Losing weight is definitely a worthy goal of an exercise program, but it shouldn’t be your main goal. We know you have to expend 3,500 more calories per week than you take in to lose one pound. That breaks down into a 500-calorie-per-day deficit.
A better exercise goal would be to build muscle through strength training along with burning calories through cardio training. The more muscle mass you have, the more calories they burn carrying out your daily activities. So some of that 500 calorie deficit could come from muscles burning more calories, along with what you burn doing cardio training. Of course along with an increase in muscle size, and we are not talking about a lot of increase – just a boost in toning, comes an increase in self-confidence. If you look good, you feel good.
However without also a change in diet, it is difficult at best to have a 500 calorie deficit day-in/day-out. In most cases, it would mean at least an additional hour of exercise at a moderate intensity activity. As the old saying goes “You can out-exercise a bad diet program.” It is so true.
Another goal of your exercise program should be getting to and living a healthy lifestyle. If you are badly out of shape, it will take a while, but still doable. Through a combination of reducing your calorie intake by 250 calories and burning 250 more calories through extra muscle and exercising, you have your 500 calorie deficit for the day and probably only had to exercise an additional 30 minutes or so.
As far as healthy eating as an integral part of your healthy lifestyle, concentrate on eating more fiber by eating fresh fruits and vegetable, whole grain, and lean meat and plant protein. Not only will this diet fill you up and keep you full because of the extra fiber, but these foods tend to have fewer calories, so you consume fewer calories without reducing the bulk. It is an easy way to reduce your daily caloric intake.
Be sure to keep hydrated. Drink at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day. More if you are exercising outdoors in a hot climate.
Not only will fluids keep your body functioning better, but they also help flush out waste from your body, which can also help with weight loss. If you concentrate on building muscle and burning calories as exercise goals, and eat a healthy diet, the weight will naturally come off and stay off.