As a clinic specialising in weight loss, we often get asked by our clients if there’s a best exercise for boosting fat loss. One that will increase the speed at which our clients lose weight while following their nutrition plan.
We have worked with hundreds of clients to help them lose weight. We’re always interested to know whether our clients are exercising and the extent to which it’s impacting their weight loss progress.
HOW MUCH DOES EXERCISE REALLY IMPACT WEIGHT LOSS?
First, let’s take a look at the extent to which exercise impacts weight loss. The evidence to support exercise having a significant effect on weight loss is not as clear cut as you may think.
Here is a review of the evidence by our colleague cardiologist Dr Aseem Malhotra. Aseem states that ‘a growing body of scientific evidence shows that exercise alone has almost no effect on weight loss’. He points to researchers who reviewed surveys of millions of American adults found that physical activity increased between 2001 and 2009, but the rise in exercise was matched by an increase in obesity in almost every state studied. Another study published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2011 found that people who simply dieted experienced greater weight loss than those who combined diet and exercise.
HOW IS THIS THE CASE?
There are a couple of reasons for this. Firstly, when people exercise they stimulate their appetite, which often results in them eating more than they would have without working out. People also tend to overestimate how many calories they’ve burned and overcompensate by consuming more calories than they have burned exercising.
BEYOND THE BURN
Despite the fact that exercise may not have much of a direct impact on fat loss, it has many health benefits and can support your weight loss in other ways. Regular exercise will support your bone health, muscle mass and your metabolic heath in general. It also has positive benefits for your mental health.
Beyond burning calories, there is another, potentially more significant way in which exercise can support your weight loss attempts. When we exercise we naturally release endorphins. These are peptides designed to inhibit pain. They’re released in response to pain but also when we exercise. Endorphins can create a feeling of elation and elevated mood (which is no surprise, given they are opioid peptides!) Exercise is also energising. When we feel good as a result of exercising, it can reduce the desire to seek out food to make us happy and boost our energy.
FIND WHAT WORKS FOR YOU
There are certain exercises that will boost your metabolism more significantly than others. However, the best exercise we can recommend is the one that’s right for you. You could choose to go all out and do multiple HIIT classes per week, but is that sustainable? Instead, consider what you enjoy. Can you identify a form of exercise that you have fun doing and that leaves you feeling good afterwards? What are you most likely to stick to long term?
SWITCH IT UP
There are so many ways to exercise, even if you’re not keen on the gym. Personally, I like variety so as well as working out with my trainer, I play tennis and do spin classes. I walk my dog daily and do a longer run with her a couple of times a week.
If you struggle to motivate yourself to exercise, find a way to create accountability. Consider getting a trainer, book a class or find a friend to exercise with. Accountability can make a real difference when it comes to staying committed and consistency is the key. Find something / things you enjoy, get into a regular habit and you’ll soon make regular exercise part of your routine.
Try this quick and easy workout video in the morning to get you started on your fitness journey.
If you are looking to lose weight, we can help you overcome your weight challenges, reach your happy weight and maintain it long term. Book yourself in for a complimentary 25 mintue call or contact us and a member of our team will be in touch soon. We can talk through your challenges and explore whether one of our Intelligent Weight Loss programmes is right for you.
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