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How Do I Lose Weight Through Exercise?

April 30, 2019

By definition, exercise refers to any bodily activity that enhances or maintains physical fitness and overall health. However, knowing the exact amount or frequency of exercise that's recommended for weight loss will enable you to stay focused and attain your goals. Though this is bound to vary per individual, studies show that engaging in between 150 and 250 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise each week will help you to lose a substantial amount of weight. Exercising for more than 250 minutes per week proves to be even better if your goal is to lose weight (Ovid).

The most effective form of training for weight loss is High Intensity Interval Training, commonly referred to as HIIT. Since the intensity of the workout is crucial to reap maximum benefits, HIIT compels your muscles to work harder, consequently speeding up your metabolism and causing the desired weight loss outcome within record time (WomensHealthMag).

Here are a handful of other important workout tips if you want to see the number on your scale go down:

Be In A Caloric Deficit

Know that you can't lose weight unless you’re burning as many calories as you ingest. As far as burning calories goes, get off the couch and do a cardio session! For an effective workout plan, you can alternate days of performing cardio sessions with resistance training. 

One benefit you'll gain from exercising regularly is establishing consistency in other areas of your life. Ultimately, it can give you the motivation to be more disciplined and eat fewer calories, which is critical to weight loss. Ultimately, attaining and maintaining a healthy weight will require both consistent physical exercise and a balanced diet.

Know Your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR)

Even when resting, the body requires a small amount of calories to perform basic life-sustaining functions like breathing, circulating bodily fluids, processing nutrients, and producing cells. The number of calories needed to perform these functions is known as the Basal Metabolic Rate, or BMR, and can assist you in accomplishing your exercise goal, whether it's to lose, gain, or maintaining a certain weight. As far as losing weight is concerned, knowing your BMR gives you a good idea of how many calories you need to maintain a certain weight. If you aim to burn 500 more calories than you consume each day, it will lead to roughly 1 pound of fat loss each week (Healthline).

Gamify Your Exercise Routine

Wouldn’t it be amazing if exercising could feel like playing a video game? Well, it can! Your “character” goes through challenges and setbacks, leveling up over time. To boost the feeling of playing a video game through exercise, there have been several apps created to help with weight loss and have proven their effectiveness over time.

For example, Zombies Run! is an app that's designed to make you feel like you're running away from zombies, thus increasing the speed and intensity of your workout. Fitocracy is yet another gamification app that focuses on a set of qualifications necessitated by your ability to eat healthy and exercise regularly.

Don’t Worry About Weight Fluctuations

There's a massive difference between losing weight and losing fat. If you underconsumed calories yesterday, you undoubtedly lost fat! However, you may still weigh more than you did the day before. This is simply because the human body stores a ton of water, and the storage of that water fluctuates. Therefore, the scale might not appear lower the day after underconsuming calories. But, with commitment to your weight loss goals over time, you'll definitely see the number on the scale decrease (Prevention).

Bottomline

Physical activity has immense benefits for weight loss and everyone can experience positive life changes with an exercise plan. Exercise can keep diseases like stroke, type 2 diabetes, and high blood pressure at bay, as well as reduce one's risk for osteoporosis and arthritis. Additionally, physical activity can ease anxiety and depression, improving one's overall mental health. With all that being said, consult a doctor before engaging in any exercise to ensure your health and safety (Active).

References

https://www.active.com/fitness/articles/how-often-should-i-exercise

https://www.healthline.com/health-news/turning-exercise-into-a-game-can-make-fitness-more-fun-and-effective

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/does-exercise-cause-weight-loss#section3

https://www.prevention.com/weight-loss/a20474562/best-weight-loss-exercises/

https://www.self.com/story/heres-what-a-perfect-week-of-working-out-looks-like

https://www.womenshealthmag.com/weight-loss/g19916501/the-12-best-foods-to-eat-when-you-hit-a-weight-loss-plateau/