Main menu

Pages

Weight Loss and Exercise: Fact, Fiction or Both?

Weight Loss and Exercise: Fact, Fiction or Both?


If you’re like most people, you probably have a pretty vague understanding of what it takes to lose weight and keep it off. 

It’s no surprise, given how many different books, articles, websites and social media posts there are on the subject. So if you’re anything like us, you might be wondering: Is there any truth in all of those claims? Or were they created solely as an excuse for the general public to eat less and exercise more? Well, luckily for you that’s not nearly as complicated as it sounds.

 You see, while there are countless ways to lose weight or get in shape, one thing is almost always true: They aren’t all created equally. 

This is especially true when it comes to dieting and exercise. That’s because some forms of activity are inherently better than others…and not just from a physical standpoint (e.g., running instead of walking).

 Rather, their effectiveness varies depending on the person and circumstance under which they are used. For example, exercises like strength training have been proven to have a much greater impact on your body composition than cardio has over the long term (and vice versa).

 The bottom line is that what works for someone else might not work as well for you.

 

What is weight loss and how do you achieve it?

Weight loss is the process by which someone loses excess fat (calories) from their body. The body stores fat as a response to excess calories, which are consumed as fuel. When someone loses weight, they’re not expending as many calories because they’re using less fuel (food) to function. Therefore, weight loss will result in a decrease in the number of excess calories consumed by the body.


 However, this doesn’t tell us why someone would want to lose weight in the first place. Generally, people who want to lose weight will engage in a diet and/or exercise program. Dieting is when someone consumes fewer calories than they burn over a short period of time. If a person doesn’t change their eating habits, the weight will come right back on when the diet ends.

 

What are the most effective forms of exercise for weight loss?

If you’re looking to burn off excess calories, then any form of physical activity is going to do the trick. After all, it’s all about putting your body through a metabolic stress test: You’re burning calories simply by performing everyday movements.


 The problem is, not all forms of activity are created equal when it comes to fat loss. Sure, cardio can help you burn fat, but so can weight training. In fact, research is starting to show that HIIT (high-intensity circuit training) can be even more effective. To give you an idea of which activities have the highest potential for fat loss, we’ve compiled a list of the most effective forms of exercise for weight loss.

 

Strength training

Strength training is a bit different from regular cardio in that it focuses more on building muscle than losing fat. This is because muscle is your body’s source of fuel: When you lift weights, you’re building more of the fuel your body needs to function (i.e., build muscle) and improving your ability to handle the amount of food you consume (i.e., lose weight). There are two types of strength training, compound and isolation exercises.


 Compound exercises like squats and bench presses work for several muscle groups at once, making them more effective at increasing muscle size and strength. But they also increase the size and strength of your bones, which increases your metabolism and makes you burn more calories throughout the day just by resting. Isolation exercises, on the other hand, work for a single muscle group and don’t have an impact on other areas of your body. That’s why curls and triceps extensions are so popular for weight loss. But don’t worry, both types of exercises are beneficial for weight loss.

 

HIIT (High-intensity circuit training)

HIIT stands for “high-intensity interval training,” and it’s quickly becoming the go-to method for fat loss. What makes HIIT unique is that it combines two of the most effective forms of exercise: strength training and cardio. With traditional cardio, you increase your heart rate to burn calories, but it doesn’t result in a significant increase in metabolic rate.


 And while strength training is effective at building muscle and increasing metabolism, it doesn’t seem to decrease body fat. So, combining the two is what makes HIIT so effective at fat loss. HIIT consists of a short bout of high-intensity strength exercises followed by a series of sprints (usually 20-30 seconds). This combination of strength and cardio workouts is what’s responsible for making HIIT the go-to method for fat loss.

 

Circuit training (combination of strength and cardio)

While HIIT focuses on strength training, circuit training is all about combining cardio and strength training for a powerful fat-burning combo. To reap the benefits of circuit training, you’ll want to perform a series of strength exercises followed by a series of cardio activities. Here’s where it gets interesting: You don’t need to perform the entire circuit in one continuous session. Rather, you can break the circuit up into several daily sessions throughout the week.


 This allows your body to recover from the workout while still reaping the benefits of circuit training. As you can see, the most effective forms of exercise for weight loss vary based on your goals and current level of fitness. That’s why it’s important to do your research and find something that works for you.

 

Running/Jogging

Running is definitely a great way to get in shape, but it’s not one of the most effective forms of exercise for weight loss. After all, the average person burns about 300 calories per hour while running (this includes walking). However, we all store an additional 1000 calories in our fat cells. As such, if we’re not eating more calories than we’re burning, we’re probably going to store some excess fat over time.


 But what’s worse is that we don’t even need to run to do this! For example, walking while eating more calories than we’re burning will still cause us to gain weight. That’s because running burns more calories, making it less likely to store fat. That’s why running is generally a good exercise, but it’s not the most effective for weight loss.

 

Conclusion

The bottom line is that there is no single form of exercise that will work for everyone. Instead, it’s important to find something that is both challenging and enjoyable. After all, being active is one of the best ways to improve your mental health and social life.


 And when it comes to losing weight and getting in shape, that’s priceless. So, don’t be afraid to try something new. And don’t be afraid to make mistakes along the way. The important thing is that you’re enjoying yourself and getting stronger every day.

Comments