The Best Weight Loss Exercise
Article by Jennifer Carlson
If you want to lose weight, you have to exercise. There’s really no alternative. Many people believe that diet alone can trim down an overweight figure, but diet without exercise can actually do more harm than good. Keep reading to find out the absolute best weight loss exercise, and why no one who needs to lose weight will succeed without regular weight loss exercise.
Basically, weight loss is a simple exercise in mathematics. If you put in less energy (food) than you use up, you’ll lose weight. So, from that simple formula it would seem logical that cutting down on the energy in will mean that the energy balance will be negative, and thus fat will be used up. However, it’s not that simple. The amount of energy used up during day to day activities is related to the basal metabolic rate (BMR), which is the rate at which the body doing nothing (except surviving) burns energy. If you live a very sedentary life, you probably won’t burn many more calories than that burned by your BMR alone. This in itself doesn’t seem to be a problem, as even a sedentary dieter, who’s very motivated and regimented in their eating, can consume less than they’re burning. So what’s the problem?
The problem lies in the fact that a body, when it thinks it’s starving, will do whatever it can to defend itself, and to do this it attempts to lower the body’s basal metabolic rate! One means by which the body does this is actually to use muscle for energy rather than fat. Muscle requires more energy to maintain than fat does, so in order to conserve as much energy as possible, burning muscle works quite well. But for an overweight person who needs to lose weight, it’s a potential nightmare!
So we’re back to the all important notion of weight loss exercise. Any exercise will keep the body burning energy stores, and the more exercise you can do (within reason) the more of those energy stores will be used up. Aerobic exercise is considered to be particularly good for weight loss, as oxygen is needed to help metabolise fat, and of course, aerobic exercise also burns the most calories. However, where aerobic activity fails as a weight loss exercise, is that it isn’t quite as good at preserving muscle as you might think. If a person is still living on a reduced calorie diet, the body will still try and preserve itself as much as possible, which still means that muscle may be metabolised (although not to the same extent as in the sedentary dieter living on a very low calorie diet).
The remedy for this is weight training! The best weight loss exercise by far has to include weight training, at least three times a weight. And I’m talking about the sort of weight training that builds muscles! The more muscle a person has, the higher their BMR is, so the more they’ll keep burning day after day.
By learning as much as I could about exercise, and by incorporating both weight training and aerobics into my life, and following a program called The Mediterranean Diet, I was able to lose weight and keep it off! After awhile I found the exercise really enjoyable, and by following a diet plan that allowed me to eat foods I really liked, I found the whole process much easier than all my previous dieting attempts had been.
About the Author
Jennifer Carlson spent many of her adult years overweight, until she discovered The Mediterranean Diet. She also maintains the website Super Diet Success.