By Suheil Khuri M.D.
Exercise is important for several reasons. It does burns calories. It boosts metabolism for a few hours post-workout, and for the long term if we build muscle mass. Exercise also improves insulin sensitivity making our bodies better at using calories for energy as opposed to storing fat. However, as many of us have experienced, these benefits can be lost quickly if we do not maintain a balanced diet.
First, understand that exercise, in and of itself, will not foster a lot of weight-loss. This is somewhat depressing but important to understand. You simply do not burn a lot of calories in comparison to the amount of calories it takes to burn one pound of fat when it comes to exercise.
As a rule of thumb, weight loss is generally 75 percent diet and 25 percent exercise. An analysis of more than 700 weight loss studies found that people see the biggest short-term results when they eat smart. On average, people who dieted without exercising for 15 weeks lost 23 pounds; the exercisers lost only six over about 21 weeks. It’s much easier to cut calories than to burn them off. For example, if you eat a fast-food steak quesadilla, which can pack 500-plus calories, you need to run more than four miles to ‘undo’ it!
Exercise Equals Insurance
Exercise is absolutely the key in keeping the weight off long-term. In fact, Exercise is your ‘insurance’ for long-term weight-loss, and not free so you’ll have to put in the time and effort to reap the benefits. Align your fitness regimen so that it in includes cardio and strength in order to maximize weight-loss.
An effective cardiovascular routine incorporates different intensities throughout the week. This method of training forces your body to become more efficient at burning fat calories for fuel at various intensities.
For example, if you do three cardio sessions throughout the week, one workout may be longer duration and low- intensity (45-60 minutes at a low heart rate), a second may be short duration high-intensity (15-30 minutes at a high heart rate) and a third maybe be intervals for moderate intensity (40 minutes of low and high heart rates; walk 3 minutes and jog 2). Your body will react to the way you train, and the key is getting your body to be more efficient at burning fat fuel at various heart rates.
Strength training is very important for sustainable weight-loss because it takes more energy to maintain lean muscle versus fat mass, simply said, muscle burns more calories than fat . The focus of your strength training should be to maintain the lean muscle through the weight-loss phase and then body-sculpt once you hit your goal weight. In order to do this, keep your sets and reps
around 2-4 and 12-20 respectively and make sure you’re targeting all muscles groups for a total body strength routine (ideally, train each muscle group a minimum of two times per week).
As you increase your fitness, another helpful tip is to incorporate one to five minute bouts of cardio exercise into your strength training routine to increase the total caloric burn for your workout (perform one total circuit and do five minutes of moderately intense cardio before starting your second set or cycle of exercises).
Here are a few tips to keep you on track
from a nutritional standpoint:
1. Portion Control – Be aware of how many calories
you are taking-in each meal.
2. Small Meals – Eat small meals more frequently
throughout the day to keep your metabolism
3. Balance – Eat the right balance for your body of
good carbohydrates, healthy fat and lean protein.
4. Fruits and Vegetables – Eat a wide variety of
non-starchy vegetables and fruits (spinach
5. Calorie Deficit – Create a daily calorie deficit
(expend more calories than you take in).
So the real skinny for exercise and weight-loss is to:
#1 Always stay on top of your nutrition, this is the key to weight loss.
#2 Incorporate a wide variety of cardio intensities throughout the week.
#3 Incorporate total body strength routines to foster lean muscle mass.
At Dr. G’s Weightloss and Wellness of Jupiter we specialize in customizing a comprehensive weightloss plan tailored for your individual metabolic and lifestyle needs. Call us at: 561-427-2232 or e-mail us at Jupiter.firstname.lastname@example.org for a free consultation.