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Does Strength Training Help You Lose Weight?

By David Ottobre
Dare MD

Many clients come to us asking “does strength training help you lose weight?” The answer is yes – strength training is an important part of any health and exercise plan, and can be a powerful tool when trying to lose weight. 

Not only does it help build muscle, but when combined with a nutrition plan tailored to your goals, strength training can also help burn fat and improve overall body composition.

In this article we’re going to unpack how strength training helps you reach aesthetic goals.

How Does Strength Training Help Lose Weight?

Contributes To A Calorie Deficit

Whenever you’re trying to lose weight, the main factor is calories in vs calories out. When you’re in a calorie deficit, you’re eating less calories than you’re burning which causes the body to use stored fat and sometimes muscle to power itself. 

Strength training burns calories, and therefore can contribute to the calorie deficit which will lead to weight loss over time.

Increases Your Metabolic Rate 

Strength training helps to build muscle and muscle is a very metabolically active tissue. That means the more muscle you have, the higher your resting metabolic rate, or the number of calories you burn at rest. 

When you increase your metabolic rate and keep your calorie intake the same, you will lose weight by being in a calorie deficit. Having more calories available to you makes long term maintenance achievable and means you can eat a good amount of food whilst hitting your aesthetic goals.

Boosts Body Image and Self Worth

Strength training can boost body image and self worth which leads to better food choices long term. The better you feel about yourself, the more likely you are to fuel your body with healthy food vs junk that perpetuates an unhealthy cycle.

As you notice your body becoming stronger and more toned thanks to strength training, you’ll find yourself more motivated to eat healthily. 

Strength Training Helps To Control Insulin 

Another key to maintaining optimal weight is controlling insulin sensitivity. Resistance training has been proven to be favourable to glucose homeostasis, helping the body regulate blood sugar and utilise carbs, protein, and fats from the food you eat. 

Having too much of the hormone insulin can cause fat storage and lead to unwanted weight gain. To lower concentrations of insulin in your body, you can focus on workouts that target larger muscle groups like chest, back and shoulder muscles. Research has shown that the more developed these muscles are, the better they are at using insulin efficiently which results in faster digestion and healthy weight loss.

Helps Produce Hormones That Are Conducive To Weight Loss

Hormones are an important part of weight loss, and can influence things like fat storage, appetite and motivation. Building muscle encourages the production of hormones associated with physical activity, such as testosterone, human growth hormone and insulin-like growth factor which help you stay lean by allowing your body to use fat stores for energy more efficiently. 

Studies also show that adding strength training improves cortisol levels in people who also do hard cardio. Many people opt for hard cardio when trying to lose weight, as these kinds of exercises can burn more calories. However, these kinds of intense workouts can also increase cortisol which puts your body into panic and causes it to hold onto fat stores.

Strength training is low intensity and promotes hormones that are conducive to weight loss, unlike other forms of training.

It’s Not All About Weight Loss

Weight loss is one part of the puzzle, however body composition and aesthetics can also be influenced by the amount of lean muscle mass and fat you have on your body. 

Strength training not only helps you lose weight, but it also improves body composition which can make you stronger, leaner and more ‘toned’ even without losing weight. Plus, it’s known to have great cardiovascular and anti-ageing benefits that contribute to overall health.

Coupled with good nutrition, strength training can aid fat loss and promote weight loss in a sustainable manner. The best way to achieve long term weight loss goals is to work out what a calorie deficit is for your body and remain consistent.

Working 1-1 with a personal trainer can be a great way to stay on track and understand the calories that your body needs to function optimally. Ready to invest in your health? Book a tour of the DARE studio today.