Everyone wants to lose weight quickly, but there’s no healthy way to do it fast. You already know that, and you also know that exercise plays an important role in weight loss. Unfortunately, most people think they can speed up the process by exercising more; in reality, overdoing it will only slow your progress in the long run. Here’s what you really need to know about exercising to lose weight quickly, and how to get fast, effective results with less time at the gym.
Exercise Alone Isn’t the Quickest Way to Lose Weight
While exercise can definitely help you lose weight, it’s not always the fastest or most effective method on its own. When you work out, your body temperature and metabolism increase. You do burn calories during the workout, but afterward, your body will try to cool itself back down and may burn off some of the calories you just torched. For rapid weight loss, you need to combine exercise with dietary changes.
Diet Trumps Exercise for Weight Loss Every Time
There’s no way around it — you won’t lose weight if you eat poorly, no matter how much you exercise. The good news? Eating well isn’t as hard as you might think. You really only need to follow five simple rules:
- Focus on lean proteins, fruits, veggies, and whole grains
- Avoid added sugars and unhealthy fats
- Watch your portions and don’t overeat
- Stay hydrated
- Allow yourself occasional treats in moderation
Follow those guidelines, and you’ll be well on your way to faster weight loss than exercise alone could ever deliver.
You Don’t Have to Exercise All in One Session
It’s just as effective to break up your workouts into multiple shorter sessions throughout the day. After an intense workout, it may take your body several hours to recover enough for another training session. So what should you do if you have 30 minutes free at lunch? Head out for a brisk walk! Splitting up your exercise allows you to burn more calories overall without overtaxing your body.
Slow and Steady Weight Loss Is Often Best
If your primary goal is to lose weight, there’s no reason to try to drop pounds excessively fast. When you eat healthy foods and exercise regularly, your body will start shedding weight naturally, without you having to take extreme measures. If the scale doesn’t budge as quickly as you hoped, that’s okay. Safe weight loss takes time and consistency. Stay focused on eating right, training regularly, and letting your hard work pay off.
HIIT Workouts Offer Major Benefits in Minimal Time
When it comes to efficient exercise for weight loss, high intensity interval training (HIIT) is a true powerhouse. HIIT only requires about 20 minutes, but delivers better fat-burning results than steady-state moderate exercise. HIIT alternates short bursts of intense activity (like sprinting) with brief rest periods. Just 20 minutes of HIIT, done 3-4 days per week, can make a big difference in your weight loss goals.
20 Minutes of Cardio May Be Enough for Many
Recent research suggests that 20 minutes of moderate cardio exercise at least 5 days per week is enough for many people to see significant weight loss. So if you’re short on time, don’t skip your workout — even a quick jog, jump rope session, or brisk walk can pay off!
Add Strength Training to Burn More Calories
While cardio is great for weight loss, combining it with strength training can help you shed pounds even faster. Strength training uses body weight, free weights, resistance bands, or weight machines to build muscle. Lifting weights burns calories quickly and keeps your metabolism fired up longer than cardio alone. The more muscle you build, the leaner you’ll look as you lose weight.
Stick With It As the Pounds Come Off
With any new diet or exercise plan, it’s normal not to see immediate results on the scale. But don’t get discouraged and quit consistency is key. Keep exercising at least 5 days weekly and eating healthy even on non-workout days. Before you know it, you’ll start seeing the number on the scale drop as your hard work pays off. Maintaining your routine as you slim down will help ensure the pounds stay off for good.
The key to safely losing weight quickly is combining regular exercise with a healthy, portion-controlled diet. While you may be tempted to drastically cut calories or ramp up your workouts, extreme measures are unnecessary and can backfire. If you stay consistent with moderate exercise and nutritious eating, you’ll start dropping pounds the healthy way.