The entire month of September, I will be going through the top five factors you must address when working to achieve any weight loss goal: nutrition, mindset, stress, sleep, and movement.
Exercise seems to be one of the go-to ways to lose weight along with nutrition. We've obviously covered nutrition and more so far in this series, so now it's time to debunk some myths about exercise and weight loss/fat loss!
MYTH: Cardio is best for fat loss.
TRUTH: Building muscle with adequate STRENGTH TRAINING is the key to boosting the metabolism and losing weight. Our bodies adapt to cardio so quickly; one day the 30 minute run we just did burns 100 calories and the next day it only burns 90. Strength training, on the other hand, allows us to progress and change AND BUILD MUSCLE in ways that cardio doesn't always offer.
Bottom line: cardio (especially walking) is great, but not the key to fat/weight loss.
MYTH: Doing HIIT or circuit style lifting is best for fat loss
TRUTH: Doing this kind of weight training every. single. time you lift weights is counterproductive to your goals. Your body will adapt very quickly, and you'll stop seeing progress.
Instead, doing straight strength training (i.e. doing 1 exercise at a time for 3-5 sets of 5-12 reps and resting 30-90 seconds between sets) in a basic, total body format is the ideal way to see weight loss and change.
MYTH: Lifting weights will make me bulky
TRUTH: It takes WORK to become bulky. Trust me, you won't wake up one day and look in the mirror and realize you got bulky from lifting weights. It has to be your main goal in order to happen
MYTH: Doing the same sets and reps over and over will give me progress
TRUTH: You must progress your strength workouts by varying the number of reps you do and the amount of weight you are using: light weight and more reps (12-15), a medium weight and medium reps (8-12), or a (relatively) heavy weight and low reps (3-5). Most people never leave the light weight and more reps range and it comes back to hurt them. I like to program clients to float in and out of each of these rep ranges as much as possible, spending a few weeks in each range.
MYTH: You need to do different exercises to confuse your muscles
TRUTH: Exercise variety is a factor to consider, but what is often MORE important is properly progressing your workouts by changing the weight, sets, and reps.
Honestly, when it comes to exercise for weight loss, it is super important to be CONSISTENT over anything else. If you are working on nutrition, sleep, stress, and mindset, adding in some movement will be awesome and beneficial, but don't think that just going harder in the gym to overcome your bad diet will help you. It simply doesn't work that way (unless your an 18 year old male!).
If you want to know more about exercise and aren't in the Lincoln area to work with me (bummer!), I highly recommend Mind Pump Media's podcast and programs and free guides to follow for all your weight loss and fitness goals.
That's a wrap on this series on weight loss! Remember - you can't focus solely on one area in an attempt to achieve your goals. Work with your body with a fueling, healing focus, and you'll see the results you want!
Need specific help and live in Lincoln, NE? Come find me at Synergy Chiropractic, and we'll get a plan set up just for you!