The foundation of weight loss (where complicating health issues are not present) is exercise and a good diet.
With limited time in the day, we all must make choices regarding how to invest our fitness time. There are two overarching categories of exercise: aerobic exercise and strength training.
Aerobic Exercise v Strength Training: what provides you with the best results based on your time?
Aerobic exercise involves high activity, with the goal of increasing your heart rate. Aerobic exercise seeks to force your cells to their energy limit, burning energy faster than they have the oxygen to manage. As you may have noticed on a treadmill or other equipment, calories burned can quickly move into the hundreds when engaged in aerobic exercise. Aerobic exercise is an important component of any weight loss program. However, in terms of weight loss, the benefit of aerobic exercise is basically limited to the time you spend doing it. After you complete the exercise, your metabolic rate returns to normal levels.
To the contrary, strength training generally does not burn as many calories per minute of exercise competed as aerobic exercise provides. However, strength training, when done correctly, can drive fat loss even after exercise is completed. This is because muscle mass is metabolically expensive to maintain, burning calories when you are not actively engaged in exercise. Your muscles consume calories and protein even when you are sleeping. By way of example, bodybuilders such as Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, consume thousands of calories per day.
In order to obtain these increased baseline metabolic rates, you must be building muscle mass. This requires protein. The amount of protein necessary will vary based on your age, gender, and baseline activity level. Many seeking to build muscle mass seek to consume between 0.8g and 1.0g of protein per pound of bodyweight per day. If weight loss is your primary goal, you will need to seek out lean proteins, so that you can hit your protein target without adding too much fat—and the associate calories—to your diet.
This strengthening doesn’t necessarily involve the “bulking” associated with bodybuilders. Those physiques don’t happen by accident, they require years of concerted and sustained training and high protein eating. Do not worry that you will “over” bulk by accident though moderate strength training.
Aerobic Exercise v Strength Training: in reality, the best strategy for sustained weight loss is a mix of both.
While you incorporate both kinds of exercise into your weight loss strategy, bear the following in mind: muscle is denser than fat.
You may not see the kind of decline in your body weight that you hope for, within the time frame that you seek. Other metrics, such as measuring tape or body mass index readings may be more accurate. However, the way you feel, what you see with your own eyes and your own energy levels, provide the best measure of progress on your journey toward a healthier body composition.