A healthy weight increases one’s ability to meet the demands of regular life. The most critical reason for losing weight is obesity or being overweight. Exercising is one of the essential strategies if one wants to shed extra weight. Around 650 million people worldwide suffer from obesity, making it a common health problem. Obesity is associated with several health conditions with adverse effects on the human body.
There are numerous other reasons as well, why people want to lose weight, such as looking better, feeling healthier, and so on. Consuming healthy foods and exercising regularly will help one achieve their goals. Consistency and discipline are the essential keys to effective weight loss.
Best Exercises for Weight Loss
The leading cause of obesity is insufficient physical activity. The sedentary nature of most occupations results in excess weight gain. Physical exercise and activity help burn extra calories to keep our weight under control. There are several kinds of physical activities which help in weight loss. Listed below are the best types of exercises for weight loss.
Aerobics is a form of physical exercise that elevates the heart rate and improves cardiovascular and cardiorespiratory conditioning. It increases pain tolerance and bone density, improves blood circulation efficiency and reduces blood pressure. It also increases optimum oxygen consumption and as a result, it effectively reduces body fat leading to weight loss. Aerobic exercise includes indoor and outdoor physical activities such as walking, jogging, running, cycling, dancing, swimming, rope jumping, stair climbing, rowing, and interval training.
While low-intensity aerobic exercise burns more calories due to increased duration of training, high-intensity aerobic exercise increases resting metabolic rate which in turn helps burn more calories throughout the day.
Studies suggest that high-intensity interval training is more effective in altering the body composition and increases the release of catecholamine and growth hormones. It enhances excess post-exercise oxygen consumption and increases lipoprotein lipase activity as well. Therefore, it results in fat loss that helps to significantly reduce the body weight.
Strength/Resistance Training Workouts
Strength/Resistance training helps increase strength, range of motion, flexibility, and mobility of muscles, tendons, and ligaments. It increases bone density, cardiac function, fitness, and metabolic rate. Increased flexibility and mobility of joints reduce the risk of injury. It involves pushing and pulling objects against the resistance to build strength and muscle endurance. Some of the best exercises for building muscle and for weight/fat loss are squats, deadlifts, pull-ups, push-ups, and Olympic lifts,
Research shows that strength training helps weight loss by increasing the resting metabolic rate, total energy expenditure, and maximal oxygen consumption. Therefore, this training is ideal for long-term weight loss success
Yoga is a holistic approach for long-term results. It stimulates mind-body awareness and mindful concentration. Moreover, regular yoga practices effectively decrease the body mass index in obese people. Yoga is a low-impact exercise for weight loss. It reduces stress and lowers cortisol levels, which are responsible for weight gain.
Research shows that yoga with dietary interventions significantly reduced the body weight and body mass index in obese and overweight children and adults. In addition, it improves weight management and behaviours such as self-control, reduced emotional eating, and reduced food intake. These prevention strategies reduce excess calorie consumption by curbing food cravings leading to weight loss. In addition, yoga also strengthens and corrects posture.
Some examples of yoga asanas to lose weight are sun salutation, plank pose, warrior pose, triangle pose, downward dog pose, bridge pose, bow pose, chair pose, and cobra pose.
Zumba is a fun way of exercise to lose body weight. It is a Latin-inspired dance fitness workout consisting of low to high intensity moves. As a full-body aerobic workout, it helps burn calories and reduce body fat. In addition, Zumba training also enhances maximal oxygen consumption and improves flexibility and cardiorespiratory fitness
Studies show that performing Zumba three times a week helps to reduce about 3 kg weight in a month. In addition, it significantly decreases the total body fat percentage in females.
Dietary Recommendations for Weight Loss
The fundamental principle behind weight loss is to spend more energy (calories) than you consume. Therefore, dietary management for people who want to lose weight includes several components such as high protein and fibre, low-moderate carbohydrates, and a low-fat diet. Some of the dietary recommendations for weight loss are:
- Individuals should improve their dietary patterns that include optimum nutrient distribution. Small dietary changes can improve blood glucose levels, blood pressure, and insulin sensitivity and reduce blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels. A diet with low glycemic index fruits, vegetables, whole grains, protein foods, nuts, coconut, and olive oil can help maintain weight.
- Individuals should reduce 400-500 calories per day from their food intake. The recommended dietary intake in a calorie deficit diet is usually 1200-1500 kcal/ day for females and 1500-1800 kcal/day for men. But these numbers can vary depending on several factors. Studies show that a calorie-controlled diet helps to shed and maintain weight loss. The body uses stored fat as an alternate energy to perform bodily functions. Burning fat for energy ultimately leads to weight loss.
- Eating fibre-rich foods makes one feel fuller for longer and improves the metabolism. Foods with high fibre usually have low calories. Fibre is present in fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, pulses, legumes, and meat. Studies show that eating a high-fibre diet reduces the frequency of food consumption and promotes weight loss.
- Avoid drinking sugary and carbonated beverages such as soda, fruit juices, and alcoholic beverages. These drinks and beverages contain excessive sugar and are considered empty calories, resulting in weight gain and other metabolic diseases.
- Restrict the intake of highly processed foods such as fast foods, desserts, breakfast cereals, and fried foods.
- Eating a protein-rich diet can reduce hunger and enhance the feeling of fullness. In addition, it reduces excess calorie intake and effectively helps lose weight.
- Drinking a glass of water 30 minutes before meals decreases food intake, promotes portion control, and helps reduce weight. Research shows that water consumption before meals reduces energy intake among middle-aged and older adults.
Long-term success in weight management depends on the individual engaging in a specific follow-up program. Maintaining a regular exercise routine for at least 30-60 minutes daily is essential. In addition, portion control is a critical factor in losing weight. Eating healthy foods like fruits, vegetables, pulses, and whole grains and decreasing the consumption of energy-dense foods such as fried foods, beverages, and sugary drinks helps in weight management.
It is necessary to get guidance from nutrition counsellors for weight management.
To lose weight, we must be consistent in our efforts. In addition, we must enjoy the exercises we choose to sustain them in the long run.
A sedentary lifestyle often results in insufficient physical activity. Inactive living choices increase the risk of gaining weight, a significant risk factor for chronic metabolic diseases. There are several factors to overcome an inactive lifestyle and reduce obesity. Proper dietary and exercise regimen helps in effective weight loss.
Adopting healthy lifestyle choices, including physical activities, modified diets, optimum nutrition, and stress-busting therapies, are effective ways to lose weight. The main component of a weight-management program is preventing unwanted weight gain. The most effective way to lose weight includes consistency and discipline, which is the key to successful weight loss.
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