There are all kinds of diet plans out there that claim to hold the secret to weight loss. Regardless of the details of these plans, none of them are likely to get you to your goal weight on their own. You may lose weight at first, but eventually you’ll hit a plateau. That’s the problem with diet alone. It can’t keep the weight coming off and keep it off. What you need to do if you’re really serious about losing weight is to find a way to pair your diet with an exercise program.
This might sound scary if you don’t consider yourself athletic. Don’t worry though. “Exercise” comes in a wide variety of forms. There are a ton of options and only a few guidelines. Particularly if you’re not doing anything active on a regular basis right now, anything is good. Go for a 30 minute walk every day. Jump on a stationary bike or an elliptical machine. Do a circuit of the weight machines at the gym.
Something is Better than Nothing
Plus, doing a little bit of exercise makes it seem less scary. In fact, exercise can feel good – or at least make you feel good once you’ve caught your breath. It’s also a great way to get all of the systems in your body working better. Physical exertion stimulates a lot of chemical responses in your body that can help you lose weight faster than you might expect.
Exercise Boosts Your Metabolism
This makes sense because you’re expending more energy so you’re burning calories at a faster rate. What you might not realize though, is that the muscles you build when you exercise take more energy for your body to maintain than fatty tissue does. Building up muscle keeps your metabolism high on a regular basis. This means that the more muscles you have, the more calories you’re burning when you’re not doing anything at all.
This also means that if you’re serious about maximizing your ability to lose weight and get in shape, you should do some strength training workouts as well as cardiovascular ones. When most people start working out, they go for the cardio first. This might be because it’s simple – you just do the same thing for half an hour and you’re done. It could be because the machines at the gym are intimidating and confusing, or because you might not want to wind up with big, bulky muscles.
You Don’t Have to Worry
Throwing two or three strength training workouts into your weekly workout schedule isn’t going to turn you into the incredible Hulk. What it will do though, is to help increase your body’s overall concentration of lean muscle mass. By building up these muscles, you’ll be giving your body more work to do. This makes it possible for you to use more of the calories you take in rather than storing them as fat.
The right diet is always important, but you can’t achieve real and lasting weight loss without making regular exercise a part of your routine. It’ll make you feel better too. There’s really no reason not to make exercise a priority.