Weight Loss and Exercise
Exercise is an important part of weight loss as the more activity in your day, the better your body is at burning off (metabolising) body fat.
Exercise needn’t mean taking out a gym subscription.
You can do a lot of exercises within the comfort and familiarity of your home and neighbourhood.
What exercise shall I do?
Find a form of exercise that you enjoy, and will stick to. An exercise routine that has been shown to be beneficial for aiding weight loss is a combination of resistance training and aerobic exercise. This will help you maintain and improve your fitness.
Resistance training or strength training involves your muscles working against a resistive force. This type of exercise includes lifting weights, push, pull and sit ups and using resistive exercise machines.
Aerobic exercise tends to include non-resistant activities which increase your rate of breathing. This includes running, dancing, swimming and cycling.
Benefits of exercise
Exercise can help you to lose weight in a number of ways and can:
- improve your metabolism to help burn fat
- increases insulin sensitivity, helping to lower blood glucose
- releases endorphins and serotonin, which make you feel better
- help to break snacking habits
How much exercise do I need to do to lose weight?
The amount of exercise you need to do is based on how much you eat minus the number of calories your body needs to function.
As an example, if you eat 2,000 calories a day and your body needs 1,700 calories to function then you will need burn off approximately 300 calories through exercise during the day to maintain a steady weight. If you wish to lose weight, you’ll need to increase your exercise above this.
To help you to find out how much exercise you will need to do before you can start to lose weight, you will need to know:
- How many calories you are eating
- Your metabolic rate
- How many calories you burn through activity
Calculating your calorie intake
To help you work out how many calories you are consuming, keep a food diary of the foods you eat and note down the calories in each food.
A calorie counting book will help you to estimate how many calories are in the fresh food. A kitchen scale is highly recommended too.
To kill two birds with one stone, whilst recording the calories of each food, it is well worth noting down the carbohydrates (and even the proteins) in each food as well, as these can affect your sugar levels.
Your body’s metabolic rate
Your basal metabolic rate
Finding out your body’s basal metabolic rate will help you to find out how many calories your body needs each day. Work out your body’s basic calorific needs with our basal metabolic rate calculator.
Note that the calculator is based on a person with a moderate level of activity. This isn't the same as your BMI. If you have a less active life at the moment, your metabolic rate will be lower than the figure given by the calculator.
How many calories do I burn through activity?
You can work out how many calories you burn during activity using our calorie burning calculator.