Strength training burns fat as well as aerobic exercise, with the right diet
A weight loss journey can look very different for different people, and studies are continuing to provide valuable insight into how exercise regimens can be tailored to the individual. The latest findings in this area come from a team from Edith Cowan University in Australia, who showed that when combined with the right diet, resistance training like bodyweight exercises or lifting weight lifting can have similar effects to aerobic exercise when it comes to burning. big.
When we think of workout programs designed to lead to weight loss, it seems natural to imagine people jumping on the bike or doing long, grueling runs. The problem is not only that these workouts are unattractive for obvious reasons, but their repetitive nature can put stress on the body and lead to injury. The study authors emphasize the need for alternative pathways to reduce body fat in overweight subjects.
“This group may be uncomfortable at the prospect of 30 or 40 minutes on a treadmill or a bicycle,” said lead researcher Pedro Lopez. “They can injure knees, joints, ligaments and more because they have to bear their full body weight during so many aerobic exercises.”
Lopez and colleagues conducted a review of the existing literature on the effects of resistance-based exercise programs on body fat in obese and overweight subjects across the lifespan. This meta-analysis looked at data from 114 different trials and allowed the team to compare the impact of resistance and aerobic training on things like body fat percentage, fat distribution, and lean muscle mass, when combined with a healthy diet.
Some interesting findings emerged that may run counter to conventional wisdom about weight loss. Perhaps least surprising was the discovery that resistance training was an effective way to build and maintain muscle mass. More surprising was the finding that resistance training and calorie restriction confer comparable benefits for weight loss to aerobic training and calorie restriction.
“Usually when we talk about obesity, body composition, or weight loss, we only hear about aerobic exercise,” Lopez said. “This article shows that we can use resistance training and achieve significant effects with a diet based on calorie reduction. We can reduce body fat percentage, total body fat mass, body weight and BMI. If you compare the literature, these effects are similar to aerobic exercise with calorie restriction in overweight or obese adults.
The study builds on another interesting piece of research we reviewed last year that looked at the effects of resistance training on weight loss. This research has shown how it can alter metabolism by instructing cells to enter fat burning mode.
Together, these types of results demonstrate that for people unable to undertake aerobic exercise, going to the gym could be a useful alternative. Scientists point out, however, that whatever exercise we do, if we don’t have a healthy diet, it’s unlikely to make much of a difference to our waistlines.
“If you want to lose weight, you have to reduce your calorie intake,” Lopez said.
The research was published in the journal Advice on obesity.
Source: Edith Cowan University