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Saturday, June 18, 2011

Why your muscles hold the key to your weight issues

A few weeks ago I gave a seminar on the management of insulin resistance to health professionals. Now a significant aspect of managing and even correcting this hormonal issue is improving the muscles ability to utilize glucose via resistance training. For this reason, when I speak on the subject, I will generally ask my audience if they weight train, given the more they themselves understand weight training, the more likely they are to be able to impart practical and strategic therapeutic advice to their clients and achieve the results they are looking for. Now, when I asked this question, not one of the 50-60 strong audience put up their hand.

The reason I was so horrified, and what prompted me to write this blog is that the truth is that resistance training, not food changes ultimately holds the answer to successfully managing and preventing weight gain long term. The right type, intensity and frequency of weight training actually improve the body’s ability to burn fuel. While you can easily get a 3-5kg weight loss with diet restrictions, you will ultimately get the 10-20kg losses and significant changes to your body shape and size via weight training. Functionally you will be able to lift heavier objects, you will not look as flabby instead fitter, stronger and leaner – healthier.

In a life where most of us spend most of our time sitting down, walking and basic cardio training is simply not enough if we are to stay on top of our weight long term. The same can be said if you are exercising regularly but not getting the changes in body shape in size you would be expecting given your compliance. The answer to you apparent inability to lose weight is that you now need to teach your body to burn its food better at a cellular level – you need to life some weights.

So, how do you start? Small but regularly is the key. BodyPump classes are great as is investing in a personal trainer if you can afford it but if even that seems to scary, try a few light hand weights that you lift during commercial breaks – simple routines can be found in fitness magazines such as Shape and Oxygen or look at the huge range of fitness DVD’s that you can also follow at home.

Ultimately looking after your muscles is the most powerful thing you can do to preserve metabolism long term, or if you need a more simple reason to start lifting weights, it will also ultimately mean that you get to eat more, something most of us are very happy to do, so get lifting!