What You Need to Know about Exercise for Weight Loss

We’ve all heard about how important exercise for weight loss is. We’re told that if we eat right and exercise regularly, the pounds will melt away. But how many people have tried that and find that it just doesn’t work- at all? This is the biggest reason so many people give up on their diets or weight loss, or both.

However, before you toss in the towel on your new exercise regime, there are a few things you need to know. First, there is more to the equation than just exercising. You also need a balanced diet that suits your body type, physiology and genes. What does this mean? Well, some people think “diet” means “calorie restriction” but this is not always the case. In fact, restricting your calories too much can actually hinder weight loss.

Often people fail to lose weight because they don’t take in enough fat. Eat fat to lose weight? Am I crazy? No actually, we’re talking about healthy fats and everyone needs some in their diet to maintain a balanced diet. If you’re restricting yourself completely from healthy fats, you could be hindering your weight loss progress.

Here are some other things you need to know about exercise for weight loss.

Exercise Is Only Part of the Equation

As we said before, it’s not all about the exercise. You also have to eat right. In addition to diet, getting enough rest at night and drinking plenty of water are important. A healthy diet from the beginning full of plenty of water (at least 8 glasses a day and more in hot weather and when you exercise) will put you on the right path to weight loss.

It’s much easier to cut 1,000 calories from a heavy diet than it is to burn 1,000 calories in exercise. So adjusting your diet where appropriate in addition to exercise will give you optimal results.

Then there is also the mental aspect of weight loss. Your emotional state has a huge impact on your success. Are you dealing with emotional problems that might have caused your weight gain in the first place or that could be blocking your path to success?

Exercise is Essential for Weight Maintenance

If you achieve your weight loss goals, you have a lot to be proud of. You should take time to properly celebrate and appreciate this accomplishment. However, you also need to continue to exercise in order to maintain this weight loss and new healthy lifestyle.

This is where a lot of people mess up. They begin to see results and see the weight dropping off and then they start to slack off. They think that because they’ve lost a few pounds that they can skip the exercise occasionally and it won’t make a difference but it does. You need to exercise regularly to maintain a healthy weight.

Another problem with this way of thinking is that once you begin skipping a routine here and there, it’s very easy to do it more often. Before you know it, you might give it up completely and the pounds will slowly start coming back before you even have a chance to reach your weight loss goal.

Some people do great and they workout and eat healthy until they reach their desired weight. Then, they start to slip. They believe that because they have reached their weight loss goal that they can begin skipping the exercise routine. In addition, they believe that it won’t hurt to have a few donuts or similar treats every now and then. The problem is that it will be easy to fall back into the same routine that caused you to be overweight to begin with and eventually, you’ll be right back where you started.

If you want to keep the weight off or continue losing weight, you must stay active through exercise and eat healthy all the time.

Cheating On Your Diet Can Hinder Your Efforts

Many people make the mistake of thinking that because they undergo strenuous exercises that it earns them the right to cheat on their diet. They believe that they have burned enough calories that it will more than make up for the extra food intake so they cheat on their diet. The problem is that we’re not always burning as many calories as you might think.

Just because you leave the gym sweaty and exhausted, doesn’t mean you’ve burned enough calories to have an extra big slice of chocolate cake or eat that bag of chips that taste so good. In reality, you probably haven’t even burned away enough calories to make up for the extra large proportion of food you ate at your regular meals.

If this is the case, then cheating on your diet can hinder your efforts even more and keep you from losing weight. Most people tend to overestimate the amount of activity they do and underestimate the amount of food they eat. For this reason, they believe that after a good workout, they can afford to cheat a little and this prevents them from losing weight.

Don’t Depend Solely On Your Exercise Machines

With all the new technology available today, most new treadmills, elliptical and other exercise machines monitor and record the calories you burn as you exercise. This is a great motivational tool to help you push harder as you see results but it should not be used as a way to determine your calorie intake and here’s why.

While the monitor is recording how many calories you are burning while exercising, it doesn’t subtract the amount of calories would be burning if you were not exercising. For example, if you were not exercising you would still be burning calories, just not as much. If the monitor says you burned 300 calories during your workout but you would have burned 100 calories cleaning house if you were not exercising, in reality, you only burned 200 calories.

Therefore, to get a true reading you need to subtract the amount of calories you would normally be burning from the amount of calories on the monitor and that’s what you should base your calorie intake on.

Stay Active

Any amount of exercise is good for you and better than not doing anything. If you take the stairs at work instead of the elevator or park your car a little further away from the door when you go shopping, it will help to improve your health with time. However, if you truly want to lose weight, you need to stay active all the time.

You can’t expect a 20 to 30 minute exercise workout per day to make you lose weight if the rest of the time, you’re completely inactive. Now, this doesn’t mean that you should be doing exercises every free minute of your day but you can do a lot to add activity to your life when you’re not exercising.

For example, get up and walk around every thirty minutes or so if you sit behind a desk at work or spend some time playing with the kids. If you don’t have kids, get a dog and take him for walks. Anything that you can do to stay active will give your body the exercise you need to help you lose weight. Exercise combined with proper diet is how you lose weight the healthy way and how you keep it off.

The Role Fitness Plays in Your Life

Turn on the TV, radio, or take a look at most any magazine and chances are you will see or hear something to do with weight loss. People all over the world, especially in America, have become increasingly overweight throughout the years and this trend seems to be continuing despite so many efforts to lose weight.

warm up before jogging

Everywhere you look there is a new diet plan, new ways to exercise or some miracle product available designed to help you lose weight fast and easy. However, the majority of these don’t do anything but waste your time.

The key to losing weight is a healthy diet and a good exercise program that’s suited for your body. It sounds simple, but it’s a lot harder to do than it seems. For this reason, many people try to take short cuts by taking diet pills, adhering to a strict diet or literally starving themselves in an attempt to lose a few pounds.

Exercise is often left out of the picture because in general, people want fast results so they’re searching for that quick fix. If they can take a pill or monitor what they eat and lose weight, this saves them time that they don’t have to spend exercising.

The problem is that most diet pills and many diets are a waste of time because even though you may lose weight, you’re not losing it in a healthy way. This can actually make matters worse by causing serious health problems and that is where exercise fits in.

There are No Shortcuts 

There are no shortcuts, magic pills or miracle diets available when it comes to losing weight. It requires dedication, determination and a real effort. It starts with a healthy nutritious diet combined with a good exercise plan designed especially for you. Then it takes persistence and a real desire to put forth the effort needed to drop those pounds.

If you try to take shortcuts, you may lose weight but you can damage your body in the process. For example, if you go on a starvation diet your body begins using all of the nutrients stored in your body to keep it alive. These nutrients along with all of the energy you receive from them will be used to keep your heart, lungs and other essential organs functioning properly.

When your body no longer has any fat reserves left to feed on due to the diet you’re using, your muscle tissue will start to reduce. As a result, you’ll lose weight but you’re damaging your body in the process. At first, you may begin to feel extra tired and irritable but eventually, your organs can even begin to shut down.

How Exercise Helps You Lose Weight

Now that you know exercise is needed to help you lose weight, it’s important to know how it helps you. Exercising works your muscles, which require energy to work correctly. This energy comes from the sugars found in your bloodstream.

Eventually, if you exercise long enough, the muscles will use up all of the sugars in the bloodstream and the body will need to replenish it by taking it from the fats stored in your body. When this happens, you’re burning calories. The muscles are getting the energy they need to function correctly and you begin to lose weight.

The best part is that your body still burns calories while you sleep because the muscles are working to repair themselves to get ready for the next workout. This requires energy, which comes from the fat stores and this means that you are still burning calories. The more calories you burn, the more weight you lose.

The more you exercise the toner your muscles become. As a result, you’ll lose weight but you won’t have to deal with the flabby skin that some people deal with when they lose weight too fast through crash diets. You’ll look beautiful and feel great. It’s a real esteem builder.

Which Exercises Should You Do to Lose Weight

It’s important to know that only a professional with experience in weight loss through exercise can tell you which ones to do to lose weight. This is because there is no one particular set of exercises suited for every person. It depends on many different things such as how much weight you need to lose, your age, how long it’s been since you last exercised and your overall health.

You’ll need to create an exercise routine that is suited for you personally and something that you will actually do. For example, there is no need to get a membership to the gym if in reality you know you won’t go. Instead, look for ways to get exercise that you can enjoy. For example, if you enjoy dancing, look for a dance routine you can do designed for weight loss.

Bicycling and swimming are two more ways to burn calories in a fun way. Other options include walking, jogging, running and step aerobics. Yoga is also a good option for many people. If it’s been a long time since you last exercised, you can start off by doing things around the house like work in a garden, mow the lawn with a push mower or spend a few minutes a day playing games with the kids.

Exercise Tips

When you’re not used to exercising, you don’t want to start out full force. This can do more harm than good. Instead, choose light, simple exercises such as walking and swimming that will give your body time to build up and get used to doing something. Then, gradually add more strenuous types of exercises to your routine.

You should also begin slowly by spending about 10 to 15 minutes performing the exercise, regardless of what you choose to do. After you have become comfortable with the exercises you choose, then you can begin picking up the pace. For example, instead of walking, switch to a light jog or go further distances. You do need to push yourself but stay at a rate that is comfortable for you. Never try to keep up with someone else.

Always warm up before exercising to prevent straining your muscles. You also want to drink plenty of water before and after your workout to avoid becoming dehydrated.

Keep in mind that as your muscles tone, they gain mass and since muscles weigh more than fat does, you may not notice a difference in your actual weight at first. You may only lose a couple of pounds, weigh the same or even gain a few pounds so don’t let this discourage you. There will be a noticeable difference in the way you look and the way your clothes fit and that is what’s most important.

Some exercises are designed to build muscle mass and add weight. These are the type of exercise bodybuilders do and not what you’re looking for when you’re just trying to lose weight and tone up your body. Weightlifting is one example. Take time to learn about the different exercises so you can find the ones that suit you the best.

If you’re not sure what type of exercises to do or how to get started, you can seek the help of a professional. There are many programs and experts available that can help you design the exercise program that is best suited for your body, age and overall physical health.

The role exercise for weight loss plays in your life is a dramatic one. You can’t lose weight and stay healthy without it. In addition, exercise has many other benefits, too. You will look better, feel better and have more energy than ever before.