When trying to lose weight, it can be hard to know whether to keep your focus on diet or on exercise to get results, since focusing too heavily on both can become exhausting when you’re just starting and can cause burnout.
There is a lot of debate around this topic and many different “schools of thought,” but here’s how I often break it down for people: diet should be 2/3 of your focus, and exercise should be 1/3 of it.
This means that your diet plays a bigger role in determining what your weight will be, but exercise is still crucial to actually getting the results you want.
Exercise is also the way that you transform the shape and composition of your body. If you are eating a very healthy diet, but not exercising at all, you will likely have a “soft” yet thin body, with little muscle mass or definition. When you add in exercise, you will gain muscle, improve your posture, and have overall muscle definition (without looking bulky or like a bodybuilder, I promise). When combining this with proper nutrition, this is where your confidence will skyrocket, clothes will fit better, and people will start to notice how great you look!
Additionally, the benefits of exercise are endless:
+ increased energy
+ increased metabolism
+ increased muscle mass
+ increased bone density, especially important as we age
+ decreased cholesterol
+ decreased blood pressure
+ improved cardiovascular health
+ improved endurance & stamina, so you don’t get winded carrying groceries up a flight of stairs
+ increased mental alertness & focus
+ increased confidence
Now, there are many different types of exercise, from walking to weight lifting, bootcamp classes to yoga. So, how do we incorporate exercise specifically for weight loss? Your best option will be a workout that gets your heart rate up quickly for short periods of time, combined with moves that allow your heart rate to come back down for a short period of time. This is known as high intensity interval training, or HIIT, short bursts of activity followed by a “rest” period.
Many people assume cardio is best for weight loss, but running or walking at a steady pace will only burn a limited number of calories in a long workout, not to mention how boring it can be!
HIIT workouts boost your heart rate repeatedly, which helps to increase your metabolism (the calories you burn) for the rest of the day. Since HIIT workouts can be so varied in what exercises you do, you can also include strength training moves to burn calories and increase muscle at the same time. Bonus: the time flies by, and you will never get bored!
You also don’t need any equipment, meaning you can drop the excuses and workout anywhere!
Try it! Head to Youtube and search “Beginner HIIT workout” or add in any other specifications you may have, like “15 minutes” or “bodyweight workout” based on your interest and needs.