This is part 2 of a 5 part series about some of the difficult and frustrating truths about weight loss.
What exercise burns the most calories?
Clients often like to know what types of exercise burns the most calories. I’ve been asked this question numerous times, and the only truthful reply is this: if your goal is to lose weight then it doesn’t matter if an exercise burns more calories or not. It is almost impossible to lose weight by exercise alone. In fact, burning too many calories could even make you gain weight if you can’t regulate your hunger.
Calories in vs calories out
Regulating your hunger can be a difficult task because eating is a natural primal need. If you are too hungry, you are at risk of overeating, and if you are always full you are going to gain weight. The key to regulating your hunger is to keep your body biologically fed with adequate amounts of food. Otherwise you can trigger a primal drive to overeat. Excessive exercise without the knowledge on how to properly nourish yourself can lead into a slower metabolism, overeating, or both.
A real-life example
Charlie wants to lose twenty pounds. His daily intake is around 1950 calories. In order for Charlie to burn fat without triggering a primal need to binge eat he should aim for a reduction of about 400 calories per day. He decides to take up Spinning and running because the internet tells him that these activities burn the most calories. Charlie buys a gym membership and start to workout four to five times per week doing spinning classes and running on the treadmill. Each workout burns up to 500 or 600 calories. Everything is going great, besides the fact that he hates doing these activities, feels weak and is hungry all of the time…… but he is losing weight. Then at the end of his second week something happens. His best buddy is having a birthday party, so he misses the gym to party with his friends. Then after a weekend he steps on the scale only to find the weight is back on again. “This is just way too hard!”
Exercise to feel the difference
When you start to add in more physical activity to your weekly schedule it is important to know that you don’t have to kill yourself to burn off fat pounds but rather you should exercise to “feel the difference”. Just get active and shift your focus to how it feels to move your body, rather than the calorie burning effect of exercise. If you focus on how you feel from working out, such as energized, it can be the difference between rolling out of bed for a brisk morning walk or hitting the snooze alarm. If when you wake up, your only goal is to lose weight, it’s usually not a motivational factor in that moment of time.
Enjoy the journey
Start off slow and do enjoyable activities. If you hate biking, and sign up for a spin class to burn more calories, 99.9 percent of the time you are going to stop doing it. Find something that you enjoyed before or something you think that you might like to try. Do the activity once per week to see if it turns your crank. Then increase it to twice per week, bump up the intensity, or the amount of time. If you like to be outdoors then take up hiking. If you like the feeling of being stronger then learn how to lift weights with a certified personal trainer. If you like to stretch then take up Yoga. Try something new that you think you would enjoy and can easily work into your schedule and I guarantee you will want to eat healthier, enjoy the whole process and maintain sustainable weight loss.
Posted by Burke