October 18, 2017
Posted In: Food & Drink, General Health, General Wellness, What's Up Canada
Changing your dietary habits is the most important action you can take for losing weight and keeping it off. However, exercise shouldn’t be ignored as it can make weight-loss results more pronounced.
Typically, when individuals lose weight, up to a quarter of that lost weight comes from lost lean body mass that includes muscle mass (1). By adding exercise into a weight loss plan, these individuals can minimize the muscle loss and lose higher amounts of fat than those who lose the same amount of weight without exercise.
Exercise also might help with keeping off the weight once it’s lost. As much of an hour of exercise per day is associated with successful weight loss maintenance or avoiding weight regain (2).
Add High-Intensity Interval Training
One type of exercise that may have especially pronounced benefits is high-intensity interval training. Try adding sprint intervals into your next jog by including 60-second bursts at an all-out pace followed by three minutes of recovery at a comfortable pace.
By adding high-intensity intervals to your exercise routine, you can stimulate your metabolism for up to 24-hours, post-exercise. These brief, all-out bursts of activity rev up your calorie burn and keep it elevated long after your workout ends.
Lift Weights or Use Resistance Bands
Resistance training exercises can help build muscle and burn fat. Muscle is more metabolically active than fat, so your overall calorie burn will be higher throughout the day and the drop in metabolism that comes with most weight loss will be prevented. You’ll also look leaner if you have more muscle and less fat.
Start with two or three sets of 10-12 repetitions of bicep curls, overhead presses, squats, and lunges using light weights until your body has adapted and you become comfortable. Then increase the weight and number of repetitions as you get stronger.
Don’t Forget the Cardio
While most cardiovascular exercise (walking, running, cycling, etc.) will not build muscle, it will help you to burn calories and lose fat mass. Cardio itself burns calories and those trying to lose weight and who include cardio into their plan lose more weight compared to those who don’t include exercise (3).
In addition, studies have demonstrated that those who perform cardio are more likely to lose visceral fat (4, 5). Visceral fat is the dangerous kind of “belly fat” that exists internally and can increase risk of chronic disease states (4,5).
Reduce Your Chance of Weight Regain
Most people who lose weight regain it all back and then some within three -to -five years, but regular exercise makes it more likely that you’ll maintain your ideal weight.
According to the American College of Sports Medicine, those with a goal of preventing weight regain should complete 150-250 minutes per week of moderate physical activity – such as brisk walking, mowing the lawn, and swimming (6). The overall calorie burn should be between 1200-2000 calories per week, which is considered enough to prevent weight gain greater than 3 percent.
Incorporating exercise into your lifestyle will not only contribute to benefits in your overall health, but will aid in your weight loss journey as well. However, it’s always suggested that you check with your doctor before starting any type of exercise regimen.