Thursday, February 5, 2009
This is me (with Mr. Frisby, of course) at the end of September, just after getting on a regular weekly workout schedule. I do not look at myself and think, "I should probably lose some weight." It's not something I try to do. I do not do diets, I do not work out to lose weight, I do not think about my weight on a regular basis. It's never been an issue for me. However, over the last 4.5 months, I have lost a good 5 or 6 pounds. Without trying. Do not think for a moment, though, that I haven't been working hard. In September, I decided that since I had plenty of time, I needed to be working out regularly. I like to work out because it makes me healthier. I'm also trying to put off the ill effects of old age for as long as possible (And I'm not all concerned about old age because I'll soon hit 30. I just know that by the time you start to have ill effects from old age, it will be difficult to do anything about them. So, I'm trying to prevent them from happening at all. I know I can't really stop getting old from happening. I'm just trying to make it as pleasant and classy as possible. Don't rain on my parade, okay?). So, I started working out regularly to improve my overall health. For the past 4.5 months, I have been working out 5-6 times per week and lifting weights 3 times per week. And taking into account the muscle that I've gained (bear in mind that muscle tissue is heavier than fat tissue and, therefore, most people actually gain weight when they lift weights because, even though you're losing fat, you're gaining muscle which weighs more), I'm about 5 or 6 pounds under my normal weight. And I haven't been consciously doing activities/working out with the goal of losing weight.
Now, onto my point. As I said, I don't really care about losing weight. It's a beneficial consequence of the work I've been doing for my general health. It's great that I've lost a little weight, but it doesn't get me all excited. So, why am I blogging about it? Because I know there are people out there who do care about losing weight and have a hard time doing it. So, for anyone who cares, I will now give you two little tips for losing weight that will hopefully help you in your weight loss efforts.
1. Lift weights. Fat is burned within muscle tissue, so the more muscle you have, the more space your body has to burn fat.
2. Do interval training. Forget the old notion that steady-state aerobic exercise is the best way to lose fat. Losing weight is a simple matter of math. The calories you consume must be less than the calories you burn if you want to lose weight. So, you should do exercise that burns more calories. Well, don't you burn more calories if you work out at a steady pace for 30 minutes instead of doing one or two minute intervals with a 2,3, or even 4 minute rest in between? The answer is yes, if you only look at the calories burned in those 30 minutes of the workout. However, to put it in simple terms, interval training increases your metabolism for a much longer period of time after the workout. So, if you look at an entire 24 hour period, you actually burn more calories total with interval workouts because you continue burning a lot of calories even after your workout is done. With steady-state aerobic exercise, your metabolism will return to normal much faster and then you're just burning your normal amount of calories. Make sense? I think so.
So, if you want to lose weight, try it out. It worked for me and I wasn't even trying.