Food is fuel, and food is life! I learned the hard way that in order to develop muscle tone, build a booty, and overall get stronger, eating more rather than restrictive dieting is always the way to go. A lot of people I know restrict their diets, saying “I am only going to eat X amount of calories per day.” And while I wholeheartedly believe that it’s good to know what’s going into our body, calories are not the only benchmark. I now make sure that protein, healthy fat, and carbs are ALL part of my diet and that I am eating enough!
I used to restrict my diet while doing heavy cardio-based workouts including treadmills, stairmasters, and bodyweight exercises that required a lot of movement but no weights. I thought all this time that by getting leaner, I would be able to see more of my muscles. Little did I know that lifting heavier weights and eating MORE would actually give me the body that I wanted, with more muscle growth, burn more fat, and fit better into my jeans!
I asked a trainer friend why strength training, i.e. heavy weights can actually give you more results than cardio. She said: You can think of your body like a car. Building your muscles bigger is like having a larger engine, which burns more fuel faster. You might end up skinny with cardio, but it reduces both fat and muscle, thus burning less fat. Weights can also increase your metabolism, thus in the long run burning more calories with less effort.
Take it from a former “cardio queen,” that if you want to burn fat and get stronger, eating more is the way to go along with weights, I’m sure to get enough healthy protein and fat, and I get to treat myself once in a while too!