Ditch The Cardio and Hit The Weights: Real Training To Get Lean

To lose stored body fat, one must expend more energy than is consumed. By now, this is a widely known fact and has driven many people to hit the gym in order to sweat out the calories. Unfortunately many have ignored two very important parts of the weight loss equation, which has led to an excess of wasted time and energy and a lack of results. First of all, the consummation portion of the formula is the primary determinant of lean body success. A bad diet cannot be out trained and eating the correct foods at the right time in the recommended portions will guide fat loss more than any training program available. Secondarily, in the grand scheme of weight loss, the calories expended during exercise do not contribute to energy expenditure as much as commonly believed.
Three main factors contribute to daily caloric expenses. The thermic effect of food, or the energy required to chew, swallow, digest and absorb what we eat, constitutes approximately ten percent of the daily energy expenditure. This effect is maximized by frequent feedings (every two to four hours) and including protein with every feeding (protein takes more energy to absorb and digest than carbohydrate or fat). The caloric output of physical activity contributes twenty to thirty percent to our daily total. However, this number is not derived exclusively from exercise as, in fact, movement from everyday activities carries an even greater impact.
The largest factor, burning sixty to seventy percent of our daily calories, is the energy needed to keep our heart beating, lungs breathing and all the cells functioning. This is also known as the resting, or basal, metabolic rate and is influenced by such aspects as age, height and genetics. One other contributor to resting metabolic rate that can be altered, unlike the others, is our body composition. Muscle mass burns five times the daily calories per day (ten calories per pound compared to two) as fat and, therefore, increasing lean mass should be a priority of any lean body training program.
Although weight training does not expel the same amounts of energy during the workout as aerobic (cardio) or anaerobic (interval) training, the effects on increasing metabolism during recovery after the session are similar. However, basing the exercise choice for fat loss on in session caloric expenditure is short sighted. Weight loss studies have shown that performing aerobic and anaerobic training as the sole means of physical activity leads to loss of both fat and lean mass where as incorporating weight training results in fat loss only. Losing lean mass has dire effects on long term weight loss, as the resting metabolic rate will decrease. This indicates that consumption, physical activity, or both will have to be altered further to just maintain fat losses from cardio and interval training alone.
The most successful lean body programs that are sustainable focus on both sides of the weight loss equation. Advantageous consumption and the thermic effect of food plans involve eating smaller meals mostly composed of protein and vegetables every two to four hours. Physical activity is maximized through including extra daily activities when available and performing multi joint, larger load and shorter rest resistance training for at least three hours per week. Interval training is also beneficial and should be incorporated if more than three hours of exercise time is available with aerobic training utilized for recovery alone. These recommendations will aid in turning the weight loss equation into a formula for developing the lean body you desire.