When it comes to weight loss, there are so many different approaches we can take to achieve our goals. It can getvery confusing when trying to decide which one to choose.
- Some say cardio is the ultimate weight loss tool.
- Others say that you can target fat loss in specific areas.
- People will say that lifting weights will only make you gain muscle.
Then you have people who will disagree with almost every one of those points. Well we are going to clarify these controversies and reveal which ones are in fact true and which ones are false.
First off, I’d like to clarify the difference between fat loss and weight loss. Weight loss refers to simply lowering the number on the scale. This can result in losing loosing muscle and fat. Fat loss involves changing your body composition.
Here are some routines that millions of people go through every day in efforts to “lower the number on the scale”:
- Eat minimal calories
- Perform copious and unnecessary amounts of cardio
- Little to no weight training
Some of the best exercises that actually can help you lose weight are ones that do the following:
- Burn a decent amount of calories and force you to use a lot of energy
- Prevent muscles loss
- Don’t cause your body to be put under too much stress
Cardio tends to be one of those exercises that people usein excess. It doesn’t burn as much energy as you think it may. Not only that, but performing cardio can make it easy to eat back all the calories that you burned. How can that be possible? Simple.
When you are dieting your body learns to burn less and less calories as you drop in weight. Why? It wants to maintain homeostasis (keep things constant despite external changes)
When this happens, it makes it harder and harder to burn more calories. Your body WANTS to eat more, hence why you feel more hungry.
The worst thing you can do is fuel the fire. By doing more cardio you are only digging yourself deeper into the hole. This is why I recommend that people keep their cardio to a minimum when you’re trying to decrease your body fat.
My two favorite go-to’s for when it comes to losing weight and supplementing with cardio are:
When I am short on time, I prefer to get the most out of my time with a quick high intensity session. I go all-out and push myself as hard as I can! Doing something as simple as a 20-30 second sprint 4-7x with enough rest in between each sprint is burning as many calories as an hour of slow jogging.
On days where I have more time to workout I chose to walk. Walking is a great low intensity method to reducing weight. If you walk just a few hours per week or 10,000 steps a day, you can burn up to an additional 2,000 calories a week. Which means you can lose roughly 1-2 lbs a month without actually doing anything too crazy.
So, if you’re like me and you’ve had one to many snow cones from @snowbots this summer, try out these tips for shedding off those extra pounds.
- 2-3 HIIT sessions per week (lasting no longer than 20-30 min)
- 2-3 30 min walking sessions per week
- 3-5 hours of strength training per week
The main thing to take away from this article is:
- Don’t worry so much about the number on the scale, but instead decreasing body fat.
- Eat your protein and don’t starve yourself
- There is no such thing as targeting certain areas of your body to lose fat
- Copious amounts of cardio is unnecessary
- Weight training is vital in retaining muscle and reducing body fat (overall improving your body composition)
- Compound lifts can help you decrease body fat and increase muscle simultaneously
Follow these guidelines and I promise you that you’ll see greater progress in the gym than you’ve ever seen.
You can get started on your fitness journey before the fall rolls in by joining some of these local gyms!
CrossFit Germantown Performance
Fitness Edge MD
Life Time Athletic
Orangetheory Fitness Gaithersburg
North Bethesda Sport&Health
Supreme Sports Performance and Training
Demetra is not a physician or registered dietitian. The content of this article should not be taken as medical advice. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any health problem – nor is it intended to replace the advice of a physician. Always consult your physician or qualified health professional on any matters regarding your health.
My name is Demetra Eftimiades but I go by Demi!