The best (and, in fact, only) way to lose weight is to create a deficit between the calories you take in and what your body uses.
As has been observed, there are two sides to this equation: you can take in fewer, or you can use more. It’s *much *easier to affect the former than the latter, though they work best in tandem (consider how quickly you can eat 250 calories versus how long you have to run to burn that off).
In practice, consumption of simple sugars and certain carbs will drive you to consume more and more. Consumption of certain complex carbs, proteins and certain fats will drive you to consume less.
So, 100 simple sugar cals vs 100 protein cals. It’s the same energy. But one makes you consume 200 later. One might make you pass on 200 later. The sugars drive up hunger… and a chain starts, because the next consumption of sugar drives it up again. Protein tends to control it, as does fat. It is more complicated and has to do with insulin and other levels in the blood, but that is the gist of it.
All too often, a person who wants to lose weight will erroneously believe that the “key” to weight loss is exercise. So they exercise 4 or 5 days a week. When they don’t get the results that had hoped for, they get discouraged and quit. This is because, in reality, exercise will not have much of an impact on a person’s weight for the *average *person.
If you were to study people who have lost weight and have *permanently *kept it off, you will find that close to 100% did it by *permanently *modifying their diet.
When it comes to losing weight, your diet is the most important variable, not exercise.
Indeed during the period of exercise you will burn more fat staying in the lower intensity zone. That’s true as far as it goes.
You will burn more calories exercising more vigorously for the same period of time. They will come to a larger extent from various tissue glycogen stores. Later you will replace those glycogen stores and, *if *running an overall calorie deficit, use up fat stores in that process.
Some people however eat more because they have exercised. Maybe because they are hungrier, maybe because they feel they somehow earned the treat, doesn’t matter, they eat more. They may gain in fitness, in bone strength, in heart health, but they won’t lose fat if they end up taking in more calories than they burned. Exercise without moderation of eating habits to the point of running a calorie deficit will not result fat loss.
The best exercise is the one (or variety of ones) that you enjoy enough to keep up with. If slow and steady keeps you coming back for more and high intensity bursts scare you off then slow and steady it should be.
That said there is a body of research that shows that calories burned doing high intensity interval training (HIIT) will result in more fat loss than the same number of calories burned (or even more) doing low intensity aerobic endurance training (ET) exercise. See here for example.
Now I love me my occasional long slow run, letting my mind wander, and my long bike rides. But per unit time invested my shorter more intense work-outs (be they weight training, jumping rope, runs, on the elliptical, doing a Tabata interval set of burpees or somesuch, on the bike, whatever) are going to give me much more bang for the buck.
I’m not quite getting that from the article. The article seems to be stating that the benefits of exercise are often offset by stimulated appetite or decrease in post-exercise activity. Which is true. People will run two or three miles and then reward themselves with a dessert at dinner or something, completely negating or setting back the calories banked with exercise.
Yes, diet is the most important part of the weight loss equation, but exercise can certainly help it along. I know it did for me. I lost 40 pounds in about 6 months, going from 205 to 165, and I would estimate about a third to half of those pounds were the result of exercise, in conjunction with careful monitoring of my diet. Basically, I went to an 1800-2000 calorie diet, in conjunction with about 500 calories’ worth of exercise, and dropped two pounds a week. Without the exercise, I would have had to either wait twice as long or go to a 1300-1500 calorie diet which I would not have been able to sustain.
Adding: another factor in the “broccoli vs. butter” argument is that fat is more calorie-dense than protein or carbohydrates. One gram of fat contains nine calories, while one gram of protein or carbs contains four calories. Foods that are lower in fat give you more “bulk” for the same number of calories, leaving you feeling more “full” and satisfied.
There are many simple little things to know and do. However, my post that you quoted was about how different types of calories affect the blood and hunger urges later.
Max, You are talking about satisfying the immediate hunger. Calorie-dense foods are not good. Bulking up on low-density foods is good. And it will have an effect later, too. You should feel full later, because you are.
But people also shouldn’t forget the ‘exercise’ part.
For weight loss, calorie intake is easier to affect than a modest exercise regime. If your diet consists of reducing calorie intake from 2500 to 1500 a day and burning off 500 doing exercise - obviously the calorie intake portion affects your weight loss more. But the exercise is still a good portion of your weight loss (33% in this example).
But more to the point, a person might work damn hard to burn off 500 calories. I think for many people it helps keep you focused on your calorie intake. If I go to the trouble of burning calories, then why even contemplate wasting my effort by eating that cheesecake before bed?
Besides that, by working out you can gain muscle, which in turn burns more fat and will do a lot to help keep that fat off once your diet is over.
See it is hard for me to know where to seperate my workout routine. LONG LHB cardio session will make me loose more “fat” calories. I can do a shorter workout in a quarter of the time on a very HGB cardio session and loose 3 times the calories. What is the offset. Where is the line drawn for “fat” calories.
First off do enjoy (or at least tolerate) one form of exercise more than the other?
Number one (and two and three) is doing it and doing it with regularity. None of the benefits of exercise (which go well beyond its additive benefit to diet changes in causing fat loss) accrue unless you do it, and you will be less likely to stick with that which you hate.
What form will you actually DO?
If that’s only long slow runs then that’s fine. If it is only interval sprints, that’s also fine. Some of us thrive on a mindless routine that we do without even thinking. Some love the quick and the hard. Some of us (and I count myself among them) love constantly mixing it up. I love when I can get out for an hour and a half long slow run. But I did not love training with only a marathon in mind. Doing the long slow maybe once a week along with weights (high weight/low rep to low weight/high rep to plyometrics), pull-ups, dips, Tabata intervals of all sorts, jumping rope, balance disc work, yoga, swimming, biking, and so on, in a somewhat haphazard rotation, is what I will actually keep up doing because, for me, that’s what keeps it fun. Otherwise it gets boring. Your mileage may vary.
But if you will do any form of exercise as readily as any other, and will modify your diet in any case such that you run an overall calorie deficit, then you will lose more fat burning the same calories (in less time) with a higher intensity biased program, and even more if you exercise long enough at high enough intensity that you burn more calories than you would at lower intensity levels.
So if you could do the “shorter workout in a quarter of the time on a very HGB cardio session and loose 3 times the calories” just readily as the longer less intense program, then you should.
As well as the exercise, you can try the increased protein (not Adkins) and lower glycemic route, a la The Perricone program.
I tried it for a month and dropped about 10 pounds, lowered my blood sugar, triglycerides, and bad cholesterol. I did not stick with it consistently but I still bear the principles in mind.
A low carb diet like Atkins or South Beach and Tabata windsprints. Long cardio workouts are a waste of time and not nearly as effective. I eat a “primal” diet, that is, meat, fish, fruit, vegetables, seeds, nuts–no grains. I’ve never felt better and you’ll drop weight fast. Chronic auto-immune fibromyalgia completely gone.
What workout can cause you to burn 3x the calories in 1/4 of the time of a long cardio session (what do LHB and HGB mean?) I burn about 800-900 calories in a one hour run. Am I understanding you’re saying there’s an exercise that will have me burn 2400 calories in 15 minutes, or am I missing something (perhaps because I don’t know what LHB and HGB mean)?
Assuming you are about 150# then you are keeping up an 8 minute mile (7.5mph) pace to do that. For me, and I may not be fast but I have done both a marathon and a half-ironman and multiple other lesser endurance events, that is not a slow and easy pace. On my old basement treadmill, in fact, that pace is in the top level “performance” range. In any case, for the likes of me, for an hour run that would be cooking … and breathing hard. Treadmill “fat burn” tops out at a 12 minute mile (5mph) and goes much lower as well. My comfortable slow easy mindless long run would be a ten minute mile pace. Someone who doesn’t run much just hopping on a treadmill? I would guess even slower.
Of course that still means 500 calories or less in an hour at top and maybe 300 if someone is using the lower end of the treadmill’s alleged “fat burn” setting. OTOH sprinting at a 5.5 minute mile pace (10.9 mph) for 15 minutes, if you can do it, still only burns a bit over 300 calories … so there is still some hyperbole going on. It still may burn more fat though, over the course of the day.