Despite what many people will tell you, being active is a vital ingredient to any weight loss program. If you have been around the weight loss game for any amount of time, it is very obvious that your body will burn more calories when it is active than when it is non-active! In fact, the formula to losing weight is actually a simple one: burn more calories than you consume!
Did you know that 1 pound of fat is about equal to about 3500 calories? So simply put, in order for you to lose one pound of fat you would have to burn about 3500 calories! Sounds like a lot of exercise and dieting doesn’t it? But let’s break that number down and make it even simpler, if you were to create a caloric deficit of only 500 calories a day that would mean that you would burn a pound of fat every single week (7 days x 500 calories = 3500 calories).
It goes without saying that diet will play a bigger role in losing weight than exercising. However, exercise still plays an important part in your weight loss.
In order to effectively burn extra fat try get at least 150 minutes a week of cardio or about half that, 75 minutes, of intense cardio. Cardio can include anything like cycling, running or even swimming. And intense cardio would be something like high-intensity interval training or HIIT which can be great for you if you don’t have much time during the week!
Depending on where you are on your weight loss journey, you may need a little more or a little less exercise time than the recommended amount, but make sure each session is a least 15 minutes. You can even mix it up by rotating between normal cardio and intense cardio during your workout!
Try and get at least 2 sessions a week of strength training of about 20 minutes each. Strength training can include anything that involves weights or some sort of resistance to your body. It is really important to maintain or build your muscle during the weight loss process because muscle helps in turn to burn fat! And in more simple terms, the more muscle you have, the more fat you will end up burning!
Whether you prefer cardio or strength training, try doing at least 30 minutes a day of structured exercise! Your weight loss will depend on a lot of factors like the intensity and the type of exercise you are doing, but the most important factor will be consistency!