is it the best way to lose weight, it decreases our risk of muscle and bone injury, osteoporosis, diabetes, weight gain, dementia, mental illness, and cancer! If you haven’t tried it out, I highly recommend seeking out an exercise professional and asking them to set you up with a program (and chuck in some high intensity interval training too – which is also great for fat loss and toning)! Go get ‘em girls!