Weight Loss: Exercise and Diet Tips
Exercise is an integral piece to the weight-loss puzzle, but it certainly does not stand alone. Eating right is actually more important for weight loss than exercise alone. The best weight-loss prescription, of course, is to do both—watch what you eat and exercise regularly. These tips can help you get maximum results from your hard work and diligence.
Level of exertion
Make sure that your exercise gets results by working at your ideal level of exertion. The best way to do this is to check your pulse against your maximum heart rate. You can calculate your maximum heart rate by subtracting your age from 220. You should have the ability to speak without gasping for air, but should work hard enough that you do not really want to have to talk much. You will need to take in 500-1000 calories/day less than what you expend in order to lose 1-2 pounds/week.
Doing the same exercise routine every day can lead to less energy expenditure over time, because you burn more calories when you are first learning a routine. Interval training, such as walking fast for 2 minutes and then jogging or running for 30 seconds, is recommended to increase the number of calories burned.
Time vs intensity of workout
Rather than increasing the length of time that you spend exercising, most experts agree that it is better for weight loss to increase the intensity of your workout, while keeping the time spent the same or decreasing it.
Avoid the tendency to eat extra food on days that you exercise. Many people have an extra bite here and an extra spoonful there, while telling themselves that it is OK because they exercised earlier. The problem is that all of those extra bites and spoonfuls can really add up. If you are keeping a food record, which is highly recommended, remember to include everything that you eat—write down that quarter of a sandwich or half a banana.
Sports drinks and supplements
Many sports drinks and supplements contain nearly a meal’s worth of calories. They are more appropriate for a person who is running a marathon than for a person who is taking an aerobics class or going for a brisk walk.
Review Date 4/09