Skipping weight lifting because you think it will “make you look bulky”?
So you keep doing more cardio and 10 minute ab workouts, hoping to achieve that toned look (with less belly fat).
But you wonder why your stubborn belly fat does not disappear as quickly as you’d like…
Weightlifting will rarely make you look bulky
First, in almost all cases weightlifting does not make you look bulky.
It rather increases your muscle to make you look (and feel) more toned, whichever shape you are:
Moreover, you may be losing out on optimizing your fat loss… How come?
A study by Miller (2018) accurately reflects the current stance of research on this topic .
They divided 31 obese women (average age 32 years) into 2 experimental groups (and a control group):
Study: effects on fat and muscle
The researchers could not find a “statistically significant difference” between groups for these results, in part because the experimental groups were so small.
However, when we take the results of this single study together with the results of 2 similar studies [2, 3] and the conclusion of a huge evaluation of many studies , we can conclude:
When you lift weights while dieting (calorie deficit), you will very likely maintain/gain more muscle and burn more (belly) body fat.
How to apply
1. Sleep enough. Fundamental and most important to burning more fat (and maintaining/growing muscle).
2. Lift weights consistently. Commit to 2-3 weight training sessions per week of 30-45 min.
3. Eat enough protein. The current research standing indicates 1.5 g /kg (0.7 g /lb) is optimal for women.
Of course, all these while staying in a calorie deficit.
P.S. If you find *any* credible sources that cast doubt on the information I present here, please make me aware via firstname.lastname@example.org or by a message to my Instagram page.
2. Bouchard et al. (2009): Impact of resistance training with or without caloric restriction on physical capacity in obese older women.
3. Beavers et al. (2017): Effect of Exercise Type during Intentional Weight Loss on Body Composition in Older Adults with Obesity.
4. Clark et al. (2015): Diet, exercise or diet with exercise: Comparing the effectiveness of treatment options for weight-loss and changes in fitness for adults (18-65 years old) who are overfat, or obese; systematic review and meta-analysis.
Strength of evidence explanation: