The most common questions I get as a personal trainer are “what are the best exercises I can do to lose weight” and “how often should I be exercising if I want to lose weight”? The truth is that there are many different ways of training the body; however none of these have much to do with weight/fat loss.
Weight loss is about food. Health is about wholesome food and exercise. The problem that most people have, and the reason I think so many people lose motivation and hate exercising, is that they (1) put too much emphasis on training as a way to lose weight, and (2) they don’t find ways of exercising that they actually enjoy.
If you reduce the calories you consume you can get the same fat loss results with less time spent exercising. Eating 2,000 calories more per week than you need and then doing cardio 5 times per week to burn those 2,000 calories off, leads you to a net fat loss of nothing!
By simply eating less and staying active day to day, you can reduce the amount of official workouts per week. Although it sounds simple, many people eat too much (both “good” and “bad” foods) and then try to burn off those excess calories with many unnecessary hours in the gym.
You don’t have to go crazy and drastically reduce calories. You simply need to eat slightly smaller portions and be healthier with your choices, so instead of the ice-cream with the 200 calories choose the tub of yoghurt with 109 calories. By choosing the yoghurt instead over 3 nights you would save yourself almost 300 calories that week – 300 calories to burn off is a big workout, a workout you now don’t have to do just to get back to a neutral position.
You don’t have to cut back much as far as average daily calories, to equal what a workout would burn. Honestly, just 100-200 calories less per day would do the trick. If you combine this with walking more often and increasing recreational activities on weekends, you will achieve the same effect with one less trip to the gym. I actually believe you would be healthier in the long run as well.
Training should be about working up a sweat to makes our hearts, muscles and minds healthier and stronger, it should be about doing something you enjoy and therefore makes you feel better. At the end of the week your training should make you feel proud not disappointed because it hasn’t changed your weight.
Love your training, don’t resent it and enjoy healthier foods in smaller amounts.
Adriana Solorzano – Director & Personal Training Manager