Losing fat can be a difficult process. There are so many different products, fad diets, and supplements online that boast fat loss without any scientific research to back their claims. If you’re trying to lose fat, it’s important to understand that it takes time. Anything that advertises fast fat loss is not only dangerous, it’s short-lived. Since restrictive dieting can cause long-term problems with your metabolism, you need to take a healthier approach to fat loss. While eating healthy, nutrient-dense foods is essential to losing weight, many people wonder the impact that exercise has. In this article, we’ll answer the age-old question: does exercise help you lose fat?
The Importance of Metabolism
Your body needs calories for energy and basic functioning. Fat, carbohydrates, and protein are essential, but your main energy sources come from fats and carbohydrates. Your metabolism uses carbohydrates during more fast-paced exercises while fats are used during long, slower exercise. Low resting metabolic rates contribute to weight gain, so it’s important to take steps to increase your metabolism every day. Your basal metabolic rate accounts for 60 to 80 percent of total energy expenditure and digesting food accounts for about 10 percent, but there’s not much you can do to change this. The best way to increase your metabolism is through exercise and healthy eating habits—the more muscle your body has, the better your metabolism will be.
What Happens to Body Fat When You Exercise?
When you exercise, your body benefits in a number of ways. You’ll lower your risk for many chronic diseases, improve circulation, strengthen your mental health, and aid in weight loss efforts. Your body’s metabolism will improve and therefore, you’ll start to burn more fat during rest periods. When your body burns this fat, it will leave your body through sweat, urine, and even breath.
Tips for Exercising for Fat Loss
If you’re still wondering does exercise help you lose fat and you want to exercise for fat loss, it’s important to pay attention to frequency, intensity, and consistency. While going to the gym once might help improve your mood, it won’t do much for fat loss. You need to be patient and ensure that you’re using the right recipe for success.
To lose fat, you’ll need to make sure that you exercise at least 150 minutes per week, which is about 21 minutes per day if you work out 7 days—more if you want to increase your efforts. This includes a healthy mix of both cardio and strength training. If your schedule makes it difficult to go to the gym every day, pick a few days a week where you’ll have longer workouts. Mix these in with more active lifestyle choices to get the best benefits.
The more calories you burn, the more weight you’ll lose. In addition to cardio exercises, you should incorporate strength training to burn fat. Strength and resistance training can help you burn fat even after you leave the gym. It also builds muscle, which will help improve your metabolism.
When you exercise on a regular basis, your body changes. You’ll become more efficient at burning fat during rest, you’ll improve your circulation, and you’ll increase your body’s mitochondria—a microorganism that helps improve your cell’s energy efficiency.
Scientifically speaking, you need to burn about 3,500 calories to lose one pound of weight. For weight loss, you need to burn more calories than you consume. To help expediate your journey and burn belly fat, check out these great exercises .
Creating a Personalized Exercise Regimen
Does exercise help you lose fat? Well, everyone needs a different amount of exercise for optimal fat loss. It depends on your lifestyle, eating habits, and metabolism. It’s recommended that you perform about 150 to 250 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise every week in order to lose weight. When you increase this time commitment, you’ll see more substantial results. The important thing is creating a schedule that you can commit to. Don’t be overzealous when you start as it can lead to unrealistic goals and therefore, a higher chance that you will quit before you see results.
Some important things to include in your personalized exercise regimen are a healthy combination of high-intensity cardio, moderate-intensity cardio, strength training, and low-intensity activities that include taking the stairs, walking more, or even switching to a standing desk.
Diet vs. Exercising
The main problem when people view exercising for weight loss is that they assume they can eat more since they worked out. Unfortunately, when you have certain “snacks” as a reward for working out, you essentially push yourself back to square one. In order to realize truly effective weight loss, you need to combine exercising with proper dieting. Contrary to what many people believe, exercising does not lead to increased hunger rates. In some cases, it can actually make you feel more full on less food.
The goal here is to make sure you pair your exercising with a healthy diet and avoid overeating. Since on a meal-to-meal basis, most people underestimate how much they eat by about 20%, it’s important to implement portion control. However, keep in mind that restrictive dieting without exercising can actually lead to fat and muscle loss, which is not ideal. You want to lose fat and increase, or at least maintain, muscle.
If you’ve been struggling with your weight loss efforts and asking does exercise help you lose fat, call the physicians at Atlas Health Medical Group today. Our team of highly skilled primary care doctors approach weight loss in the most detailed and easy to follow way possible. We work with each patient individually to create personalized treatments that will help you approach weight loss in a more efficient way. To learn more, or to schedule a consultation at Atlas Health Medical Group’s weight loss clinic, contact us today at 480-648-1534.