When you think about losing weight, which exercise style comes to mind? For many, it’s either walking or running. While those are both great for general health, they’re not necessarily the answer to every person’s weight loss goals. There’s a third option that you may not have considered—squats.
The benefits of squats for weight loss are numerous. Not only do they work most of your major muscle groups, but they also provide several anabolic effects that may help you to lose weight.
Anabolic Squats: The science behind squats for weight loss is that they increase the activity of anabolic hormones in your body. This may help to increase the breakdown of fats in your body, particularly during calorie restriction. In other words, when you’re trying to lose weight, squats may help to boost your fat-burning abilities.
The primary anabolic hormones that squats stimulate are human growth hormone (HGH) and testosterone. These are vital for men’s health, and they’re also associated with increased muscle mass and strength. Squats also increase the production of an enzyme called citrate lyase, which is responsible for the conversion of carbohydrates into fatty acids. This is another important function that squats play in your weight loss goals—squats increase the production of fatty acids, which could then be used as fuel for your body’s cells.
What’s more, squats increase the activity of insulin in your body, which can help to regulate your blood sugar levels. This is important for those with diabetes, since poor insulin regulation is one of the major causes of hyperglycemia and subsequent damage to the eyes, kidney and other major organs. In general, though, squats promote overall health and well-being, while lowering cholesterol levels and blood pressure as well.
You may be thinking that, as with most weight loss methods, squats are best performed on a part-time basis. However, there’s actually some evidence that suggests that daily squats may be the best way to go. In one study, researchers observed forty healthy adults for eight weeks and divided them into two groups. The first group performed squats three times a week, while the second group did them daily.
At the end of the eight weeks, the daily squatters had:
- Lost more weight
- A greater reduction in body fat
- Higher levels of testosterone
- Greater improvements in muscular strength
- Higher levels of HGH
The benefits of daily squats for weight loss are apparent. While walking and running are both great for overall health and fitness, if you’re looking for a way to lose weight, squats may be the answer. If you’re new to working out, start with some basic tutorials on YouTube to get the basics down. Then, take it easy and work your way up to five or six squats per day, progressively increasing the weight as you go.