How Often Should You Exercise To Lose Weight?

How Often Should You Exercise To Lose Weight?

We all know that in order to be healthy, you need to eat right and exercise.  Once you get the eating part down, exercise is the next step.  So one must ask the question, how often should you exercise to lose weight?

The problem with finding the answer to this question is, exercising does not always equal losing weight.  Or what works for one person, does not always work for another person.

Learning and understanding your body and how it responds to different foods or workouts helps in the achieving your fitness goals.

Also, Losing weight is about putting the pieces of a puzzle together to make sure everything fits so you can see the final picture.

So making sure you are eating the right foods and exercising on a regular basis are pieces of the puzzle you are trying to make fit together.  But when you really break it down, losing weight really comes down to CALORIES!

It’s All About The Calories

What is a calorie

Calories are the energy found in food.  Your body needs this energy and uses the calories found in food to keep you functioning.  So when you are feeling weak due to hunger, this is a big reason why.  There are three types of nutrients where your calories are found and they are, Carbohydrates, Proteins and Fats.

Regardless of how you consume these calories, they are either converted to physical energy or stored as fat. They will remain as stored fat unless they are used up, either through physical activity or by reducing calorie intake in which your body will look to reserves to find energy.

Managing calories

So when it comes to losing weight, the equation is simple.  If you consume more calories than you burn, you will gain weight.  If you burn more calories than you consume, you will lose weight.  Without getting too complicated in the numbers, 1 pound is equal to 3500 calories. So in order to lose weight, you will need to burn 3500 more calories than you consume.

A good way to understand this is since there are 7 days in a week, you will need to make sure you are at a calorie deficit of 500 (3500 ÷ 7) daily to lose 1 pound per week.  Basically if you are burning 2000 calories a day, you will need to make sure to consume no more than 1500 calories during that day.

Use a Calorie Counter

A good way to track your calorie intake during the day is by using reputable resources that offer tools to count your calories. You can look up Websites and smartphone apps to help find tools to count your calories.

Set A Schedule

schedule

When setting up a schedule for exercising during the week, a recommended amount you should shoot for is 3 times a week for about an hour each workout.  That is 3 hours you need to find during the week to make time to work out.  

I know how busy life can be with kids and work which makes finding 3 hours very difficult, but if you are serious about losing weight and getting healthy, then you need to put aside time to work on you.  

Once a week just won’t get it done.  It may make you feel good about yourself briefly, but when results are not showing, you will wonder why.

Mix In Some Cardio And Resistance Training

Burning calories is all about being physically active. The more active you are, the more calories you will burn. Thus the more weight you will lose each passing week. When deciding on ways to increase your physical activity, make sure you workouts include a mix of cardio and resistance training.

I would recommend doing some sort of circuit style training to help get your heart rate at an up and down pace. Circuit training is also a great way to get in shape quickly especially if you are a beginner when it comes to working out.

Resistance Training which includes lifting weights is a great way to build muscles and burn calories not only during the workout, but after. Remember, calories are energy the body uses to fuel itself.  So building muscles is going to require a lot of energy to maintain, thus causing more calories to be burned.

Using both cardio and resistance training will help boost your metabolism giving you the most efficient way to burn those calories and lose weight both during the workout and especially after.

This being called the EPOC effect, where due to an intense workout, calories are burned hours after your workout. So doing this at least 3 times a week will assure you are getting enough physical activity done throughout the week.

Get Some Rest

Making sure you are getting the right amount of sleep each night we all know is key to losing weight. Imagine burning calories while the body is at rest. Well this is possible as the body is always at work regardless if the body is active or not. Which is a great reason to make sure you are getting enough rest every night.

The body needs to repair itself from the intense workout you put your body through, thus requiring more energy. More energy used + more calories burned = more weight loss. So it is important to rest the body and let it heal so it may prepare itself for more energy to be used the next day.

Remember, It All Comes Down To…

How you feel. We all get caught up in the number on the scale, but fail to realize that no matter what the number shows on the scale, if you are not happy with what you see in the mirror, then it really doesn’t matter.

Just continue to take care of your body and never be afraid to push your body to limits unseen, because with hard work, results are sure to follow.

So what does you workout schedule look like for the week and what are the steps you will take to make sure you are exercising at least 3 times a week. Please share below.

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8 thoughts on “How Often Should You Exercise To Lose Weight?

  1. Hey Ralph,

    Nice and informative. I agree with a lot of what you say. A lot depends on the individual too, some things may not work for other people. I find it difficult finding time to exercise so I generally walk home from work. This takes about 30 mins to get home. Do you think this would be ample to lose weight if I did it every day?

    • Hey Craig! As long as you are eating right, then that 30 min walk is better than no walk at all. Just make sure you are watching what you eat and you should be fine.

  2. Ralph,
    Great article. Looks like I’ve got some work to do to get back on the wellness wagon. Thank You for giving me some sound advice. Gotta go get started.
    Cary

  3. Great post… I just starting working out again. It feels great but time is definitely an issue. For me, I have to get a schedule and just stick to it. Thank you for the info on calories too that helps. 🙂

    • You got it Francine! Yes time is always a struggle for us all, but its all about making ourselves priority and creating that habit. Once you learn to manage your calories, then you can manage your weight.

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