By “losing weight,” I am referring to losing body fat. Weight loss could mean losing lean muscle mass or water weight; however, that should not be your goal, nor is it healthy. To lose weight with exercise in a smart manner, there are a few things to consider.
Sometimes, we all need a helping hand, and it’s no different for our body when it comes to losing weight. Studies proved that exercise and physical activity are the buddies the body needs to prevent chronic diseases such as cancer, diabetes mellitus, obesity, and depression. Moreover, it’s highly recommended to lose weight with exercise. Why?
The body continues to work even after a workout, and it is this extra work that causes you to burn extra calories. Once the heavy lifting is done (literally), all you have to do is focus on what enters your mouth, because your body does the rest while you rest! So how do you begin?
Clear the Junk Drawer
Without skipping a beat, start by eliminating all the obvious junk from your diet: sources of added sugar, simple and refined carbohydrates, polyunsaturated fats, and trans fats. You can only begin to lose weight with exercise once you ensure you’re not adding more body fat.
Get Conceptual Clarity
Losing weight must always mean losing body fat (adipose tissue) and not lean muscle mass: starving yourself becomes a no go
Exercise includes all forms of resistance training (weight training for strength and endurance) as well as cardiorespiratory endurance training (cardio for the heart and lungs): don’t limit yourself
Training To Lose Weight With Exercise
Resistance training has myriad benefits. It develops strength, it keeps your bones healthy and strong, and it keeps you ageing like fine wine, to name a few. Interestingly, there’s more than meets the eye.
Soreness: Don’t Be Sore About It!
For beginners and pros alike, soreness is a universal experience. It could be the result of taking the stairs after ages or after an intense one-rep max. What ends up making you feel like a sore loser in the following days is what works its magic to help you lose body fat or gain muscle mass; let’s focus on the former.
Simply, soreness indicates that your muscles are in need of repair because of the damage they sustained while helping you climb the stairs or lift weights. This is commonly known as Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness.
To do so, your body spends an extra amount of energy for the job. This increases your basal metabolic rate (BMR), and this aftereffect signals your body to work while you rest.
Basal Metabolic Rate
Basal metabolic rate (BMR) is an estimation of the calories/energy the body requires at rest to keep the metabolic activities running smoothly (respiration, digestion, circulation, neurotransmission…you name it). By placing a greater demand through exercise and the resulting repair work, this rate increases.
How This Extra Work Works for You: Long Term
Your body starts burning more calories, and the greater the surface area of damage, the greater the demand on your body—don’t skip leg day. Thereafter, the next best thing happens: gaining lean muscle mass (hypertrophy), which is a long-term solution to increasing BMR. How?
You could say muscle is high maintenance, that is, it is a metabolically active tissue. Therefore, if you carry more muscle mass, your body needs more energy to maintain it.
This muscle mass is a by-product of resistance training, and a study proved that resistance training increases BMR, also known as resting metabolic rate. In addition, a study found a positive correlation between resistance training and fat oxidation (losing fat).
Therefore, encourage your body to be an energy guzzler rather than an energy trapper. Exercise, the best way to get your body huffing and puffing, becomes vital for long-term benefits, especially in the form of resistance training.
How This Extra Work Works for You: Short Term
After a workout, heart rate is elevated, body temperature rises, and energy reserves take a hit. Once you’re done, the body begins bringing you back to normal (homeostasis). This too is extra work, and it is commonly known as excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC).
Cardiorespiratory Endurance Training
The importance of cardio training cannot be stressed enough to keep the heart and lungs functioning at optimum levels. Right from your resting heart rate, stroke volume, to cardiac output, every parameter improves with consistent cardio training. The benefits of cardio training carry over to resistance training: the most obvious effect being a reduction in the resting time between sets.
However, the aftereffects aren’t as pronounced as resistance training, which does not mean skipping cardio altogether. What this means is that you will burn calories while performing this physical activity but not after you’re done, unlike resistance training, which revs up the BMR on and off the floor.
It’s best to include both cardiorespiratory endurance training and resistance training in your weekly workout split to lose weight with exercise. Just make sure to stay clear of any form of junk, add proteins and fats to your diet, and limit carbohydrates intake. For the rest, put your rest to the test.
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