When you’re trying to lose weight, sometimes it’s difficult to know where to begin. Do you focus on your diet, or do you start exercising? The truth is, a balanced approach to weight loss is the best program. Modifying your diet while also making sure you’re engaging in a well-rounded exercise program, (which includes including both cardio exercise and resistance training) will yield the best results.
Obviously, your diet plays an important role, so it’s important to evaluate it realistically. The simple truth is, if you’re burning more calories than you’re consuming, you’re going to lose weight. You may not realize, however, that the kinds of calories you’re eating are also important. For instance, your body uses more energy to process protein than to process carbohydrates, so you should make sure you’re getting adequate amounts of lean protein. You should also focus on eating foods that are as close to their natural states as possible. You want to make sure you’re eating foods that will provide the most nutrient value for their calories. You’ll lose weight faster this way than if you rely on highly processed, prepackaged convenience foods.
Engaging in cardio exercise, is another important component of weight loss. While some people do manage to lose weight successfully by simply changing their eating habits, research has repeatedly shown that people who use a combination of diet and exercise to lose weight are more successful than people who focus on diet alone. An even more significant fact may be this: among members of the National Weight Control Registry who have successfully lost weight and maintained that weight loss for several years, almost all of them engage in high levels of regular physical activity in addition to eating healthy diets. For modest weight loss, the American College of Sports Medicine recommends getting 150 to 250 minutes per week of moderate physical activity. Being active for more than 250 minutes per week will result in more significant weight loss.
The final factor in the weight loss trio is resistance training. Resistance training will help to build your muscle mass, and increasing your muscle mass is an effective way of speeding up your metabolism. Muscle tissue burns significantly more calories than fat tissue does, so the more lean muscle tissue you have, the more calories you’ll burn, even when you’re at rest.
Many people who exercise without improving their diets fail to lose weight. One reason for this is that they overestimate the number of calories they’re burning in their workouts. While exercise can stimulate hunger, rewarding yourself with a chocolate chip muffin or an extra helping of French fries after a workout is going to harm you more than the workout helped.
Studies repeatedly show that improving your diet and beginning a comprehensive exercise program work together to improve your chances of successful, significant weight loss. Taking a balanced approach is the best program in your pursuit of losing weight and becoming healthy.