Why Exercise Needs to be Part of Your Weight Loss Program
Losing weight and maintaining weight loss is incredibly complex, so complex that we still haven’t fully figured out how to get lasting results for the population – hello obesity epidemic! That being said, we do know certain factors that do make an impact and can help with weight loss. One of those big factors is exercise.
Read below to learn the major ways exercise will help you to lose the pounds:
Ok, you probably knew this one, but burning calories is how you lose weight and there is no more efficient way to burn a ton of calories in a shorter amount of time than exercise! Exercise also gives you more wiggle room in your diet so that if you slightly overeat, it’s ok because you gave yourself that calorie buffer.
Exercise is one of the best ways to boost your metabolism, meaning it causes you to burn more calories at rest. Any amount of exercise will help to increase metabolism, but to really kick it up a notch try adding in high intensity intervals (short bursts of getting your heart rate elevated) and strength training.
Helps you sleep better
If you’re not sleeping well, it is going to be much more difficult to lose weight and to keep it off. This is because not getting enough sleep causes your body to increase hormones that make you hungrier and makes you crave sweets.
Exercising and moving your body on a daily basis makes your body physically need rest and sleep. When you get good sleep, this helps to keep your hunger levels in check, your energy levels steady, and your cravings down.
Makes you feel good
Exercise releases feel good hormones and gives you a sense of accomplishment after finishing your tough workout (especially if you didn’t particularly want to workout), both of which will make it easier for you to stick to your healthy lifestyle.
Having a hard time getting yourself out the door to exercise? Think about how good you will feel after the workout is over – that’s what works for me!
Decreases stress eating
One of the biggest reasons individuals pile on the pounds is unfortunately due to stress eating. Exercise helps to combat this need to stress binge because it releases certain hormones that will suppress the stress inducing hormones, making you less likely to grab the bag of chips.
Next time you are feeling stressed, get yourself dressed and head out for a walk or a class at the gym. Not only will this make you feel better from the exercise high, but it will also feel good knowing that you didn’t binge on the couch which would make you feel even worse!
Exercise burns calories and decreases appetite – it’s a win-win!
Exercise releases appetite-suppressing hormones, meaning you will be less likely to overeat and more likely to stick to a healthy diet.
Decreases cravings for junk food
After a hard workout, generally the last thing you want to do is blow all of those calories you worked hard to burn on a measly donut at the office. Exercise typically makes you more picky with your food choices because you know how hard you had to work to burn those calories.
Gives your body shape
When you diet, your body doesn’t just magically cause you to lose weight from your fat stores. Nope. Unfortunately, your body is going to go after your metabolically active muscle tissue first, meaning if you diet alone there is a good chance you are going to look a little flabby.
Exercise helps to combat the muscle loss and helps to preserve muscle so that your body still looks fit instead of saggy.
Keep in mind that weight loss is anything but black and white and there are many factors that go into a lasting weight loss program, one of those main factors being exercise.
About the author: Sarah-Kate Rems is an Ivy League trained Board-Certified Family Nurse Practitioner licensed in California with an expertise in women’s health and preventative healthcare. She considers nutrition and exercise to be the basis of well-being and is a strong advocate for daily physical activity and maintaining a healthy diet. Sarah-Kate is also a co-founder of The Mindful Tech Lab.
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