When people feel inspired to get in shape, they often go on crash diets to try to secure quick results. Though this strategy sometimes yields some improvement, the effects are usually only temporary. For long-lasting fat loss, it's important to establish a smart effective dieting and exercise program. To better understand what works, let's compare quick, starvation dieting against weight lifting for women.

Starvation dieting

When women go on crash diets, they tend to eat infrequently. Unfortunately, when you deprive your body of calories, the brain goes into starvation mode and signals the metabolism to slow down. Instead of burning fat, your body hoards it. Although the bathroom scale may indicate that you've lost a few pounds, much of that weight loss is likely owed to a loss of muscle. In the end, though you may weigh less, you're overall appearance may seem loose, droopy and unhealthy.

Muscle building diets

Unlike crash dieting, which tends to promote a less vibrant, unhealthy-looking appearance, weight lifting tends to promote long-lasting, attractive results for women. Muscle requires lots of protein and calories to sustain itself; so the more you have, the more you can eat. Likewise, because it is so energy-dependent, muscle actually burns calories even when it's resting. Women who have more muscle actually burn fat while they sleep, while less-muscular women can sometimes have the opposite happen.

What should I do?

Muscle-building dieting programs don't necessarily provide slow results, especially if you eat the right foods along the way. Additionally, just because you're involved in a weight lifting program doesn't mean you can't incorporate some advice you've learned from other sources. Just remember that it's important to team any sort of fast weight loss tips with good diet foods that will promote muscle growth. To develop fat-burning muscle, you need to engage in resistance training; however, you also need to eat more protein and low-glycemic, fibrous foods, such as whole grains and leafy green vegetables. When women starve themselves while on crash diets, they simply can't build any muscle regardless of how hard they work on their weight lifting program.

Things to consider

Remember that muscle weighs more than fat. This means that, although you may look fitter, healthy and leaner; you could actually gain a pound or two. On the other hand, because your weight will be distributed differently, you'll appear less fatty and more toned. Ultimately, you should place more importance on how your clothes fit and your body looks instead of the values on the scale.

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