Losing weight depends on a variety of factors, including diet, consistency and frequent exercise. Exercising five days per week is generally recommended, though it may be tempting to work out every day to reach weight loss goals quickly. Either working out five or seven days per week will result in weight loss when combined with a proper diet. However, for some people, working out seven days a week may be too intense, and if you burn out and give up, you'll stop losing weight. Talk with your doctor before starting, especially if you have health problems.
Types of Exercise
HealthPlus, a division of Vanderbuilt University, recommends incorporating cardiovascular exercise, strength training and flexibility exercises. Each type of exercise is important to build your overall fitness and help you achieve your goals. Cardiovascular exercise, often referred to as aerobic exercise, is beneficial in strengthening the heart and cardiovascular system. It boosts metabolism, helping the body burn calories and promote weight loss. Strength training is essential to build muscle, increasing the amount of fat your body burns during exercise and at rest.
Exercising with proper frequency and duration is vital in reaching your weight loss goals. Emily Knudson, certified personal trainer and owner of Empowered Personal Training Studio in Harrisburg, North Carolina, explains that adding cardiovascular exercise to your everyday routine helps weight loss by creating the exercise habit. However, if the frequency is overwhelming for a beginner, one or two rest days a week will help prevent burnout.
Strength training exercise, such as working out with free weights or on weight machines in a gym, should be performed less frequently than cardiovascular exercise. Beginners should start with strength training twice weekly. Alternate muscle groups with each workout and provide two days' rest in between.
At some point, you may hit a plateau. Plateaus occur when your weight loss slows and eventually stops, even though you are exercising regularly and eating well. The University of California-Riverside recommends changing your exercise routines. Use different machines at the gym, try a different class or change the type of exercise you are doing. You may also need to increase the length or intensity of your workout.
An injury is a huge obstacle when trying to lose weight. If you are injured, consult a doctor or physical therapist for a diagnosis and treatment recommendations. Ask whether you can continue a modified exercise program. Activities such as yoga or Pilates might allow you to keep up your exercise routine while stretching out the muscles.
Without the right fuel, your muscles will not adequately recover, increasing the possibility of injury. Tanya Williams, a registered dietitian with Bucknell University, explains that eating every three to four hours can prevent blood sugar levels from dropping and will maintain your energy. Eating a wide variety of whole foods and limiting processed options increases the nutrients your body takes in. McKinley Health Center notes that carbohydrate- and protein-rich foods should be eaten within two hours after working out to aid muscle recovery.
To lose weight, it is essential to burn more calories than you eat each day. To burn one pound of fat, you must eat 3,500 fewer calories, or exercise more to burn 3,500 more calories than you eat. The more you exercise, the more calories you burn and ultimately the more weight you lose. As long as you are consistent with your diet and exercise, you will lose weight.