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What is the different between weight loss and getting stronger?

More and more people are getting health conscious. This could be either because they want to live longer or simply want to look better. Whatever their reasons are, it is important to live a healthy life.

Being healthy means being psychologically, mentally, socially, and physically healthy. This means, you need to touch every aspect of your well being to be called healthy. This article focuses more on the physical health of the person.

As a fitness instructor, it is our standard operating procedure to ask our clients why they enrolled in a gym class. The common answers are “I want to lose weight” and/or “I want to get stronger”.  

I usually advise these two basic concepts to my clients to attain their weight loss goal; these are eating a balanced diet and getting enough workout. I know that it may sound too cliché, but it did become a cliché because it works, right? I usually formulate a weight loss plan that modifies the intensity of their workouts and the proportions of their food intake depending on their body size. The workout routines for these clients usually include aerobic exercises such as elliptical trainers and stationary bikes to help burn fat faster and accelerate weight loss.

On the other hand, clients who aim to get stronger require a more supervised workout routine. If they are obese or overweight, they need to undergo the weight loss program first, that includes aerobic or cardio exercises and a low-calorie meal plan. As they reach their normal BMI (Body Mass Index), they go through a muscle toning program that includes weight lifting and series of workout machines that strengthens the muscles at the back, abdomen, legs, arms, chest, and neck. 

Weight loss and getting stronger may differ from the type of exercises done to achieve these goals. Furthermore, they could also differ from the food being eaten; weight loss focuses on consuming low-calorie foods while eating high-protein and moderate-calorie diets are required if you want to get stronger. 

As you may observe, weight loss and strength promoting regimens are quite related. The primary goal is to lose the body fat first and lose weight, and then proceed with strength training if you want to make the muscles stronger. Losing the fat deposits are important because these fats make our body heavier thus limiting us with what we can do. It would be hard to do crunches with that bulging belly on the way, right? Or lift heavy barbells if all you have are flabby arms instead of triceps or biceps.

Lighter people have more control of their body, thus they can do more activities. Also, strengthening and toning the muscles do not only allow the person to lift the heavy stuff, but it allows them to be more agile as well. The leaner you are, the more flexible you’ll get. 

I always recommend muscle strengthening exercises to all my clients whatever their initial goal was. I explain to them that losing weight is the first phase and getting stronger is the second phase to achieve a healthy life. But, everything does not stop there; I stress to my clients the importance of the third and final phase which is the Maintenance training. 

Maintenance training is basically a combination of weight loss and muscle strengthening workouts at an equal ratio. This final and never ending phase aims to keep the lighter body and the strength acquired from the programs.

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