Everyone likes to attack weight loss differently. There are those who like to combine exercise and nutrition; others change their eating only; and some would rather hit the gym and run rather than give up their favorite foods.
Weight loss is possible by watching what you eat exclusively, but the research says that any successful long-term weight loss program includes a strong exercise component. In fact people who diet often regain all the weight they’ve lost and then some. Not to mention that constantly restricting food can be irritating, leaving us feeling grumpy, tired and hungry all of the time.
So why is exercise better?
1. Exercise changes your metabolism
Physical activity changes the energy equilibrium (your metabolism) of your body by increasing the amount of energy your body needs every day.
2. Cardio burns calories
One pound of fat is equal to 3500 calories. So to lose weight you need a calorie deficiency of 500 a day to lose a pound a week (500 x 7 days = 3500). It’s better to eliminate calories with exercise because restricting food can actually lower your metabolism.
3. Activity breeds more activity
Studies show that individuals who exercise are generally more active throughout the day.
4. Working out builds muscle
You can increase muscle mass and the size of your muscle fiber by exercising (especially weight bearing activity). In order to nourish these fibers the body uses calories from fat that are stored in the body. As your energy requirements go up, you burn more fat during exercise and all day long. So the more muscle you have, the more calories your body burns, the faster you lose weight.
I’m not going to lie: It’s hard to burn tons of calories through exercise alone. That is a lot of mornings hoofing it on the treadmill. Obviously for the best success, combining caloric restriction with exercise will get you to your goals faster. I like to eat high water-content and fiberous foods like veggies and fruits that are low in calories but still fill me up.
Find a few activities that you really enjoy doing, and get in at least twenty to thirty minutes a session a few times a week. My knees are bad, so even though jogging/running is a great calorie burner, I have to take a spin class or do a rigorous walk in order to get my time in. Figure out what is best for you so that you’ll be able to maintain these activities on a regular basis and, ultimately, make a lasting life change.
By Gabby Reece