Weight loss should not be your primary goal when it pertains to overall health and fitness. Getting stronger and building muscle should be your top priority.
First and foremost before I lose you, NO, you will not become bulky. (unless you want to and you try really really hard). And No, your scale will not miss you stepping on it every day. Get off the scale, and get your hands on some weights.
If you focus on becoming stronger and healthier everything will almost magically fall into place.
Instead of doing endless cardio day in and day out, just move more throughout the day. A good goal would be anywhere north of 10,000 steps a day. These steps should be spread out throughout the day in order to maximize their effectiveness. Take short walks after every meal. Take walks in the morning or in the evening. I don’t care when you walk, just walk and walk often. Walking periodically throughout the day is significantly more effective in burning calories than walking for an hour a day on a treadmill like a hamster.
The more often you move the more calories you’ll burn and the more you can eat and frankly who doesn’t want to eat more?
You know what else allows you to eat more and not feel guilty about it, or pay for it on the dreaded scale?
You guessed it, weight lifting. Weight lifting, otherwise known as resistance training, working out, or pumping iron, is a sure fire way to get stronger and build muscle.
Muscle is magic. Building muscle will result in increased metabolism, lower bodyfat percentage and you will appear leaner at the same or even a heavier bodyweight.
At the end of the day most people are concerned with their overall body composition and not necessarily the number on the scale (they just don’t know it). 130 pounds can look a lot different depending on the muscle to fat ratio (bodyfat percentage) of a person.
Check out this illustration depicting the size difference of fat and muscle in relation to density and mass.
This is a prime example of why emphasizing weight loss can be detrimental to the long-term success of obtaining and maintaining a healthy weight. If we focus on getting stronger and building muscle, the end result is a healthier you.
Below is another picture to illustrate my point. Notice that both figures are the same height and weight but the body composition is different because of the difference in bodyfat percentage.
Getting stronger doesn’t take hours and hours of training sessions every day. Focus on compound movements such as squats, lunges, push ups, pull ups, deadlift, bench press etc.
An effective weight training session can be done in 30-45 minutes 2 -3 times a week. Let your muscles rest and recover with a rest day between full body training sessions. If you challenge yourself physically and safely, your body will build muscle that will work for you 24/7 burning calories.