Dieting For Dummies
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When you lose weight, you lose more muscle than fat. So, you need to engage in activities that help build muscle. Strength or resistance training, such as lifting weights or working out on exercise equipment, builds muscle.

Muscle weighs more, so if you are doing your job, the way your clothes fit might be a better indicator of your progress than that number on the scale. Strength training exercise isn’t just for body builders. Building muscle offers several benefits:

  • Your body develops definition and firmness.

  • You burn more calories.

  • Bones strengthen, which helps protect against osteoporosis.

  • Balance improves significantly.

  • The pain from arthritis decreases, and your range of motion improves.

  • Your spirits are boosted.

If you’re new to exercise, you don’t have to run to the gym; simply walking may be enough for you to increase your muscle mass. When you can walk easily for 60 minutes at a brisk pace, having followed the plan outlined in the following table, you may need and want to push for more of a workout. Adding resistance training is a good way to go.

Recommended Program for Weight Training
Training Factor Comments
Frequency 3 days a week
Resistance Use a weight that you can lift comfortably
Repetitions 12 to 15 in 30 seconds (The last lift should be difficult.)
Stations Work 8 to 12 muscle groups
Total time 20 to 30 minutes

About This Article

This article is from the book:

About the book authors:

Jane Kirby, RD is a registered dietitian and member of the American Dietetic Association. She is the food and nutrition editor of Real Simple magazine and owner of The Vermont Cooking School, IncTM in Charlotte, Vermont. Jane is the former editor of Eating Well magazine and the food and nuitrition editor for Glamour. She served on the dietetics staff of the Massachusettes General Hospital in Boston, where she  completed graduate work in nutrition. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Marymount College.

The American Dietetic Association is the world’s largest group of nutrition and health professionals. As an advocate of the profession, the ADA serves the public by promoting optimal nutrition, health, and well-being.

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