Its a complicated world out there when you are trying to lose weight. Here are three simple truths about exercising for weight loss that can save you some time, energy and stress.
#1: What you do to lose weight is the same for maintaining weight
Weight loss is not the kind of goal you achieve and forget about. Everything you do to lose weight needs to be sustainable to keep that weight off. Before you start an exercise plan, consider how sustainable it is for both your body and your lifestyle. For example, if you are doing a high intensity exercise program to get weight off, ask yourself if you want to do that for your whole life. HIIT training may ‘work’ to burn more calories, but if its not something you want to keep doing, it won’t really work.
#2: If it feels good now, it is good for weight loss
No matter what anyone tells you, even if they are a top trainer or have years of experience working with people in weight loss (myself included), if it does not leave you feeling better now, it will not lead to long term results. Why? because anything that makes you feel worse, sets up a habit to avoid it in the future. When exercise makes you feel better now, your brain wants you to repeat it.
The thing is, only you know how it feels for your physically and emotionally. Exercise that leaves you in more pain, or without enough time to do the things you need to do, or feeling shame about your body or yourself, will keep you struggling to stay motivated. It does not matter how many calories you burn, or how much weight you lose. The way exercise is most helpful for weight loss success is when its sustainable. Listen to your body and exercise in the way that leaves you feeling better physically and mentally and emotionally right away, and your weight loss is much more likely to stick.
#3: There is no one best type of exercise; your body needs a balance of all three
Every physical activity we need and want to do requires a combination of strength, stamina and mobility. If you want to function your best at every stage of weight loss and when you get to a goal weight, your body needs a balance of each of these abilities. That means no one type of exercise is better than the other. Stretching, cardio and strength all help your body feel and function well. Strike a balance between these three types of exercise each week and you are helping your body have the ability to move with more ease at every stage of weight loss.
Test this out for yourself. Look back at past exercise attempts and see what stuck and what faded away. See if these are true for you when it comes to just not losing weight, but keeping it off.
Keep moving, Be Well