It’s not every day when you hear a dietary expert tell you that you need to consume more food in order to lose weight. After all, food is what makes you fat, right? Add to that advice a recommendation to ditch your cardiovascular routine and many people think you’re nuts. I remember giving this advice to a middle aged man who had gained a lot of weight over the holidays. He was running several miles every day and had severely curtailed his eating, yet he wasn’t making any progress when it came to the scales. This guy thought he was doing the right thing, only his body was in pain and he was at risk for overuse injuries. I can’t tell you how surprised this man was when I told him that the problem he had was that he was exercising too much and not eating enough.
Once this client listened to my reasoning and took my advice, those pounds started coming off. He doesn’t have a lot of pain anymore and he has shed thirty pounds of weight and over half a foot from his girth. He started doing strength training and intervals and now worked out only three times each week for forty five minutes or less in each period.
The reason strength training is so effective is because it builds muscle, the tissue that is effective at boosting your body’s natural fat burning capability. This makes it so you are consuming more calories while you’re going about your daily routine even after you’ve stopped exercising. Simply put, the more muscle you have, the more calories you will lose. That translates to lots of extra pounds gone over time.
When the man was relying entirely on cardio, he was burning some calories while he exercised, but he didn’t have that sustained metabolism boost that consumed fat during the day. He was also wasting his time because strength training could do more for him in less time than cardio ever could do.
Besides changing your workout habits from aerobics to strength training, you have to be careful not to cut your food intake too much. That’s what happened to this man. He was starving his body so much that his body started adapting to the reduced calories by burning less. The less you eat, the more your body goes into survival mode by shutting down your metabolism. That’s why you need to eat more as part of a successful fat loss program.
Dr. Michael Allen
Fitness Instructor & Fat Loss Factor Founder