Overused & Underutilized...
Welcome to the third and final installment of this Ultimate Weight Loss Guide.
In Part Three of this guide, I want to talk about the most abused and underrated aspects of weight loss.... Exercise.
If you've ready any of my other articles or my program Envision Yourself Thin, then you already know how much I stress the importance of mindset during weight loss.
Countless studies and experience have me convinced that simply "going on a diet" is ineffective for long-term weight loss success.
Loads of research on the topic have shown that one-third to two-thirds of dieters actually gains more weight back after dieting! (source)
The evidence at hand makes it abundantly clear that the answer to our weight problem won't be solved by simply eating less and exercising more.
Instead, it's important that we address the underlying issues that are driving us towards unwanted weight gain.
How much we eat, what we eat, life experiences, lifestyle choices, and our relationship with food all play a role in the quality of our health (both good and bad).
But I'm getting off track, this article is going to mainly focus on the lifestyle choices of the equation, and specifically our physical activity/exercise regimen.
Exercise and Weight Loss
When it comes to losing weight loss, exercise is both overrated and misunderstood.
What do I mean by this?
I mean that most people have a misconstrued idea of the role exercise has in a weight loss regimen.
For example, how often have you seen someone workout 1-2 hours a day only to give up a few weeks into their program?
Their exercise plan failed to lead to any weight loss... so it MUST be there slow metabolism!
When it comes to dropping fat, your diet is far more important than some silly exercise routine. I believe that weight loss is 80% diet and 20% exercise!
More often than not, people who fail to see any progress with their training program are neglecting their diet. They think they are eating "healthier" by adding in protein shakes and protein bars.
The problem is that they are just adding extra calories and protein that they probably don't need.
So you may be thinking to yourself:
"If doing hours of cardio and sweating my butt off is so ineffective, then why should I even bother with exercise!?"
If you had to choose between exercising more, or eating fewer calories and more nutritious foods, I would say go with the latter. However, there is a RIGHT way to exercise that can lead to even better progress towards achieving a lean, muscular body!
You see, when you exercise in the RIGHT way, you not only increase your body's ability to burn fat but also build lean muscle mass that will lead to a much healthier, leaner looking physique.
Even more, doing the right kind of exercise will ensure you avoid the dreaded "skinny-fat" look that many who chronically diet unfortunately develop.
So what is this "right way" to exercise?
Well, I'd love to tell you, but unfortunately, we've run out of time...
Nah, just kidding 😉
The RIGHT way to exercise is to focus on resistance training, and specifically strength training!
The RIGHT Way to Exercise
In my opinion, the right way to exercise is... completely up to you!
Losing weight and dieting is all about consistency.
If you are exercising in a way you hate, then how can you expect to stick with it? You'll likely find that willpower is zapped after a few weeks of forcing yourself to exercise is that way.
There are numerous ways to become more active, and if your diet is in check, most of these approaches will work to increase your rate of weight loss.
I have had clients who love to do marathons, CrossFit, strength train, or simply go on long walks...
Being more active is going to naturally aid in your weight loss efforts.
Having said this, I do believe there is a BEST way to exercise if your goal is to maximize fat loss and build a lean, strong, and healthy looking body.
This type of training is called "Strength Training."
Why People Losing Weight Should Strength Train
The amazing benefits that lifting weights (aka strength training) has on our health cannot be undervalued. Some of this benefits include:
- Increased Bone Density
- Increased Calorie Burn
- Increased Muscle Mass
- Decreased chance of almost all-cause mortality
If we are strictly talking about the benefits of weight lifting and weight loss, then the biggest advantage comes from building (or at least retaining) muscle mass.
You see, when we lose weight from dieting, not all of that weight is coming from body fat. Some of that weight is also coming from muscle.
Weightlifting helps you hold on to this muscle mass, and if you lift weights correctly, you can even gain muscle while dropping fat!
This idea of building muscle and losing fat simultaneously is referred to in the fitness industry as "body recomposition".
If you are new to strength training, then undergoing a body "recomposition" is entirely possible and arguably the best option.
Now, going to the gym and lifting weights isn't the last step. It's important that you are consistently getting stronger over time as well.
You don't need to turn into a beefed-up powerlifter, but you should be getting stronger as time advances.
The best way that you can ensure you are getting stronger is to follow a proven workout program.
One program I frequently recommend is The Aggressive Fat Loss Program
I love his workout program because it's perfect for people who are also in a dieting phase. The last thing you want for you diet is to become overtrained from exercise.
I personally used this program to help me build muscle and lose the last bit of stubborn body fat I was struggling with towards the end of the weight loss portion of my journey.
Exercise clearly has a place when it comes to dieting. However, it's important to understand that it's not some "magical" solution to your weight issues.
Other factors such as diet, lifestyle behaviors, and your mindset play an even greater role in your ability to lose weight consistently.
My advice is that you first get your mind and diet in check before jumping into a dedicated workout routine.
In my ebook Envision Yourself Thin, I briefly talk about workout programs. Exercise alone won't lead to sustainable weight loss but it will definitely enhance your results and health.
Instead, I focus the majority of the book outlining key mentality and diet strategies that will result in sustainable weight loss.
These strategies are also geared towards helping you maintain your new healthy body once the excess fat is gone!
If you have struggled with yo-yo dieting or finding a program that works for more than a few weeks, then I recommend you check out my program.
My focus was to create a program that addressed the real issues that overweight and obese deal with when it comes to weight loss.
I truly believe that this program does just that. It's the first program that focuses on short-term weight loss as well as strategies to maintain a healthy body weight forever!