A balanced diet and exercise are the keys to an effective, long-lasting weight loss program. How does exercise improve your weight loss results?
We all know that getting exercise, no matter what kind, is the best way to burn off excess calories. By being sedentary, you tend to accumulate more calories than you need. The excess is then stored as fat. By regularly moving around, though, you’ll melt these fat reserves little by little. Exercise is much safer than low-calorie diets that aren’t monitored closely. And you’re not obligated to play soccer all the time to lose weight; getting 30 minutes to an hour of exercise two or three times a week, whether it’s walking or riding a bike (whatever you like), is enough to achieve convincing results.
Exercise breaks the vicious circle of stress in the weight gain process. The secretion of endorphins (the wellness hormones) helps you handle stressful situations better. You’ll therefore be less tempted to seek comfort in fatty and sugary processed foods. Exercise is good for your brain and helps you rediscover your self-esteem and forge a state of mind capable of adapting to effort (and therefore stay motivated during the program). In addition, it’s great for weaning yourself off sugar, caffeine, or any other addictive substance.
Stress and inactivity have the effect of slowing down your metabolism and therefore promoting fat storage. On the other hand, by making exercise a habit, you’ll lose weight more easily, since your body will function optimally.
Exercise has a positive influence on our eating habits. When you’ve given it your all to burn off the calories, you think twice before diving into a package of chips and a dip full of trans fats! You’re more likely to privilege quality foods, focusing on the nutritional content and the benefits of each meal on your physical condition. In addition, you’ll no longer skip meals and you’ll make healthy snacks more often, since exercise makes you hungry and you need hearty food to keep going. You’ll therefore be more inclined to consume good sources of protein and complex carbohydrates.
The good thing about adding exercise to your weight loss program is that you can eat anything, provided that it’s healthy (useful from a nutritional point of view) and a reasonable amount. Do you like pizza but want to lose weight? Two or three slices with lots of toppings won’t hurt you since you’re getting some activity every day.
A weight loss program is truly effective if it delivers fast but – above all – lasting results. Many people successfully lose several pounds in a month by changing their diet but are disappointed after returning to a normal diet. By combining diet and exercise, your body gets used to storing fat less easily.
A weight loss program without physical activity can lead to significant muscle loss – a loss that won’t easily be offset by the subsequent weight regain, where fat comes back easily. During each unbalanced weight loss program, you lose a bit more of your muscle mass, and only exercise lets you build it back up again: physical activity works and strengthens the muscles while melting fat. The result: a refined body and toned muscles, not to mention the many other health benefits of exercise in general.
To avoid the yo-yo effect after a weight loss program, now you know what you need to do!