When it comes to weight loss, we all want the same thing: get as much off our body in as little time as possible! The best way to do this is a combined approach of diet and exercise, and we’ve all heard that since our first grade school health class. But how do I make sure what I am doing is going to maximize benefit? Well the key here, and this is going to sound funny, is to do the least efficient movements possible!
Bear with me for a moment, because we’re going to have to talk a little bit of math, and I hate math. So weight loss is a lot about calories in vs calories out. Food is energy, and energy our body doesn’t use is stored in fat, energy in. The energy it takes to exercise and move throughout the day is energy out, and our body grabs from both the available energy and our backup stores, our fat. In order to lose weight, the amount of energy we take in, what we eat, needs to be less than the energy we are expending, daily movement, so that our body has to take from its stores, our fat mass. Energy in must be less than energy out for weight loss. There is our basic formula.
Now when we address diet, there is more we can do to optimize which area of stored energy our body goes for (as in fat vs protein vs free sugars), beyond just eating less. Our body prioritizes certain nutrients in certain ways, which is what our Ideal Protein program is all about! But if we can do that to our diet, why don’t we do it for our exercise too?
You see, I can maximize my energy output over time by doing “less calorically efficient” activities. There are certain movements our body is very good at, things like walking and running. Our bodies were built to do that over long periods of time while conserving enough energy to keep us going later. It’s not to say that you cannot lose weight with these, but there are more demanding activities that will expend more energy in less time, because our body does not move as efficiently when doing them! Take for example swimming laps. The human body can swim, but it cannot do it nearly as well as it walks, and it takes a lot more energy to do it. If I only have a half hour to exercise, and I compare a 30 minute walk to 30 minutes of swimming laps, the calories expending in swimming (energy out!) are far greater! Other activities like kick boxing and jumping rope are very “inefficient” movements, which also means you are expending more calories when you do them compared to exercise like running, walking, or cycling!
So if you are getting the most out of your diet, also see if you can do the same with your workouts too! Maximize your time spent on calories out!