A commonly perpetuated stereotype of women who lift is that they will end up with larger, bulkier figures. Basically, you will just end up super jacked, when what you really want is to resemble those tanned and toned fit girls on your favorite fitspo account. There no way lifting like a guy could make you look like more of a girl, right? Wrong.
Spending an hour on the treadmill, eating tiny portions, and doing hundreds of sit-ups will burn fat for sure. However, that doesn’t sound like too much fun. Incorporating some form of weight training is a great way to attain tone, as well as maintain and build curves. Braving the weight room can transform your body, your fitness routine, and give you a confidence boost like no other.
Burn more calories
The more lean muscle you build, the quicker your body will burn calories when your muscles contract during a workout. It also boosts your metabolic rate, so even when you are not working out you are burning more calories than the average gal.
Curves for days
Not only will the building of lean muscle help you lost weight faster, but the added muscle creates an hourglass figure. The development of your gluteal and upper back and shoulder muscles creates the illusion of a smaller waist. And, of course, who doesn’t want a fuller, more toned butt these days (shoutout to the Kardashians)?
It is natural for bone and muscle mass to deplete as we age. However, lifting weights is a great way to maintain bone mass and combat the onset of osteoporosis.
That’s right, it’s true. The increase caloric expenditure leaves room for more nutritious food to be eaten throughout the day. This is by no means a free pass for daily indulgence. It is especially important to stay clear of foods with a high glycemic index.
What your budding new muscles need are more protein. There are so many tasty options for added protein nowadays – protein bars, homemade shakes, protein-infused cookies (my personal favorite), protein pancakes etc. Especially if you are a vegetarian like me, getting enough protein in your diet is essential to maintaining and shaping a stronger body.
Confidence and stress relief
Fitness has always been an integral part of my life. In high school, I was running two to three miles per day and doing at least a hundred sit-ups. I could tell my body had hit a plateau in its ability and appearance. The fact that I was strictly limiting the amount that I ate when engaging in excessive amounts of cardio wasn’t helping too much either. Mustering up the courage to venture into the weight section of my school’s gym was the best fitness-related decision I’ve made to date.
Pushing myself physically helped the results happen faster and the rush of hitting a personal weight record is indescribably satisfying. Society tells girls that muscles aren’t feminine and we’re sold a body image linked to the onset of eating disorders. There’s no reason to starve yourself.
For any vegetarian, your body needs proper nutrients and protein to function properly, so it’s important to make sure that you’re getting in the correct amounts each day. So hop off that treadmill and grab a set of dumbbells, because feeling stronger, and healthier isn’t just for boys anymore.
Written by Ashley Kudler