Updated: Aug 17, 2021
We all have been sold the wrong idea around the exercise, nutrition, and the weight loss model. The model is a failing strategy, but is advertised by many: fad diets, supplement companies, challenges, etc. It’s obvious why those that partake in said temporary weight loss gimmicks, lose weight but then they gain the weight back.
But why do we keep trying the newest thing on the market?
Because they’re really good at targeting and selling!
However, that’s where us fitness and nutrition professionals come in! FAILED NUTRITION | FOOD MODEL We like food only for what it tastes like. Food: is a distraction from our feelings, it’s what we rely on when we’re stressed, when we’re bored, thirsty, and we rely on those unhealthy options when it comes to convenience. The value behind what we consume for food is completely wrong! FAILED EXERCISE MODEL A lot of people look at exercise value by how many calories are burnt while doing it. The calories you burn when doing a given exercise, is the least important factor.
Cardiovascular exercise (cardio) is the best type of exercise to burn a high number of calories. When you’re doing long duration and a high volume of cardio, the exercise performance requires little muscle or strength. Therefore, the result is that your body is trying to become an efficient calorie burner and efficient at that one particular exercise.
With cardio and dieting, you see weight loss, but a large percentage of that is coming from loss of muscle. However, it's not because your body is “burning” muscle, your body is actually breaking your muscle down, to make you better and more efficient at cardio. The result of that is, you become a smaller version of yourself but maintain the same amount of body fat….AND due to the lack of lean muscle tissue, you have a slower metabolism to boot. So, what happens is you lose weight real fast and plateau real hard. Furthermore, to lose more weight or gain better results, you either do more cardio or cut out more calories. This is the Biggest Loser approach; long bouts of cardio with calorie restriction. HERE'S THE WINNING STRATEGY: NUTRITION & EXERCISE
Exercise alone is not the principal way to lose weight, and alone, won’t get you the best results. Nutrition and exercise go hand in hand and when it comes to reaching optimal results and health, you need to grind at both.
When we look at the exercise portion of this formula, there’s one type of exercise that actually makes the body more capable of burning calories, that teaches the body to become more efficient overall, and more effective at burning fat. With that being said, that type of exercise is resistance training (also known as strength training, weight lifting, strength & conditioning, etc) – by far.
Resistance training builds muscle and builds strength, the result of which the body burns more calories continually; even more so, if you feed your body in a way that leads to muscle repair and growth. So rather than having to burn 300 more calories per day by doing MORE cardio, you can teach your body how to burn 300 more calories per day, just by the way you exercise and eat.
Feeding your body the proper nutrients it needs to repair and build muscle is also important. When you engage in resistance training, you're actually creating microscopic tears in the muscle tissue. Repairing those tears is crucial for gaining lean muscle mass; it's actually the repair process that leads to building more muscle. I like to think of my post-workout nutrition as the most important part of my workout. If the body is not given the proper nutrients to repair and build muscle, this can lead to muscle soreness and overall loss of results. Knowing what to consume as the best post-workout is another post, however, you want to choose a fast-digesting carbohydrate and a pure isolate protein within 30-45 min after you finish your workout. This is when the body begins the repair process and is when the muscle is most susceptible at taking in nutrients in order to do so.
HINT, HINT: Pictured above is what I recommend as an optimal post-workout nutrition option; a fast digesting carb and a pure isolate protein. Click on the image to take you directly to the site to learn more and order!
But there’s more….
Building lean muscle mass is also the most effective way to improve insulin sensitivity. Studies have shown that when obese individuals engage in resistance training but do not lose weight, yet gain muscle mass, they still improve their insulin sensitivity. Insulin resistance alone leads to more than just diabetes, it leads to dementia, Alzheimer’s, and other health issues. Think of muscle this way:
Muscle is a really greedy organ. It's going to take up most of the nutrients in the blood stream. If we have too many nutrients in the blood stream, it's actually 'toxic'. This is true for glucose, fatty acids, amino acids, electrolytes, some vitamins and minerals, etc. The excess of nutrients have to be disposed of somewhere; if it is not, this is what leads to disease and other health issues. So for example, what is type 2 diabetes? It's a disease of excess. It's a disease of too much glucose in the blood stream. Once the body has exceeded its fats capacity to store glucose, that's when we see it start to spill over. Therefore, if the body has more muscle tissue it starts to dispose of - or use - the excess nutrients.
SOME OTHER FACTS:
- Resistance training is the only form of exercise that has been shown to consistently increase testosterone in men.
- Overall hormone balance also improves by partaking in resistance training. - Muscle mass decreases with age, but resistance training can help reverse the effects.
- Resistance training strengthens the bones and reduces fractures.
- Resistance training increases balance and the way we move/performance.
- Improve overall blood lipid levels.
- Increases heart health and efficiency.
- Posture can be corrected and improve with resistance training.
- And so much more!
But why does resistance training improve all of these things?
A simple theory may be: Because resistance training is PRO-tissue (meaning it builds lean muscle tissue) where cardiovascular exercise is ANTI-tissue (meaning it breaks down lean muscle tissue). Therefore, what hormones are involved in building tissue versus breaking it down? Testosterone and growth hormone.
All-in-all, engaging in resistance training is making the body more youthful. It's improving the bodies overall function and efficiency. So if there is one type of exercise you can engage in to lead to optimal health and reaching your goals, what would you say is the best choice?