News flash: There isn’t one. It is simply whatever exercise you stick to.
Not what you were expecting? Well that’s the answer. Personal trainers get asked this question by one in every three people they meet.
Everyone is looking for a specific type of training that is going to get them maximum weight loss.
They are hoping the answer is different from what they’re currently doing so it gives them a good excuse for their lack of progress.
They are also hoping that if they change how they’re training but maintain their present effort levels, then miracles will happen.This isn’t the case.
The simple key to weight loss is to use up more calories than you consume and force your body to take energy from your fat stores to survive.
Now, there is no denying that certain forms of exercise burn more calories in a given period of time than others. If you switch from 20 minutes of walking to 20 minutes of hill sprints, you will burn more calories in that 20 minutes.
You need a calorie deficit to lose weight
With an identical diet, this will give you a greater daily deficit, losing more weight.
You may not like sprinting though. You may dread it and, as a result, find an excuse to skip it half of the time before eventually giving up.
20 minutes of sitting on your sofa trying to push feelings of guilt out from your mind burns much less than you would if you had stuck to your 20 minute walk.
You might also find that you love sprinting and the thrill of competing against your own previous times over certain distances. The feeling of pushing your legs and lungs to their limit.
You will be able to do lots of sprinting playing football, and burn more calories through playing for longer. So, you try that and you similarly enjoy competing against other people.
The issue is you are now far more susceptible to injury as people try to tackle you, and your team only trains and plays 3 times a week.
Sitting at home with a broken ankle, or waiting for tomorrow because today isn’t “football night” and you want to “save yourself” burns significantly fewer calories than walking, or sprinting.
If you have a drastic need for weight loss, stick to something enjoyable and consistent but with a low risk of injury to begin with.
Then, once your health can afford the risk of injury and taking days off, return to riskier sports, if that’s your desire.
If team activities are the only way you’ll find motivation to do exercise, then you need to find people to go for a jog with or play another sport with on evenings you don’t have anything on.
Repeating the same exercise for a certain number of sets and reps and increasing the number of reps or weight you’re able to use will create this.
But you may find gyms intimidating or stale, and repetitions of the same movement over and over boring. You may love how an increased muscle mass makes your body look, or you may not.
This all comes back to the obsession with using exercise to “lose weight” when it’s not. It’s how you put it on in the first place.
To lose weight you need to eat too little
You put on weight by eating too much, so to lose weight you need to eat too little.
Exercise should be used as a tool for health. It is a means of keeping your heart pumping, your lymphatic system flowing, your gut microbiome churning, your brain firing. The list of vital systems in your body it helps to assist with goes on.
If you want increased muscle mass then sure, lift weights to create a stimulus and damage that will force your muscles to grow and change.
If the gym is your favourite environment in which you are able to train then that’s great. Otherwise, there are many options.
However, if you want to lose weight and be healthy, the main concern should be finding something you enjoy that allows consistency and relative regularity.
That might be one thing, or various activities, just make sure they’re easily accessible and you are motivated to keep them up. Also, learning to eat better will help in weight loss.
Joompa is a digital platform that facilitates the sourcing and booking of freelance, mobile personal fitness coaches. Available on iOS or via www.joompa.com.my