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Sadie Rigby in Workout Gear Reveals "How to Lean Out" 

Here is what you need to do if you want to look lean – and it isn’t losing weight. 
FACT CHECKED BY Christopher Roback

There is a big misconception that "leaning out" is the same thing as losing weight. According to fitness expert Sadie Rigby, this is not the case. Rigby, a social media influencer and personal trainer, is committed to encouraging a "strong not skinny" approach to health. In a new Instagram post she explains how losing weight to lean out isn't something that should be your goal. "My advice for anyone trying to lean out," the first blurb of her video reads. Here is why you shouldn't try to lose weight and what you should do instead. 

Losing Weight Is Not the Right Way to Lean Out

In the caption, Sadie explains that losing weight "is not an effective approach to leaning out, because usually it means you're going to eat less and try to burn calories."

You Will End Up Looking "Weaker," She Says

Bearded thin man measuring biceps, muscles of his left arm with a yellow tape measure. He's calm, serious, quiet. Wearing blue t-shirt. White background.

"This never works because even if you do lose weight, a lot of it isn't even body fat, so you end up looking the same, just weaker," she continues. "Not to mention you're miserable so you'll just end up right back where you were!"

Related: 6 Health Myths Busted by Dietitians

Instead, You Should Strengthen Your Body

Shirtless man flipping heavy tire at gym

"Strengthening your body in the other hand is going to mean you're eating more healthy, nutrient dense foods, developing metabolically active muscles that give your body shape and definition while simultaneously shedding body fat specifically!" she concludes in the post. 

Increase the Weight You Are Lifting

Barbel weights in gym

In the video, she adds that you should "stop trying to decrease your body weight" and instead "start increasing the dumbbell weight."

Related: 6 Health Myths Busted by Dietitians

Here Is Why Progressive Overload is Important

Close up of woman back with flexing her muscles in sweat on skin after workout. Female bodybuilder with perfect biceps

In another post she elaborates on the concept of progressive overload. "Sometimes we think progressive overload is just doing the same workouts over and over again. Progressive overload is gradually increasing the stress on our muscles, and there's multiple ways to achieve this!" she says, mentioning a few ways to do it. The first? "Increase time under tension (add a pulse, slow down the exercise, do tempo work)" she says. The second is by increasing the weight lifted, "or add a band," she suggests. Finally, the third is to increase volume, "add reps and/or sets," she says. 

💪🔥Body Booster: If you want to achieve a leaner looking body, don't try to lose weight. Instead work on building lean muscle, which will offer the leaner look you desire. 

Leah Groth
Leah Groth has decades of experience covering all things health, wellness and fitness related. Read more
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