It’s not your imagination—those extra pounds you could once lose quickly by skipping desserts stick more stubbornly to your hips and thighs as you get older. Eating healthy still helps. But as you move into your 30s, 40s, and beyond, your metabolism naturally slows down, so you need extra help shedding the fat.
Lift Weights to Lose Weight
The major culprit behind your metabolism meltdown is muscle loss. Your metabolism is nothing more than how much energy—or calories—your body uses, even while just sleeping, breathing, or thinking. One of the main factors that determines your daily calorie burn is the amount of muscle you have. Muscle tissue is more “active” than fat tissue, with each pound burning about 30 calories a day just to sustain itself. By comparison, each pound of fat tissue burns only 2 calories each day.
Unfortunately, sometime in our late 30s we start losing muscle to the tune of about ½ pound a year. If left unchecked, the average woman will lose 5 pounds of muscle and replace it with 15 pounds of fat every decade of her adult life. That means by the time you’re 65, it’s possible that your metabolism could slow down more than 300 calories a day! Little wonder why pounds keep creeping on no matter what you eat.
To shrink a spreading waist, you need strength training. The muscle tissue you will gain will not only speed up your sluggish metabolism, it looks better—it’s firmer, smoother, and more compact than fat tissue. Lifting weights can even shed lumpy cellulite. See the 5 critical ways to kill cellulite.
What you won’t get from strength training is musclebound, a common misconception that keeps many women from reaping the benefits of strength training. Because you don’t have high levels of testosterone like a man does, you don’t have to worry that lifting weights will give you huge muscles. Sports Illustrated swimsuit models lift weights, and no one would call them bulky! You don’t even have to step foot inside a gym or buy fancy equipment to start a strength training plan. All you need is a pair of dumbbells, a set of ankle weights, and a few minutes a day, 3 days a week. Combine this program with a smart low-carb eating plan, and you can drop a dress size in 30 days.
Interesting fact on Women & Weights
Need more proof that you should start strength training today? Consider these facts:
Fact #1: Marilyn Monroe regularly hoisted dumbbells to keep her killer curves.
Fact #2: Strong muscles mean strong bones. Six months of strength training can increase spine bone mineral density by up to 13 percent—that means you stand taller, feel better, and look slimmer no matter what your age.
Fact #3: Strength training makes you healthy…and happy. Lifting weights helps lower blood pressure, fights diabetes, and even helps prevent depression.
Fact #4: Weight training works fast. Most women start seeing results in as little as 3 to 4 weeks. Nothing like visible proof that a plan is working!
Fact #5: Lifting weights boosts your energy, too. More muscle means it’s easier to do everything from playing tag with the kids to paperwork at your desk. The easier everyday tasks are, the more energy you’re left with at the end of the day.