The exercises you do can make all the difference when it comes to sustainable weight loss.
While there are tons of ways to work out, there’s no denying that some ways have a higher success rate than others — especially for losing fat and retaining muscle mass. Here are a few tips that can help you ensure your workouts are as effective as possible:
Best Exercise Tips To Help You Lose Weight Sustainably
Here’s a look at six such tips:
#1 Lift heavy
The body burns calories to fuel the activities you do in your day-to-day life. The more intense the activities are, the more energy they require and the more calories you burn—at least till the body adapts to that level of physical stress. That’s why lifting heavy weights is better than lifting lighter ones; it makes you work harder, which can mean burning extra fat and toning up.
Lifting weights also builds muscle mass (which increases metabolism), improves bone density, and reduces the risk of injury during aerobic activities like running or cycling. Muscle burns more calories than fat at rest — so if you’re trying to lose weight by increasing activity rather than cutting calories, incorporating resistance training into your routine can help boost calorie-burning even more.
If you’re just starting out with strength training or haven’t done any in a while, start small: aim for two sets of eight reps per exercise with approximately 60% of your maximum weight lift each set (with warm-up sets included ).
Increase weights as needed over time till you reach 80% of max weight lifts for two sets of six reps each on both upper body pressing exercises (such as bench press or overhead press) and lower body pushing exercises (like squats).
#2 Don’t make it all about cardio
Cardio is an important part of a healthy weight loss regimen, but it shouldn’t be the only part of your routine.
Strength training is another great way to burn calories and lose weight, as building muscle increases metabolism and helps burn more calories even when you’re not working out.
Think about it this way: If you have two people who each weigh 150 pounds, and one person has more muscle than the other, which person will burn more calories by doing nothing? The answer is obvious — it’s the person with more muscle.
Strength training can be done at home or at a gym, depending on what equipment (if any) you have access to. If everything fails, there’re plenty of free online strength training programs available as well.
#3 Be smart about what you eat before and after exercise
Remember that it’s important to eat a healthy breakfast before exercising, but don’t overeat, as that can make you feel sluggish and tired. Also, avoid eating too much after exercising, as the calories from your post-workout snack can be stored as fat.
After working out, avoid sugary and salty foods (like potato chips), which can cause a spike in blood sugar level, leading to fatigue and hunger. Don’t drink alcohol before or after exercising, as it interferes with the body’s ability to process glucose (sugar) during exercise.
Refined carbs also have this effect. They should be avoided if they’re not part of an active lifestyle, such as running marathons or playing basketball every day (but whole grains are fine).
#4 Reassess your goals frequently
It can be easy to fall off track when you’re trying to lose weight because of many contributing factors.
If you’ve been struggling with weight loss, it may be time for you to reassess your goals. Doing so is an important part of changing habits and understanding what’s working, what isn’t, and how much progress needs to be made before reaching a new goal.
There are several reasons why reassessing your goals is important:
- It helps keep you motivated, as you see your progress towards your larger goal, instead of focusing on smaller steps that could discourage you.
- It reminds you that even small changes in behavior lead to big results for health over time — like losing two pounds per month instead of one per week adds up over six months.
#5 Invest in the right gear
Another important part of getting started is to invest in the right gear. Many people try to lose weight with improper equipment, uncomfortable shoes, and poor gear. While it’s great to work with what you’ve got, you should look to invest in fitness gear that’s designed for comfort and performance.
The right gear can help you feel more comfortable during exercise and reduce risk of injury. If you’re new to exercise or have been sedentary for a long time, it’s best to consult with a doctor before beginning any new workout routine.
The most important thing is that your clothes fit well so that you aren’t distracted by anything while working out. Moreover, they should be comfortable enough that they don’t restrict movement or cause chafing (which can lead to irritation).
#6 Keep tabs on your progress, but try not to get too hung up on the numbers
It’s important to set goals that are achievable. If you set your sights on a goal that seems impossible, it will only lead to frustration and disappointment when you fail to reach that.
To avoid getting too hung up on numbers, try not to weigh yourself more than once a week. Also, if at any point during your weight loss journey you feel like things aren’t going as well as they should be or something needs to change — like adding an exercise class or upping how often you run — listen carefully to what your body is trying to tell you.
Remember: this isn’t a competition; it’s about creating healthy habits that make you feel good both physically and mentally so that lasting changes can take place in your life.
Whether you’re trying to lose weight, maintain your current weight, or build muscle mass, it’s important that you find an exercise routine that fits your lifestyle and keeps you interested in exercise.
Remember that the best way to make sure you don’t give up on your goals is by finding an activity that feels good and won’t feel like torture. Even if it doesn’t work out right away, don’t despair. Just keep at it till something clicks for you.
Poll: How often do you work out?