The ideal exercise and weight loss program combines a body-building regimen that creates muscle mass with a diet that puts emphasis on proper nutrition rather than regulating the overall consumption of foods and nutrients. Some people throw in some cardio exercises in there to burn fat faster and to add variety.
Unfortunately, for many people, their idea of the ideal exercise and weight loss program focuses on only a single aspect – it’s either they try to lose weight from exercise alone or from dieting alone. It’s one or the other.
Certainly, this is understandable since both dieting and exercise can result in significant weight loss. In many cases, people prefer dieting only because of the immediate results. For example, a diet program can result in weight losses that are two or three times more than an exercise program, at least at the outset.
However, after this initial and impressive weight loss and once the body has adjusted to the lower calorie intake, people on these diets seldom lose any more significant weight. In fact, one study showed that after a tremendous weight loss at the start of a diet, test subjects maintained the same weight even after a whole year of strict compliance to the diet. That is interesting, but what would be even more interesting is a study that compares those with a solely dietary weight loss program to those who combine the dietary approach with exercise.
Both Exercise and Diet are Essential
Ultimately, such a study will confirm our belief that the ideal exercise and weight loss program is a combination of both exercise and a diet that ensures proper nutrition.
In terms of exercise, an effective exercise and weight loss program will have weight training, cardio exercises or both. Weight training adds muscles to our frame and muscles can increase the calories we burn. According to health estimates, a single pound of lean muscle mass can burn as many as 35-50 calories a day, 1,500 calories a month and an astounding 18,000 calories a year.
Meanwhile, cardio exercises burn fat fast. The recommended cardio program usually consists of three or four 60-minute sessions a week. The most effective cardio exercises are using the treadmill, exercise bike, aerobics, jogging, dancing and the like. It is best to do cardio exercises on an empty stomach to burn more fat.
On the nutritional front, you will notice that combining exercise with a diet makes you more conscious of what you eat and of avoiding junk foods. Forget those crash diets that encourage you to skip meals because these usually lead to binge eating.
The best approach to nutrition is to eat three well-balanced meals a day as well as two nutrient-rich snacks. You should also try to drink plenty of liquids (eight glasses of water a day, just as the doctor ordered) and consume foods that are rich in fiber.