To Keep The Weight Off Dieters Need 300 Fewer Calories A Day.

One More Reason Why Strength Training Needs To Be A Part Of Your Day

You’ve worked hard to lose weight and chances are you’re going to have to work even harder to keep it off. At least that’s the news from Columbia University.

Professor Michael Rosenbaum of New York’s Columbia University has monitored dieters for years.  Rosenbaum believes that ‘dieters’ that have lost weight need to eat 300 fewer calories a day than a non-dieter at the same weight.

What this means is that if you weighed 170 pounds, went on a diet and lost 30 pounds, you will need to eat 300 fewer calories a day than someone who has always weighed 140 pounds [for their adult life]. “The number of calories you are going to have to eat to maintain that weight loss falls by 22 per cent,” according to the professor.

And that doesn’t change over the years.  There’s no so-called reset of the metabolism.  You will have to eat 300 fewer calories a day forever.

Not only is strength training the fountain of youth, it's the remedy for yo-yo dieting.

Loss Of Muscle Mass Is The Enemy. 

The most interesting thing about the article is the reason it gives for this revelation: “The phenomenon can largely be blamed on the effect dieting has on muscle.” “In slimmers, muscle uses fewer calories to do its work than in someone else of similar weight who has not dieted.” That might sound like a lot of mumbo jumbo unless you understand the impact muscle mass has on metabolism.

Just last week I posted an article on the role strength training plays in the retention of muscle mass as we age. We naturally lose muscle as we age unless we have a plan to hang on to it.  (You can read about it here.)

Strength training is just as important to weight management as it is to anti-aging. When people go on a diet to lose ‘weight’ they don’t just lose body fat.  They lose precious muscle mass too.  That loss of muscle mass slows down the metabolism and what remains is a never ending battle to keep the weight off.  Replacing that muscle mass by doing two to three strength training sessions a week is key.

I bookmarked an excellent article several months ago called “How To Lose Fat Without Losing Muscle – Burn Fat, NOT Muscle” and am sharing it with you here.  I hope everyone that is dieting now or has reached their weight loss goal and realizes the next challenge is to keep the weight off will read this article and take it seriously. This article talks about how everyone wants to lose ‘weight’.  What they mean is they want to lose fat, but they get a lot more than they bargained for.  A significant amount of muscle is lost right along with the fat.

ACE And Strength Training

While the article siting Professor Rosenbaum’s discovery about the challenges that people face once they’ve lost weight doesn’t mention strength training, it’s easy to connect the dots. The American Council on Exercise says that “muscle tissue is partly responsible for the number of calories burned at rest (the basal metabolic rate or BMR).  As muscle mass increases, BMR increases, making it easier to maintain a healthy body weight.”

People that lose ‘weight’ lose lean muscle mass along with the body fat and are left with a lower BMR so they have to eat fewer calories to maintain their ideal weight.  As they continue to cut back on their calories the muscle continues to decrease and the vicious cycle of weight loss, weight gain, weight loss, weight gain begins.

Whether you’re in the process of losing weight or have reached your weight loss goal, the best thing you can do for yourself is to add regular strength training to your weekly workout regime.  Here are links to the previous posts that I’ve written on this topic along with additional links to workout programs that are worth checking out:

You Don’t Have To Be A Heavy Lifter To Benefit From Strength Training.
Six Exercises That Will Get Your Arms Ready For Summer Tank Tops.
Sure Fire Tips To Rev Up Your Metabolism.
Moving Beyond Exercise TV.  There Are Plenty Of Options. 

Whether you want to look lean and mean, be forever young or keep off the pounds that you’ve worked so hard to lose, don’t overlook the benefits that strength training has on all of these.