Everybody knows that to lose weight, you need to eat less and become more physical. It makes sense since the trick is to create an energy deficit, which in turn forces your body to get its energy from the fat stored around your body. However, this doesn’t usually work for everybody and working out becomes necessary. But, how often should you exercise when you’re trying to lose weight?
Daily and Weekly Exercise Recommendations
It’s recommended that you do between 150 minutes to 250 minutes of exercise weekly. Most trainers and experts also advise that more is better and will give you faster results. Weight loss depends on your targets. For instance, if you aim to cut calories as much as you can, then challenging yourself to 250 minutes per week will go in your favor.
This translates to as little as 35 minutes per day of moderate to intense workouts. That’s not a lot and it’s easily achievable if you set your mind to it. You can increase this duration as you get used to it to maintain your weight.
With these recommendations, you don’t have to stick to the daily 35-minute workouts. If you’re more into shorter workouts, then this plan is good for you. However, if you don’t get that much time every day, you can schedule your routines to three or four days per week. But the routines will have to be longer. For instance, you can do 40-minute workouts four days of the week and then do one long 75-minute workout during the weekend. The intensity of your workouts should be well thought out to avoid injuries. If you’re healthy, you can do more high-intensity workouts to burn more calories in a shorter time. In case you can’t achieve this, you can still go easy on your exercise but do them for a longer time.
If you want to tone up as well, you could try doing three days of strength training, two days of long cardio, and two days of active rest. The most important factor here is to set realistic goals that work for you. Otherwise, your motivation will slowly start to dwindle.
Boost Your Metabolism
When weight loss is your main focus, calorie burning during your exercises matter. But that’s not all. It’s also important to burn calories long after you’re done with your workouts. This is where metabolism comes in. Your metabolism rate keeps changing throughout the day depending on a variety of factors like physical activity, the type and size of your meal, and the time of day. Our bodies have a way to balance the energy expenditure and energy intake, to maintain a state of balance known as homeostasis.
Every time you change a diet or start a new exercise, the body adjusts to the new normal by boosting your metabolism to match that change. At first, you’ll lose some pounds due to these changes. After a while, once your body reaches homeostasis, the shedding stops. This means that if you perform one type of workout for a long time, your body gets accustomed and finds a new equilibrium. That’s why there are people who never see results despite going to the gym, running, or cycling every day. Adapting to your routine will not give you results. That’s why you need to try something new in your workouts to avoid reaching homeostasis. Find a plan that encompasses different exercises and one that you’ll be comfortable performing.
Change Your Diet
Exercise alone won’t work if you don’t eat well. Your body’s performance pretty much depends on how healthy you eat. For most people, combining an exercise routine and a calorie restriction is the best weight loss approach. This also works differently for different people. There are those who say that working out, especially intense exercises ups their appetites making them more likely to overindulge. For others, the same type of workout reduces their hunger hormones, and they will not feel like eating for the next two hours or so. So, it’s important to monitor how your body responds to exercise and find a way to control the side effects.
For example, if exercising triggers ghrelin, the hunger hormones, you can eat a protein-rich and low-carb snack to keep your hunger in check and start muscle repair. Getting the right nutrition will help you lose even more weight. This means keeping off unhealthy diets like fast foods, processed foods, and sugary beverages and soft drinks.
To see faster results when trying to lose weight, you need to work out at least 250 minutes per week. Challenge yourself by gradually increasing this duration and you’ll be on the right track. More movement will mean better results. On top of that, the more you exercise, the more it becomes a habit and the more you’ll want to do it. Get yourself a healthy balanced diet to fuel your body and revamp your cells after the workouts. Also remember that your body needs rest and giving yourself active rest days is really important.
All images by Pixabay