The number one question that I get as a personal trainer: what’s the best way to lose fat?
First and most important thing is not how much exercise you’re doing, but what your nutrition is like. Nutrition is the most important factor on a weight loss strategy. Tracking calories and macros is a great place to start when it comes to nutrition. Calorie trackers can be very helpful on a weight loss strategy. While taking in less calories than you expend is common sense many people take in more calories than they realize so using a tracker can be helpful. In addition, while not a miracle worker protein can be a helpful part of a weight loss strategy. While traditional diets (most of the calories come from carbohydrates) can work, research shows that higher protein diets can slightly increase the metabolic rate, help with blood sugar control, and make you feel fuller for longer. If you’re interested in more details on nutrition check out some of my youtube videos.
In addition to nutrition, it’s important to build muscle, we want to build muscle because that is our engine. So think of that illustration of a little four cylinder car versus an eight cylinder – what’s going to burn through more gas? One of the problems with many weight loss strategies is they neglect weight training. If you neglect weight training during weight loss you will slow down your metabolism. Less muscle mass equals a slower metabolism (don’t worry you’re not going to get too bulky). The best way to build muscle is through strength training 2-3x per week. Strength training should be a part of every weight loss strategy.
In addition to building muscle, high intensity interval training is an important component. High intensity interval training is a great way to improve your fitness and expend calories during the activity. While it expends calories during the exercise it has a unique ability to create an after burn. This is where you’re burning calories after the exercise session is over. So high intensity interval training is an important component and if you’re healthy should be done 2-3x per week.
Besides high intensity interval training, traditional cardio should not be neglected. That’s where we maintain a moderate intensity. Traditional cardio is moderate in nature. For example your rating of perceived exertion should be a 4 or 5 (on a scale of 1-10), you should be able to carry on a conversation (but not sing a song), and your heart rate should be approximately 75% of its max. Engaging in 150+ minutes per week would be ideal.
So remember to get the results your looking make sure to watch your nutrition, strength train, engage in HIIT, and perform traditional cardiovascular exercise.
Watch the video version of this blog on my YouTube Channel