” I want to loose weight”

This is probably the most common reason for people wanting to start exercising.

  • To lose weight, should I spend my time doing more cardio or more strength training?
  • To lose weight, what should I eat?
  • To lose weight, how often should I eat?
  • How long do I need to exercise for?
  • When do I eat?
  • When do I exercise?
  • What should I do?

So many questions…it can be very confusing to work out what the best way is for you to get the results you want. And everyone is different.

This post will be covering all of these categories and hopefully shedding some light on a direction for you to head in.

To lose weight, should I spend my time doing more cardio or more strength training?

It depends what you mean by “lose weight.” If you are in an epic battle with your scale, cardio is the way to go. If you want to look steamy though, it’s time to be friends with weight training.

Minute per minute, cardio indisputably burns more calories than strength training, which could explain why compared to strength trainers, aerobic exercisers lose more weight in less time.

But, cardio doesn’t do much for your muscles.

Example: one study showed, dieters lost 21 pounds whether they performed cardio or strength training. But for the cardio group, six of those pounds came from muscle, while the lifters lost almost pure fat—and probably fit into their skinny jeans better because of it.

But why? Strength training is the number-one way to build more muscle. And for every three pounds of muscle you gain, you could burn an extra 120 calories a day without moving a single one of those muscles.

That doesn’t mean that you should retire your running shoes, though—especially if you’re a stress eater. Cardio is one of the best ways to slash stress, which is a waistline-wrecker all by itself. The best solution? A fitness plan that includes both cardio and strength training.

How long do I need to exercise for? 

To stay healthy or to improve health, adults need to do two types of physical activity each week: aerobic and muscle-strengthening activity.
It is recommended to do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity such as cycling or fast walking and muscle strengthening activities on 2 or more days a week that work all major muscle groups (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders and arms).
This could be done over 5 days, by doing 30 minute increments of aerobic exercise and some strength exercises for 15 minutes or so each time. This will also break up your day and keep you active and focussed weather you are at home or work. 
 
When do I exercise?

This completely depends on you as a person. It is more common and practical to get your exercise in the morning. There is tones of evidence to show that exercise in the morning will make you more productive, help you to feel positive and energised and warm you up on a cold day. I personally prefer to do this, however, some people prefer to do it in the evening and after work.

I believe that, as long as you schedule it in to your diary and just do it, it really doesn’t matter when it is. It will still keep you motivated and help you to feel energised and confident.

 

To lose weight, what should I eat?

Primarily, you need to put in less calories than you put out to lose weight.

Let me explain, food contains energy measured in calories. Your body burns this energy all the time, it needs calories to function the way it was made to. So if you put in less calories than you use, your body will use the reserve calories and therefore weight is lost.

But this is where it gets complicated, because you need enough to be able to function, for your blood to flow and to be fit and well. You also need enough vitamins and minerals to fight illnesses, aid digestion, have strong bones, good vision and this is to name a few reasons to be healthy.

After a recent Detox I lead, with a small team of 30 men and women of all ages, it became very aparent that you need to just get back to basics.

Cutting out all processed, manufactured, artificial products and replacing it with fresh, colourful, home cooked goods will not only aid weight loss, but allow you to live a more confident and energy filled life.

For more information and recipes on this way of eating, email me becky@rufitness.co.uk.

When do I eat?

Eating 3 meals a day, breakfast, lunch and dinner, gives your body time to digest with ease without clogging up too much and becoming a bit of a compost heap. However as you get older, snacking becomes more important to speed up the metabolism. This also gives you plenty of energy through out the day. Aim for 3 main meals with 2 snacks in between for a good balance. Planning and preparing is key. Knowing what you are going to have so you don’t get to hungry and reach for the closest thing, is the secret to getting results. 

It’s a good idea to have something protein based after a big exercise session to replace the nutrients that you have just lost whilst the body has been working hard. There are other tips to think about depending on what you are training for. For example, more carbs before long runs or cycle rides.

I hope you have found this post interesting and given you further knowledge. If you would like to know more info, contact me for advise or have your own story and feedback, please contact me. becky@rufitness.co.uk.