An introduction to losing weight

There is no excuse for not moving. Often, people say they have no time for physical activity, but maintaining your body weight is critical for your health. And losing weight the right way is just as important.

 

Being overweight

Being overweight or clinically obese is when you have a high calorie intake and low energy expenditure. To lose weight, you can either reduce your calorie intake, or do regular exercise and reduce calorie intake at the same time. Doing exercise too is always more beneficial.

Many people don’t exercise correctly

Many people don’t exercise correctly when they want to lose weight. They think if they do a high-impact cardio workout or work out for very long periods of time, they’ll lose weight quicker and keep it off. But actually it’s not effective this way. It’s important not to exert too much stress on the body, as you would actually be losing the benefit of the workout overall. It’s therefore important to choose activities on a daily basis that are not going to put unnecessary stress on the body.

Gradual and regular exercise

Gradual, regular physical activity and a healthy diet is crucial for losing weight, keeping it off and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. A well-balanced programme of exercises must include both strength exercises and aerobic exercises. Strength exercises are important for increasing muscle mass, as it’s the muscles that burn the most calories from your diet. Aerobic activities such as walking, running, swimming, cycling, and in general all the activities that use large muscle groups are great for losing weight and toning up.

Regular physical activity reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, high blood pressure and being obese and can actually help you to look and feel younger for longer.

The right amount of exercise is important

In extreme cases, excess physical activity can have negative effects on weight loss. Under normal conditions, cortisol – known as the stress hormone acts to help the body overcome stressful situations such as prolonged fasting. Higher and more prolonged levels of cortisol in the bloodstream have been shown to have negative effects on the body and actually deposit fat especially the abdomen.

Exercising on an empty stomach

It’s common for dieters to lose weight by exercising on an empty stomach. It does have its advantages, but can also be risky to your health. The recommended duration of aerobic exercise on an empty stomach is about 40 minutes; over this period and you may be at risk of using protein as your energy supply resulting in muscle catabolism – the destruction of muscle mass.

Burn calories even when you’re resting

It’s natural to reduce the amount you eat to reduce calorie intake. But by adopting drastic measures, such as diets based only on eating fruits and vegetables or eliminating certain foods altogether will only result in a loss of weight due to fluid loss and muscle mass. This is not achievable or healthy to maintain over a long period of time. Just by moving, you’re burning calories therefore muscle mass needs to be maintained because muscles have a high basal metabolic rate (BMR) and this affects the rate you burn calories and ultimately whether you maintain, gain, or lose weight. Your basal metabolic rate accounts for about 60 to 75% of the calories you burn every day.

Physical activity and nutrition are two complementary elements. If you want to lose weight in a smart way, you need to combine the right amount of physical activity with the right diet.

 

WANT TO KNOW MORE?

Read How to lose weight effectively
Read The benefits of losing weight
Read Questions & Answers