How much should you exercise, and what types of exercise should you do to lose weight? How important is an exercise to weight loss?
You have to burn more calories than you consume to lose weight. Therefore, it makes sense to include exercise in your routine, as it helps you burn more calories.
However, vigorous exercise can also help you whet your appetite and confuse what role exercise plays in weight loss and whether it can help.
Cardio training and weight
A popular and effective form of weight loss is aerobic exercise, also known as cardio. Examples include:
Aerobic exercise has no significant effect on your muscle mass, at least not compared to weightlifting. However, it is very effective in burning calories.
Studies show that cardio can help you burn fat, especially the dangerous belly fat. Belly fat will increase the risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
Adding cardio to your lifestyle will likely help you control your weight and improve your metabolic health when keeping your calorie intake the same.
Strength training and weight
All physical activity will help you burn calories. However, resistance training – such as weightlifting – has benefits beyond that. Resistance training can help increase strength, tone, and the amount of muscle you have.
Resistance training seems to have a protective effect on both muscles and bones during periods of reduced calorie intake.
More muscles also increase your metabolism and help you burn more calories, even at rest. Muscle is more metabolically active than fat, requiring more energy.
Resistance training is an essential addition to an effective long-term weight loss plan and makes it easier to maintain weight, which is much more complex than losing it in the first place.
High-intensity interval training and weight
High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is characterized by short bursts of intense activity followed by a short rest before repeating this cycle. HIIT can be done with cardio or strength training exercises and provides the benefits of both.
Most HIIT workouts are only 10-30 minutes long, but they offer some powerful benefits in terms of weight loss.
However, HIIT training achieved the same benefits with a time saving of 40% compared to cardio.
Due to HIIT intensity, you should consult a healthcare professional before starting a new HIIT routine, primarily if you have known heart problems.
Exercise and appetite
You have probably heard that physical exertion is an excellent way to increase your appetite, or maybe you have eaten more than usual after a strenuous workout.
However, most research indicates that exercise has an appetite suppressant effect.
A study of 20 active, healthy adults noted that they ate more food in the meal before a workout than after – and in fact, participants overall ate less food on the days they exercised than on the days they did not.
In another study of 26 women with obesity on low-calorie diets, the researchers found that short HIIT sessions had a solid appetite-suppressing effect.
Researchers have also noticed that morning exercise seems more beneficial for energy balance and calorie intake than evening exercise – which further supports the theory that exercise can reduce appetite.
Regardless, more research is needed, and hunger reactions to exercise are likely to be very individual. If you tend to eat more than usual after strenuous or long workouts, you should consider a shorter duration (like HIIT) or less intense exercise.