You may have heard that exercise, while essential for good health, doesn’t do a great deal for weight loss. While it’s true that what you eat has more of a dramatic effect on your weight than calories burned through exercise, there’s another way of looking at this.
Perhaps you’ve heard the saying, ”Eat an apple, swim halfway to London.” While this is obviously an exaggeration, it’s partly true in that exercise while you’re actually performing it, doesn’t burn enough calories to counteract a diet high in sugar and fat. But there is a hidden benefit that we’ll discuss below.
The true benefits of exercise for weight loss are twofold:
1 – While you burn calories during exercise, especially vigorous exercise, you also continue to burn them for a while after you stop exercising. This is called “excess post-exercise oxygen consumption,” or EPOC. This is the body’s metabolism taking time to return to its resting state.
2 – Exercise builds lean muscle which in itself, can help you lose weight every day just simply by being there. Having more muscle in your body means you burn calories without doing anything extra.
“The more lean muscle mass you have, the higher your basal metabolic rate, which means you will burn more calories automatically, throughout the day.” – (Rick Kaselj – Registered Kinesiologist and pain, injury, health and fitness specialist.)
So there’s a lot of benefits to be gained by exercising during weight loss. The type of exercise you do can make a lot of difference as well, especially if time is a factor, and when isn’t it these days?
High intensity training (HIT)
While not for everyone, HIT involves moving vigorously for a short time, before slowing down to let the body recover. This can be done by running followed by walking, cycling very fast, then slowly, or even swimming fast and then slowing down. For example run for one minute, walk for two. This can be continued for fifteen minutes, or until you feel tired.
Even if you’re not fit, you can start HIT by walking steadily for one minute and slowly for two. However do check with your doctor before starting this. HIT can cut exercise time by more than half as EPOC will continue for a longer time after your session.
Do bear in mind that if incorporating exercise into your weight loss regime, you may see a plateauing of your weight. This is because you’re building lean muscle while still burning fat and muscle weighs more than fat. If this is the case, it may be better to ditch the scales for a while and measure around your waist to get a true indication or how much slimmer you’re becoming!
When combining diet and exercise into your weight loss regime, you’ll soon find you’ll need to go shopping for a new wardrobe as your old clothes start to hang on you!
Tapping for weight loss
Did you know that your mindset has a lot to do with your weight? If the answer’s “no,” it’s hardly surprising. Not many people know this. But by now you may be aware that weight loss or gain is not as simple as calories in/calories out. There’s many other aspects to weight loss – hormones, toxins and yes, your mindset. In fact a lot of diets fail because of this very aspect.
Somewhere in our subconscious mind, there’s a part of our brain that wants to keep us safe. Somehow this part of us equates being slim to danger. Because it’s out of our conscious control, there’s little we can do about it, but this survival instinct could be the missing link between weight loss success or failure.