When your goal is shedding pounds, it can be easy to be caught up in trendy diet, exercise, and supplementation programs that are popular. The amount of work that you need to put into diet and exercise may seem overwhelming at first, prompting you to wonder whether you need both. As you may have heard time and time again, diet and exercise go hand in hand with one complementing the other. With that said, if importance had to be placed on one of the two when it comes to weight loss, it would be your diet program.
First and foremost, your focus should not be on losing weight; rather, it should be on burning or losing body fat. Losing weight implies a total body weight loss, including lean muscle tissue. Fat loss means that you want to retain as much muscle as possible while shedding the greatest amount of adipose tissue. Thinking in these terms will help you in the long run.
CALORIES AND FAT BURNING
Losing body fat is all about caloric expenditure. It was an excess of caloric consumption that led to the gain in body fat; therefore, adjusting the amount of calories you are eating each day is the key to getting rid of it. When it comes to caloric expenditure, nothing beats a healthy, set-calorie diet. Exercise does contribute to caloric expenditure but not in the same way. You may burn 500 to 800 calories with one exercise session but if you are consuming 3,500 to 4,000 unhealthy calories, that exercise session won’t put a dent in your expenditure.
EATING TO LOSE FAT
Depending on your gender, body type, and medical conditions, the ideal amount of calories for fat burning will vary. Regardless, the idea is to burn more calories than you consume. On average, a 1,800 to 2,000 calorie diet will suffice for those just starting out. If, after several weeks, you are no longer seeing a difference on the scale or in how you look, subtract an additional 100 to 200 calories.
THE ROLE OF EXERCISE
While diet is essential for proper caloric expenditure, there’s no reason to rule out exercise. Aerobic exercise is needed to improve overall health with an emphasis on heart health. Adding resistance training to your program will help to build lean muscle tissue. The more lean tissue you have, the more calories you can burn while doing nothing. Muscle is a calorie-burning machine; hence why it is the other half of the equation for fat loss.
FITNESS CLASSES: AN IDEAL EXERCISE OPTION
If you want to focus all of your effort on creating and sticking to a diet plan, then let your local fitness studio handle your exercise needs. Enrolling in a local fitness class will help you fulfill your daily recommended aerobic exercise requirements while burning calories and building muscle. Open Fitness offers several different types of group classes such as Yoga, Cardio, Dance, Pilates and Boot Camp. Visit www.OpenFitness.com to check out the complete list of classes.