‘Key to losing weight’ is not diet or excessive exercise – best way to ‘shed pounds’

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Following a healthy eating plan or sticking to a calorie deficit, alongside regular exercise can help you lose weight. Express.co.uk spoke to Nicholas Freer, Training Specialist at fitness and lifestyle coaching app Freeletics about the best exercises to do to see maximum results. 

Nicholas explained the best forms of exercises to do to lose weight. 

He said: “Assuming fat loss is the desired weight to be lost, there are three things to consider.

“Energy balance: You will need to be in a caloric deficit, or burn more calories than you consume. 

“This can be accomplished by consuming fewer calories, increasing your activity level, or a combination of both.

“Include both cardio and resistance training into your exercise plan. 

“Most people want to lose fat and maintain their lean mass (muscle). 

“Maintaining or even increasing muscle mass is important because muscle burns more calories than fat. 

“Keeping or increasing the amount of muscle will help you burn and keep the fat off.

“The best form of exercise to lose weight is the type of exercise you are going to consistently do. 

“Find something that doesn’t cause you more stress when you think about having to work out and you will stick to it,” he advised. 

As for whether any specific exercises are best to do to lose weight, the expert said: “The exercises that you enjoy! 

“Unfortunately, there is no magic weight-loss exercise, the biggest key to losing weight is consistency. This means training regularly, even if that starts with two days a week of going for a walk. 

“Finding an activity that you are motivated to get into your sports clothes and perform is going to help you shed those pounds.

“However, if you’re pressed for time, aim for full-body exercises like pushups, jumping jacks, burpees, or squats as they can increase total energy expenditure compared to isolated exercises. 

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“But remember, you won’t lose weight if you aren’t in a caloric deficit at the end of the day/week. 

“Full-body exercises aren’t an easy solution to weight loss, however, they will help to make your workout more time-efficient and thus help you stick to a routine more easily.”

In terms of how many times a week someone should workout to lose weight, Nicholas said: “There is a general weekly recommendation of 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activities like walking, recreational swimming, and yard work, or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity activities like HIIT, running, and jumping rope (all of which are found in the Freeletics app). 

“It is also recommended to spread your workouts across at least three days in the week to avoid injury or excessive fatigue.

“Keep in mind that you will lose both fat and muscle while in a weight loss phase and one of the best ways to prevent unwanted muscle loss is to incorporate resistance training in your weekly plan consistently. 

“For this reason, it is recommended to incorporate some form of resistance training at least one to two times a week (these sessions count toward your 150 moderate-intensity or 75 vigorous-intensity minutes of activities).”

A healthy weight loss goal is one pound per week, and you should aim for a calorie deficit of 500 calories a day to achieve this. 

In terms of burning fat, one pound of fat is equivalent to 3,500 calories. 

So if you want to lose one to two pounds per week, 500 or 1,000 calories need to be burnt a day. 

Nicholas said: “You should aim to achieve your caloric deficit from both a reduction of calories (eating/drinking fewer calories) and by increasing your physical activity per day (working out).”

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