News : Why don’t I lose weight if I exercise? Key exercises to lose weight
We know that exercise contributes to increasing energy expenditure and therefore allows you to burn fat and lose weight. That is why it seems logical to think that the mere fact of starting to exercise will end up being reflected on the scale with a few kilos of less … However, this is not always the case.
Not everyone responds the same when they start exercising.
It is true that there are people who respond very well and lose weight easily without having to change their eating habits, but unfortunately, the same does not happen to many others and not only do they not lose weight but they even gain weight.
By what do not lose weight?
There are different causes. One may be that the activity carried out is excessively gentle and that the effort carried out does not significantly increase energy expenditure, such as in Pilates sessions, yoga, gymnastics or very undemanding walks.
It is also quite common for exercise whet your appetite. It does not happen to everyone – there are those who do the opposite and are less hungry – but it is common that when you go from sedentary lifestyle to being more active you have more appetite and you tend to eat more.
Another common situation, and totally counterproductive, is that the practice of exercise is taken as a excuse or a mitigating factor for eating larger amounts or indulge in eating or drinking the odd temptation “because I have already burned calories”. And what usually happens when adopting this attitude is that more calories are ingested than those expended during exercise, throwing away all the effort made.
I’m going to give you an example: A chesseburger of Mcdonalds contains 335 Kcal (calories); a medium serving of French fries, 340 calories; and a 250 ml glass of CocaCola, 105 calories. Total: 780 calories. Well, a 75-kilo person spends around 300 calories during one hour of gymnastics; 180 calories during a light walk of 30 minutes and, if you jog for half an hour at 7 m / km, the expenditure rises to 300 calories. Therefore, in order to eat the aforementioned menu, it is necessary to carry out the three sports activities mentioned and with this, only what was eaten would be balanced: not a single calorie more than those ingested would have been used.
Keep in mind that physical exercise alone is not a very effective measure to lose weight, especially when you are overweight and you have to lose a lot of weight. But, instead, it is shown to significantly increase the effectiveness of dietary measures for weight loss.
Conclusion: If you want to lose weight effectively it is a good measure to exercise, but to achieve good results it is essential that you take care of your diet in parallel.
What are the best exercises to lose weight?
In fact, any physical activity increases energy expenditure and is valid for losing weight. The really important thing is to choose the one that best suits the characteristics, needs and tastes of each person. The main thing is to move.
It is a type of exercise available to everyone and in addition to allowing weight loss, it contributes to the health of the cardiovascular system.
As is known and notorious, it involves making a physical effort during which our body mainly uses oxygen -captured during breathing- to generate energy. First, you will get it from muscle glycogen and later from fat, a situation that occurs when you have been active for a long time and your glycogen stores are already low.
Therefore and in order to burn fat, the effort made must be long-lasting. Always longer than 30 minutes. The ideal is to keep it 45 ‘, an hour or more. So that the supply of oxygen is not lacking, it is important to be able to breathe well and therefore the activity should be carried out at a mild or not very high intensity. It is important that you do not miss your breath.
If aerobic exercise is done on an empty stomach, it tends to burn more fat than if we have had breakfast before. As glucose and insulin levels are low due to overnight fasting, more energy is used from fat.
You can do aerobic exercise in a thousand ways: walking (on the treadmill or on the street), swimming, jogging or running, cycling (outdoors or static or elliptical in the gym) … and choosing any of the many aerobic activities that are taught in gyms: steps, spinning, cardiobox, bodypump… The type of exercise, as well as its rhythm and intensity, must be adapted to the physical condition of each person and their characteristics (age, weight, pathologies…).
To achieve higher energy consumption, it is highly recommended to combine aerobic exercise with a toning or bodybuilding work in order to gain lean or muscle mass.
Gaining muscle mass – in addition to making us more solid and stronger and propping up our body – allows us to increase the metabolic rate since energy is required to maintain it. Keep in mind that the more muscle mass, the greater the energy expenditure.
Therefore, contrary to what is believed, bodybuilding work – be done with weights, machines, weights, rubber bands, opposition … – is also a important tool to consider in an exercise program to lose weight.
Low-impact, low-intensity aerobic work -such as walking or stationary cycling- combined with gentle toning exercises with weights or machines, is the most suitable for the elderly.
Interval exercise for the youngest
However, if you are a young person, with little time for a long-term activity, or who simply finds running, swimming or cycling bored, there are other types of more entertaining physical activities that can be done in less time and that they also help you lose weight effectively. Of course, they require doing them at much more intensity.
One of them is called interval type exercise, which alternates periods of very high intensity with others of low intensity or rest.
A soccer match is, for example, an interval-type effort since the player is forced to run more or less long stretches and at different intensities: be it a top sprint of 30 meters, a sprint at half throttle of 60 or 80 meters or a long gentle trot …
It is good to know that a professional soccer player weighing 75 kg, expends about 1,600 Kcal (calories) during a match.
But there are many ways to do interval exercise without playing soccer. And they can be even much shorter, but also more intense. The so-called fartlek, a type of training widely used in athletics, is also an example of interval exercise.
Running: 1 minute jogging + 20 intense seconds + 1 ‘jogging + 20 ”intense… so on until completing a total of 20 minutes of running.
It can be combined as you please. Another example: 30 seconds jogging + 30 intense seconds + 10 ”butt or sprint… and repeat cycle for a total of 15 minutes.
These changes in intensity can also be done by swimming, cycling, on a treadmill or on a rowing machine …
This exercise combines aerobic and anaerobic efforts (one or the other predominates depending on the recoveries and intensities) and, although it seems that while it is performed it does not allow to burn as much fat as with long-duration, low-intensity aerobic exercise, once finished, energy expenditure remains increased for several hours, which favors fat loss.
Work in circuit
Another way to achieve a similar effect is by performing different toning and / or strengthening exercises as a circuit.
For example, you choose 10 exercises to perform: abdominal (1), squat, pectoral dips, leg dips, triceps, crunches (2), jump rope, delts, lateral dips, biceps.
You chain the exercises by doing 30 seconds of exercise, followed by 20 seconds of rest and so on until completing the ten planned. You rest 3 minutes and repeat the round 2 or 3 more times; in 15 minutes the session is ready.
This type of work admits all kinds of variations and exercises. Such is the case of the so-called Tabata method which consists of performing a certain exercise (for example: squats or pectoral dips) for 20 seconds at maximum intensity, resting 10 seconds and repeating it 8 times. It takes four minutes to do it.
I note that this is a very strenuous type of work and only suitable for people in good shape. I only recommend doing it when time is very short, since as it consists of a single exercise only a few muscles of the body are worked and, therefore, it is incomplete.
Once the types of exercises to lose weight have been defined, as we said at the beginning, for weight loss to be effective, it is essential to adopt dietary measures in parallel. When there is a marked overweight, it is advisable to follow a personalized diet prepared by a specialist.
When it comes to losing a few kilos, it is often not necessary to follow a diet itself and to eliminate them it is enough to apply common sense, reduce a little the amounts we are used to, eliminate sweets and alcohol and correct little bad habits.
Fotos: Oscar Roche