Exercise is an effective way to lose weight, and if you've set a goal of losing 20 pounds, it will likely take you 10 to 20 weeks to lose the weight at a healthy rate. Although a number of exercises can help you slowly melt away the pounds, weight training isn't the best way to lose weight. This form of exercise plays a useful role in weight loss, but you're unlikely to reach your weight-loss goal without aerobic exercise and a reduction in your caloric intake.
Shedding the Pounds
Many people understand that aerobic exercise is a key to weight loss, and they shy away from weight training. While it's true that weight training speeds up your ability to lose weight, it burns calories at an extremely low rate. Many forms of aerobic exercise, meanwhile, burn calories quickly. Data from Harvard Health Publications reveals that lifting weights burns calories at less than one-third the rate of running at 6 mph or swimming the breaststroke. MayoClinic.com reports that a healthy rate of losing weight is about one to two pounds per week.
Reasons to Weight Train
Weight training burns calories slowly, but you can't measure the benefits of this form of exercise strictly by looking at its rate of burning calories. Weight training plays a role in weight loss because it boosts your muscle mass. As you become stronger, your body burns more calories to operate. Frequent weight training can elevate your basal metabolic rate by more than 10 percent. Other benefits of weight training include increased bone strength and endurance.
Balance Weight Training With Aerobics
Filling your workout routine with a combination of weight training and aerobic exercise can help you reach your goal of shedding 20 pounds. Perform weight-training exercises at least twice a week, targeting all your major muscles, and exercise aerobically for at least 300 minutes per week. Your weight training can encompass traditional weight lifting using free weights or machines, exercises with resistance bands, and body-weight calisthenics. Remember that your fitness goal is to actually lose fat, not just weight. Through frequent weight training, your weight might fluctuate as you add muscle.
Improve Your Diet to Reach Your Goal
Frequent weight training can boost your appetite, but unless you're careful about the calories you consume, you'll slow down the time it takes to lose 20 pounds. Cutting your caloric intake can help you reach the calorie deficit needed to lose weight -- burning 3,500 calories more than you consume results in the loss of one pound of fat. It's possible to reduce your intake of calories, in general, by replacing high-calorie, unhealthy food with food that is healthier, such as fresh fruits and veggies, lean protein and low-fat dairy options. Other tips include avoiding high-fat snacks, reducing the serving size of your meals and avoiding soft drinks, which are high in calories.
- MayoClinic.com: Weight Loss: 6 Strategies for Success
- Harvard Health Publications: Calories Burned in 30 Minutes for People of Three Different Weights
- WeightLossResources.co.uk: How to Make Your Body Burn More Calories
- MayoClinic.com: Strength Training: Get Stronger, Leaner, Healthier
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: How Much Physical Activity Do Adults Need?
- Men's Health: 30 Ways to Get Rid of Extra Weight
- MayoClinic.com: Exercise for Weight Loss: Calories Burned in 1 Hour
- American Council on Exercise: Trimming Off the Fat
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