You might be too lazy or too busy for joining a gym, and on-again-off-again you go on a strict diet. Deep inside you probably know that you are doing it wrong! It’s not working, right?
If you ever tried a low-calorie diet, you probably had a strong urge to overeat when not dieting. Repeated dieting without any physical activity may lead to weight gain since our brain interprets steady diets as short famines. Therefore, your brain does not understand what are you trying to do and you tend to store more fat for future famines (diets).
Surprisingly, researchers proved that the average weight gain for those who are on a diet is greater than those who are not on a diet. Still, don’t get discouraged. Finding a fine line between healthy eating and dieting is what truly matters. Diets are more focused on current weight-loss goals while developing healthy eating habits is a part of your lifestyle. After all, you want to see long term goals, without going back and forth with dieting. This means that you have to make some long-term decisions.
Next step is incorporating fitness or some other type of physical activity in your new lifestyle. Let’s keep in mind that diets alone are not only essential for maintaining or losing weight! The underlying issue is your health.
The vicious cycle of yo-yo dieting can only convince your brain that we must store fat since the brain does not know what the hell is going on. From the evolutionary point of view, this makes sense and urge to eat more is increased when we stay on a diet for a long time. The uncertainty about food supply is something our ancestors had to deal with on a daily basis. For your brain, there is no such a thing as intentional dieting. For the brain, this is a famine time, where the primary goal is to store fat.
When trying to lose weight, try to take it steady. Eating only slightly less than you should and doing physical exercise will help you reach your healthy weight goals more than a strict low-calorie diet.
How Much Exercise Do You Really Need?
You are trying to exercise as much as you can, however, you are wondering: “Am I doing enough?” The question on this answer depends on whether you are exercising to lose weight, increase endurance, stay healthy, stay physically active or reduce stress. Before responding to the question about how much you exercise and are you doing enough, you need to know what your fitness goals are?
How Much Exercise is Enough? Enough for What?
If you want to stay healthy and active, a daily walk might be sufficient. From the other side, if you have more specific goals such as to improve cardiovascular fitness, lower blood pressure or lose weight, you need to either exercise more or practice high-intensity interval training.
Figuring out your goals is the key to achieving them, right? Sometimes we have unspecific goals, and we don’t know what are we chasing in life. Once you determine your goals, you should identify the type of exercise and how much of exercising you need. The answer to this question depends on where you are right now and where do you want to be, therefore talking to an expert could be helpful.
What Do We Need?
No matter what your goals are, we all need two types of physical activates in our life. Can you guess what they are? Muscle-strengthening activity and aerobic! With aerobic, you will use large muscles of your body and increase respiration and heart rate. Aerobic activity includes running, cycling, brisk walking or swimming.
On the other hand, muscle-strengthening activities are targeting one or more particular muscle groups: hips, legs, abdomen, shoulders, back, chest or arms. Simple forms of muscle-strengthening activities are working out with resistance bands, lifting weights or doing pushups.
How Much of Exercising is Enough for a Healthy Adult?
Let’s ignore specific goals for one minute and answer the question about how much do we really need to exercise on average. A healthy adult needs 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity on a weekly basis or 75 minutes of activity that’s vigorous in intensity. Of course, more is always better.
Moreover, it’s better to stay physically active through the week, rather than choosing one day when we are going to exercise for two hours (less or more).
Keep in mind that diet is crucial for your overall health, however dieting alone is not enough to stay healthy and lose weight.