Local News

New Study May Help To Re-Ignite Your Weight Loss

Posted January 30, 2002 11:12 a.m. EST

— If you are past the age of 40, you may have noticed that it is more difficult to take off those extra pounds now than it was when you were in your 20s. Despite your efforts to diet, sometimes the pounds just will not budge, but a new study may help re-ignite your weight loss.

Researchers at USDA's Human Physiology Lab put 10 overweight women on a special diet designed for slow weight loss, about a pound a week. Half the women also followed a twice-weekly strength training program.

The women who only dieted lost an average of 13 pounds. The women who engaged in strength training lost about the same amount, 13.2 pounds, but the scale did not tell the whole story.

Women in the diet-only group lost an average of three pounds of muscle along with the fat. In contrast, the women who did strength training actually gained 1.5 pounds of muscle, meaning that every ounce they lost was pure fat.

If you are trying to take off those extra pounds, strength training may be the key.

Strength training revs up your metabolism. You not only burn calories when you train, but you burn more calories throughout the day. For most women who strength train two or three times per week, you can burn an extra 200 to 300 calories per day.

When starting strength training, the most frequent question asked is, "What size weights should I use?" There is no special formula, but if you are doing two to three sets of 12 repetitions, you should get through the first six reps fairly easily, seven to nine should be little difficult, and 10 to 12 should be at your maximum capacity.

You may want to start out with three to five pounds, see how it works, and then gradually move up in order to feel the resistance.