Something that’s happened to me, and I’ve noticed it in some others, is that while engaged in weight training, weight loss seems to slow to a trickle. This is upsetting for many, and for good reason. If your goal is to lose weight, do you really want to lift and slow your progress?
Of course you should, despite the slowed progress. Here’s why.
First, let’s understand one thing first and foremost. Weight loss isn’t a sprint. It’s not even a marathon. What it is, though, is a lifelong journey to not just lose weight, but to keep it off.
It’s tempting to just do thinks that serve the short term goal of losing weight, but that brings up other problems. Problems you’d rather do without.
For me, the primary reason I weight train is to maintain as much lean body mass as humanly possible. I don’t really expect to gain a whole lot of muscle just now–my diet is wrong for muscle gaining–but I do want to hold onto what I have.
With the subject of weight loss and weight training, weight training should serve that kind of purpose.
Allow me to discuss a little science I’ve only heard about third-hand for a moment.
Dr. Layne Norton, speaking on his YouTube channel a while back, discussed the role of the hormones ghrelin and leptin and how they create hunger. Apparently, there’s some research that shows losing lean body mass will trigger the production of ghrelin and leptin.
This may well be why so many people lose a ton of weight but fail to keep it off. They’ve lost too much lean body mass, then the body’s hormonal response kicks in.
While it’s possible to fight the hungry feeling, it’s going to continue until that lean body mass is replaced.
The idea of willpower is often thrown around but poorly understood. In a case like this, though, it’s really only a matter of time before that willpower collapses and you binge. Unless things are handled just perfectly, anyway.
Weight training helps to hold onto lean body mass, though. That means you reduce the likelihood of the body producing a pile of ghrelin and leptin.
But that’s just the scientific reason. There are others.
Namely, there’s the fact that it’s always better to be strong than weak. Male or female, young or old, it’s always better to be stronger than it is to be weaker.
In other words, the long-term benefits of weight training outweigh any negative aspects of slowed weight loss.
Again, this is a lifestyle. This is who you are now, right? Losing weight is important, but the long-term is what ultimately matters. The weight is still coming off, after all, just slowly. That’s still progress.
There comes a time when progress slows anyway. However, that time is a lot easier to deal with if you’re moving a lot of weight but having trouble getting that last five pounds off. That’s just how it is.
So train hard, eat right, and don’t worry about the rest. You’re not under the clock.