There are many ways people can choose to lose weight, including dangerous fad diets and metabolism boosting diet pills. In order to achieve permanent and healthy weight loss, only calorie restriction and exercise have been proven to deliver sustainable results. Short term weight loss can be more harmful in the long run due to toxins which are released during the yo-yo diet cycle.
Aside from a well balanced calorie restricted diet, several different forms of exercise have been shown to deliver powerful weight loss results. The first step is to center your diet around plenty of nutrient rich raw greens and vegetables, and feel comfortable with your new modified dietary lifestyle.
After two weeks, you won't miss the refined carbohydrates, sweets and fried foods. Next, take your health to a new level by adding regular exercise to your routine. Combine resistance and cardio exercises from the following categories on alternating days for fun, motivation and maximum weight loss.
Resistance Training Builds Muscle and Burns Fat
Resistance training consists of exercises which use either weight machines or free weights. Research has shown that as little as 20 minutes per day of multi-rep routines which work all major muscle groups has the same weight loss and health benefits as 45 minutes of cardio type activity.
Free Weight Exercises: Constant Resistance
Free weight exercises typically use one or two hand held weights or barbells. Free weight routines are popular because they require minimal cost and can be performed in the comfort of your own home. Target the chest, arms, legs and abdomen and be sure to begin with a 5 minute warm up stretch to avoid risk of injury.
Resistance Bands: Accommodating Resistance
Resistance bands are another popular form of training which uses elastic bands to flex and build muscle. This type off exercise is ideal as it can be performed anywhere, and provides effective spot toning to all body parts. There are a variety of expensive machines on the market, but the best results are achieved using low cost bands which are available in levels from 5 up to 300 pounds of resistance.
Weight Machines: Variable Resistance
Exercise machines are usually high end devices which are found at the gym. Examples are rowing equipment and pulley weight systems. The resistance level changes continually during the exercise motion, building muscle as the rep intensifies. This type of training specifically targets muscle growth, and would be less appropriate for those looking to lose weight.
Melt Fat with Cardio Training
Cardio training is any type of exercise that raises the heart rate over an extended period of time. Cardio benefits include reduced risk of heart attack, stroke and metabolic syndrome which leads to diabetes. While still an important part of any fitness program, studies show that optimal health and weight loss benefits are not realized until you have trained for at least 30 minutes a day, but this can be spread over multiple sessions. The key is to increase exercise intensity until you break a sweat, but can still carry on a normal conversation.
Walking, Jogging and Running
Walking and jogging is by far the most common form of cardio exercise. For the average person, walking burns about 100 calories per mile, so it must be done consistently and at a brisk pace to fuel weight loss. Most people should avoid jogging and running due to the risk of knee injury and the potential for overexertion.
Step aerobics has become the most popular type of aerobic activity, as it requires minimal investment and can burn up to 800 calories per hour. Find a structured fitness class which provides motivation, high powered dance music and new friends.
Cycling is another fun exercise which can burn 500 to 1000 calories per hour. Take to the streets on a bicycle, or use a stationary cycle.
The weight loss benefits of a solid exercise program are indisputable. Once you've mastered your new dietary lifestyle, begin a fitness routine and choose a variety of different exercises from the resistance training and cardio offerings. Alternate different exercises on different days to keep it fun and be sure to condition all the major muscle groups. While neither diet or exercise alone will lead to permanent, healthy weight loss, combining both is a recipe for your weight loss success.