How Should I Lose Weight? That Is The Question. If you’re here, you’re obviously in a battle with a new belt size. Fear-not my friends. I’m going to do my best to make sense of this exercise thing. Obviously, exercise comes in many forms – from NFL football players who lift massive amounts of weight to prepare for un-Godly collisions to physical therapy for an elderly person who has fallen down and broken a bone. For the purpose of this article, I’m going to focus on exercise for losing weight.
Weight Loss Basics – Rules To Live By
It’s important to understand what facilitates weight loss in the body. The basic rule is, you must move more and consume less. Figuring out how much more to move and how much less to consume is a major realization moving forward. Without getting too technical, let’s figure out what movements, or exercise, best suits you and your weight loss goals.
What forms of exercise do you enjoy?
For the sake of long term success, this is a very important question YOU MUST ANSWER! Folks, I know a lot of trainers and other people with their opinions will blast me on social media, but I’m here to tell you, if you dread your exercise, you are destined for failure. Not everyone can, or should, be doing Crossfit! Not everyone should be running 5 miles per day. Not everyone should be lifting free weights exclusively. Some of us will have more success waking up and walking a couple of miles. Others will find themselves hopelessly addicted to yoga.
There’s no right or wrong here. I’d like to see a well-rounded routine that combines all of the above-mentioned disciplines, HOWEVER, we need to get you going and that means you need to answer the following questions:
- What will I enjoy?
- What am I most likely to stick with?
- Is there an exercise activity I might find fun?
- What specifically are my goals?
- How much weight do I want to lose?
Foods For Losing Weight
“Whoa, whoa, whoa! The title of this post is Exercises For Losing Weight!” Yeah, I know that! But folks, like it or not, you can exercise until you’re blue in the face, but if you have a fast food habit, you’re NEVER going to lose weight. You need to drill that into your head. Diet and exercise are not mutually exclusive when it comes to weight loss.
For the purpose of this topic, I’ll just say that you need to increase your fresh, live food content – greens, legumes, fruits, etc. And, you need to decrease processed foods and sugars – candy, ice cream, bread. Follow These Steps:
- Eat foods close to their natural state – Instead of bread, for example, have a baked potato. Eat live foods, like salads and fruit, when possible.
- Exercise Portion Control – Don’t stuff your face! Eat just enough so you’re not hungry. But, try to avoid feeling full.
- Count Calories – Let’s keep it simple, OK? There are tons of apps and websites with lists of foods and their calories. It’s not that monumental a task!
- Eat Clean Protein – Eat lots of grilled chicken, tuna, and beef. Don’t worry so much about fat. Sugars are the real culprit when it comes to weight loss.
FOOD AND CALORIE PDF
Remember, it takes 3500 calories of energy to burn a pound of fat. So if you want to lose a pound per week, you must burn 500 more calories per day than you consume. Make sense? The real benefit of this realization is that makes you think long and hard about woofing down that snickers bar or a pint of ice cream. When you realize how much effort it takes to burn what took 5 minutes to consume, believe me, you’ll think twice!
What Exercises Are Best For Losing Weight?
Again, you should choose what’s best for you based on the factors mentioned above. Choosing something you hate to do can lead to short term improvements and long term failure – not something to aspire to. That said, to make any improvements at all, there is a level of discomfort, no matter what activity you choose, that you’ll have to overcome. Let’s face it, if it was all fun and games, you wouldn’t be here right now! Also, not all exercises affect the body and weight loss in the same way. Below, I’ll cover your main options regarding exercises for losing weight:
Lifting Weights to Lose Weight for Beginners
Lifting Weights. Lose Weight. For Beginners. I was very specific in the title because it is very unlikely that you’re here as someone looking to refine your deadlift form. That said, weight lifting is a great discipline for those of you looking to not only lose weight but to develop a beach body.
Don’t be intimidated. You can really learn to love this activity because it works. Though it is not aerobic, weight lifting is certainly “cardio”. And the benefits of weight lifting are great.
Benefits Of Weight Lifting:
- Increased Bone Density
- Increase In Metabolic Rate (great for weight loss)
- Decreases Muscle Loss From Aging (sarcopenia)
- Increase In Testosterone In Men
- Strengthens Connective Tissue (tendons and ligaments)
TIP: Lift free weights if you can. Doing so engages all of the smaller stabilizing muscles which will help increase over all strength in the long term. Machines that keep you on one plain do half the work for you. Also, always get a trainer and have a spotter, particularly if you’re a beginner.
NOTE: If you are a novice weight lifter, please schedule an appointment with a personal trainer. Having proper form will help maximize your gains while helping to prevent injuries. Also, you can share your goals with them and get a tailored plan specifically for your age, body type, and objectives.
Yoga For Weight Loss (Beginners)
Again, I mention “beginners” because it’s not likely you’d be here if you’ve been a yoga enthusiast for any significant amount of time. That said, I love yoga to assist in weight loss. If ever there was an exercise discipline that begets a positive change in lifestyle, it’s yoga. In the short term, yoga may not benefit your weight loss efforts like weight lifting can, but if you happen to fall in love with it, you’re likely to change a lot about your life. Put it this way, you won’t find many yoga enthusiasts hanging out at McDonald’s! And, the long-term benefits of yoga for weight loss and quality of life in general, are off the charts.
BENEFITS OF YOGA
- Increase Flexibility
- Metabolism Stabilization
- Increase In Joint Strength
- Increase in Energy
- Decreased Likelihood of Injuries
TIP: Don’t just jump into Hot Yoga or Bikram Yoga. Go to a studio and take a beginner’s class. First, the shared experience with other beginners will be invaluable and you’re likely to make some good friends. Second, you need hands on guidance to ensure your positions are correct.
Aerobic Exercise For Weight Loss
Aerobic exercise is often confused with cardiovascular exercise. There’s a difference and it’s important to understand it before you choose your exercise for losing weight.
The word Aerobic means “with oxygen“. Cardiovascular, in reference to exercise, simply implies that your cardiovascular system is engaged. All aerobic exercises are cardiovascular, but not all cardiovascular exercises are aerobic.
For example, weight lifting will drastically increase your heart rate, however, it does not require the use of oxygen to burn energy – the very definition of aerobic. Though it engages the cardiovascular system, weight lifting is an anaerobic exercise, utilizing stored sugars, or glycogen stores, for immediate energy.
how does the aerobic system create energy
Aerobic exercise, on the other hand, is prolonged activity, such as running, swimming and cycling, and requires oxygen to produce energy. From lactate.com:
There is just one aerobic system. It requires oxygen for usage; hence, the name (from Greek aero meaning air). There are two anaerobic systems for rebuilding ATP. The term “anaerobic” is used to mean that oxygen is not used in either system. It does not mean as some have thought that it is only used when there is no oxygen available. Anaerobic systems are often used when there is plenty of oxygen.
Benefits of Aerobic Exercise
- Respiration Efficiency Increase
- Blood Distribution Efficiency Increase
- Can Drastically Improve Heart Health and Overall Cardiovascular System
- Great For Weight Loss
Types of Aerobic Exercise Include:
- Elliptical machine
- Fast Walking
- Cross Country Skiing
- Spin Classes
Exercises For Losing Weight Conclusion
Again, when choosing exercises for losing weight, start with something you think you’d enjoy. There’s no sense in battling your brain on a daily basis – not too much anyway. Now doubt, with any of these disciplines, you can make significant strides toward your weight loss goals. Keep in mind, however, that you’ve got to couple any weight loss exercise program with proper dietary habits that support your weight loss goals.
If you’d like to mention other exercises for losing weight, please do so in the comment section below. Keep us posted! We would love to share before and after photos too!