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What is the Best Exercise to Help Lose Weight?

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Which Exercise is Best? 

Firstly, well done! The fact that you are reading this means that you are far more likely to succeed in your weight loss journey. All too often people attempt to lose weight without really thinking about how it is going to happen. More often than not the result is that it does not happen!

As I have mentioned in previous articles, to lose weight (i.e. to lose fat – there is an important distinction between the two*) you need to change your diet and also exercise more. Just to recap, the reason why you are overweight is no different from the reason why any other person becomes overweight – you have been eating more food than your body needs. It makes no difference whether you have a rare genetic condition, are on medication or have a slow metabolism – it is still possible to eat a healthy and well-balanced diet without gaining weight.

If you are looking for a peronalized fitness plan to help lose weight, then you should try our personalized weight loss plan – we will set out your diet and exercise routine to help you get best results. But do read the rest of this article first to understand why the type of exercise is not of vital importance.

There are No Fast Solutions

Back to losing weight though. Firstly, do not hope for a quick weight loss solution – there are none. Really, none, zero, zilch, nada. Nothing that you can do will make you lose a significant amount of weight in a very short time. If there was such a solution by January 14th of every year there would be no overweight people as everyone would have reached their New Year Resolutions to lose weight already. I hope that this has not disheartened you, I just like to be realistic about these things. Why?

The Importance of Being Realistic

Most people fail to lose weight simply because their expectations are too high. If you set realistic goals within realistic time-frames then you will not be disappointed when you fail to lose 50 pounds in a month. So what is a realistic goal? Really maintaining a weekly weight loss of anywhere from 1 to 3 pounds is realistic, but, that is not to say that you will lose that much weight every week. On the flip side, you may lose more.

The Best Way to Exercise To Lose Fat

There are many different ways to exercise. Many people sell the idea of a particular exercise program and just about every fitness enthusiast is sure that their chosen method of exercising is the best. So, how on earth do you decide what type of exercise to do? Who is telling the truth? Do you do long cardio sessions of running, swimming, cycling or rowing? Do you do interval training with alternating short sprints and slower recovery? Do you lift light weights many times or heavy weights few times? Whichever method you chose someone will tell you it is the best. Well, they are all wrong, because ….

There is No Best Way to Exercise!


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This may sound like nonsense, but really it is true. Here’s why: To lose weight (reduce fat tissue) you need to make sure that each day your body is burning more calories (using more energy) than you are consuming. So if your body requires 2000 Calories to maintain its current mass (fat and muscle) and you only consume 1750 Calories and burn an addition 250 Calories with exercise, you are running a calorie deficit of 500 Calories. Do this every day and you will lose about 1 pound of fat each week, all things being equal.

A word of caution: We are all different and this is just a guideline. It is impossible to provide an exact answer to the all too often asked question “how long will it take me to lose 10 pounds?“. There are too many variables at play. So, any form of exercise will help you to lose weight. The real question is, what is the best type of exercise for you? Here is an example. On our article about jogging and running one of our readers asked whether slow jogging was as effective as faster running. This was the answer I gave:

If you run at 10 mph (approx. 16 km/h) for 15 minutes you will burn 413 calories. You burn the same if you walk at 3 mph (approx. 5 km/h) for 60 minutes. So running burns fat 4 times faster than walking – but you may not actually be able to maintain that pace for 15 minutes if you are not fit. A compromise will probably be better, such as jogging for 30 minutes – If you jog at 5.5 mph (approx. 9 km/h) for 30 minutes you will burn 478 calories.

So. although running is a better way to exercise to burn calories faster, it only works if you are fit enough to sustain running for long enough. Most people are able to walk for an hour, few are able to run fast for 15 minutes. So which is “the best exercise” in this case? Walking of course, as the goal is to create a calorie deficit.

The same rule can be applied to resistance exercise. However, one problem with using just resistance training to manage your weight is that the key goal in weight training is to gain muscle and to build muscle you need to eat more. Your muscles need glycogen to work (the liver converts dietary sugar into glycogen) and your muscles need amino-acids from proteins to grow stronger. If your goal is to lose fat, a plan that involves eating more is not always the best idea, especially if you are overweight because you love eating! However, weight training does still burn additional calories so if you make sure that you workout without taking in addition calories (you may wish to increase protein and reduce low quality carbs) then you can create a calorie deficit.

The Science Behind these Claims

OK, you really should not just believe everything you read without questioning it first! How can you be sure that my suggestion that the type of exercise does not matter is correct? What about all those bodyweight plans, weight training plan, workout routines etc. that everyone is selling? The before and after photos always show great results – they must be the best? Well, many do work, but only because the individuals work hard to get results.

“Significant weight loss and improved cardiorespiratory fitness were achieved through the combination of exercise and diet during 12 months, although no differences were found based on different exercise durations and intensities in this group of sedentary, overweight women.” – Jakicic et al, 2003.


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In 2001 a group of medical and sports scientists carried out a 1 year study into women and weight loss. 184 overweight (average BMI of 32.6) and previously sedentary women (never did any exercise) completed the study. The women were split into two broad groups and one group performed vigorous intensity/high duration exercise and the other group performed moderate intensity/high duration exercise.

So this is comparing short and intensive workouts with those “long boring cardio” sessions that so many people are convinced do not aid weight loss. The result of the trail showed that the women doing the short and intensive exercise lost on average 8.9 Kg and the women doing the longer workouts lost on average 8.2 Kg. As far as the researchers were concerned there was no significant difference between the two.

The Diet While Exercising

As a part of the study all women followed a strict diet of 1200 or 1500 Calories per day and ensured that dietary fat was 20% to 30% of total energy intake each day. The women in the study had an average age of 37 which means that daily calorie needs at low activity are 2000 Calories.

Why this Research Is Important

What makes this research really important is the fact that the 184 women who stuck to the plan for 12 months all lost weight, and an average of 8.55Kg (19 pounds). This means that if you are an overweight woman and you start exercising today you can expect to lose 19 pounds over the next year. This is again proof that a healthy diet (healthy being defined as balanced and portion controlled) combined with regular exercise will lead to weight loss in obese individuals. It is really not possible to fail to lose weight if you exercise and eat healthily. All you need to do is stick to the plan.

What about Prof. Tabata?

I have talked about Tabata training and short intensive cardio workouts before. In Scientists Prove Short Intensive Cardio Better Than Endurance To Lose Weight and Get Fit I discussed research that showed how intensive exercise helped people to get fit and lose weight quicker and in MetCon – The Way To Get Fitter Faster I talked about the Tabata method.

However, it is my belief that these studies do provide evidence that short and intensive exercise can improve peak performance in athletes and can help people to lose fat quicker, but, for those that are not in excellent physical shape these systems do not apply. As I mentioned in the example above, the average unfit person can walk for 60 minutes without stopping but cannot run fast for 15 minutes. Also, people start too fast and intensive with exercise tend to burn out too quick, the failure rate is higher. Often people take this approach because they are desperate for faster results and when they do not get the results they want the combination of burnout and disillusionment makes them just give up.

Average Calorie Expenditure For Different Activities

calories burned per exercise

One question people often ask when choosing a new activity to help lose some weight is, “how many calories will it burn?” There is often a misconception regarding how much energy is used in different activities.


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For example, many people disregard walking as a form of exercise as it does not burn many calories, but when you consider that you could walk for a couple of hours on a Sunday afternoon, which would expend up to 600 Calories, which is the equivalent of 1 hour on the cross trainer, or an hour of step aerobics , the benefits of a simple exercise like walking become suddenly apparent.

Most people, even those who have not exercised for a long time, can walk for a couple of hours if they want. However, most unfit people will struggle to jog for more than 15 minutes to start with. Walking wins!

Skipping and running obviously use the most energy in this group, but very few people are able to sustain either exercise for a couple of hours. If you are very fit you can run for one hour but skipping is generally done at a few minutes at a time as it is such an intensive form of exercise.

The table below lists more activities and the average Calories used per hour for each. Obviously this is just a guideline as different people will require more energy for different activities, depending on the size of the person, muscle mass etc. But it is a useful comparative tool.

On the list we have including a few “non activities” such as eating, sleeping and sitting just to highlight that our bodies are burning calories all the time, this being the basal metabolic rate. For example, sitting is 85 Calories per hour which works out 2040 Calories per day.

Metabolism also varies depending on muscle mass, so the more muscle you have the more calories you burn off all the time. This table can help you to calculate calories burned during exercise.

Type of exercise

Kilocalories used per hour

Aerobics – e.g. gentle aerobics classes 450
Aqua aerobics – gentle swimming pool workouts 400
Cycling – either stationary bike of road 450
Cross Trainer / Elliptical Trainer 500
Eating – yes, eating burns calories! 85
Golf with a trolley 180
Hiking / Brisk Walking 500
Jogging at 5 mph 500
Rowing Machine Workout 550
Running – at around 7mph 700
Sitting / Sedentary 85
Skipping with rope 700
Sleeping 55
Spinning Class 650
Standing Still 100
Step aerobics – High Energy Aerobic exercise 550
Playing Squash 650
Swimming 500
Table tennis 290
Grass Court Tennis 350
Walking at 3 mph 280

The Solution: The Best Way To Exercise

I suggest exercising daily if possible. This can be following a regular walking plan or daily running. It is really best to mix things up though, do something different every day to work your heart and all your muscles. Most importantly, find activities that you enjoy so that exercise becomes a pleasure and a part of your life rather than a chore. In fact, if you are unsure of what to do, follow our weekly exercise plan. Feel free to modify to suit your needs and abilities and ask questions if in doubt. Take a look at this table of calories used in different exercises to help develop a personalized fitness plan. Enjoy!

Scientific Reference

The research that was discussed above was; “Effect of Exercise Duration and Intensity on Weight Loss in Overweight, Sedentary Women” by John M. Jakicic, PhD; Bess H. Marcus, PhD; Kara I. Gallagher, PhD; Melissa Napolitano, PhD; Wei Lang, PhD. Published in JAMA (The Journal of the American Medical Association) 2003; 290(10):1323-1330. doi: 10.1001/jama.290.10.1323. Abstract: http://jama.ama-assn.org/content/290/10/1323

The researchers were based at various institutions: University of Pittsburgh, Physical Activity and Weight Management Research Center, Pittsburgh, Pa (Drs Jakicic and Gallagher); Brown Medical School and the Miriam Hospital, Centers for Behavioral and Preventive Medicine, Providence, RI (Drs Marcus and Napolitano); and Department of Public Health Sciences, Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, NC (Dr Lang).

John M Jakicic is currently (September 2011) Chair of the Department of Health and Physical Activity. He specialises in the study of the effect of different exercise regimes on long term weight management as well as researching how exercise reduces risk of developing diabetes.

Notes

*at the beginning I mentioned that to lose weight is not the same as to lose fat. What I am referring to is the fact that if you reduce calories and exercise a lot your body will break down fat to provide more energy for vital functions but at the same time it will also break down muscle, “muscle wastage“. This is your biggest enemy – do not restrict calories too much, losing muscle tissue is disastrous if you are trying to get fit and lose fat.

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  85 comments for “What is the Best Exercise to Help Lose Weight?

  1. joy
    September 29, 2011 at 12:11 pm

    the exercise therapy is good bit what if you dont eat that much and you want to lose belly flab what is the best exercise or advice

  2. MotleyHealth
    September 29, 2011 at 3:51 pm

    Hi Joy, if you don’t eat much then you are halfway there already. All you need to do is take regular exercise. Aim to exercise 6 times a week to start with. Exercise for at least 45 minutes each time. Do what you enjoy. Jogging, cycling, aerobics, weight training, swimming, power walking, dancing, circuit training, martial arts – they are all good. Being more active is the key, and making sure that you are more active every day of the week, not just once or twice.

  3. Gavin
    September 30, 2011 at 4:01 pm

    What about when I am on the HCG diet, i have just started this diet to prepare for a wedding. Im not expecting to lose crazy weight just drop from 200 to 185 maybe. How does this diet, and the 500 calories a day, factor into this? i just have a gut that needs to go, and i was wondering if i exercised on this diet would i do more harm than good?

    Im sticking to the diet religiously and dont want to cheat or cause it to not work as prescribed.

  4. MotleyHealth
    September 30, 2011 at 4:13 pm

    Hi Gavin. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but there is no evidence that HCG aids weight loss. In a scientific trial (I think it was a double blind study) those given HCG did not lose any more weight than those having a placebo. I blogged about it here: The HCG Weight Loss Diet Scam – The New Snake Oil?

    If you stick to 500 Calories a day you will certainly lose weight. Some of that weight is going to be muscle though, and you really do not want to lose muscle.

    I suggest that you increase calories, eat a healthy and balanced diet, and exercise much more. It will make you stronger and healthier and you will still lose weight.

    How long do you have before the wedding?

  5. Pete
    October 1, 2011 at 11:30 am

    Excellent article! Informed, reliable easy to read and understand.
    Congrats!

  6. G
    October 3, 2011 at 11:55 am

    So if i give up the HCG diet and just try to eat 1200-1500 calories a day of healthy food spread over 6 meals and do cardio 6 days out of 7, and weights 3 times a week performing compound exercises, i should see good results? what about supplementation? should i add CLA, Fish Oil, to my diet. I drink a lot of green tea and would add a low carb, zero sugar whey protein to my diet. What about creatine? i heard that causes your body to store water causing a weight gain.

    I really dont have a deadline, i just would like to lose my gut. i have had some liver/spleen issues before and wonder if that has anything to do with my issue.

  7. MotleyHealth
    October 3, 2011 at 1:04 pm

    That sounds like a plan. So long as your whey protein supplement is included in your 1500 Calories a day then you will maintain the same daily calorie deficit. No harm in taking a fish oil supplement. Good to have a varied diet that includes oily fish. For now I would suggest sticking just to a healthier diet and some whey supplementation. As you have had liver/spleen problems it is always best to check with a doctor, I cannot advise on that.

  8. Sri
    October 3, 2011 at 3:50 pm

    Hi,

    I am 26 years old female. My weight 80 kgs. I want to reduce 25 kgs. Daily I am eating 7 chapathis with some curry and 50 grams curd rice (1+3+3 whole day). I started walking daily for 4 kilometeres. In the weekend I am eating rice with chicken (250 grams rice with skinless chicken) (it includes both lunch, dinner, breakfast). I am a s/w engineer so minimum 12 hours I spent my time in the chair.

    So now my question is am I following correct diet? if I do like this can I reduce my weight?. I want to reduce 1 kg per 1 week. Can you suggest me some tips?

  9. MotleyHealth
    October 3, 2011 at 3:59 pm

    Hi Sri, you diet seems to be too heavy on bread and rice. Reduce chapathis, eat more fresh fruits and steamed vegetables. Chicken is good, but a greater variety of food is important. Take a look at our Diet and Nutrition section for more on this. Increasing exercise will help you a lot, so maybe start to increase the speed or duration of your walking or start jogging.

  10. Sri
    October 4, 2011 at 11:07 am

    Hi,

    For breakfast 1 apple. Lunch 2 chapathi + salad , Dinner fruits+ salad+ chapathi.

    is that sounds good?

    I am reducing 200 calories by exercise. And I am planing to continue the same diet on weekends also.

    November 10th is my target date. Before that at least I need to reduce 5 kgs. Suggest me the best diet.

    I can’t do exercises more than this.

    I forgot to tell you that daily I work nearly 2 hours in the kitchen by standing.

  11. MotleyHealth
    October 4, 2011 at 12:26 pm

    Hi Sri, I still think too much bread / chapathi. To lose 5 kg by Nov. 10th you need to lose 1 kg a week which requires a daily calorie deficit of 500 Calories. That is 7 days a week. For that you need to exercise daily really and also limit calories. I suggest running for 30 minutes each morning and then performing some calisthenics in the afternoon or evening.

  12. Sri
    October 5, 2011 at 5:58 pm

    Hi Motley,

    As you said i increased walking from 30 minutes to 1 hour ( reducing 250 calories).

    Now can you suggest me the food which i have to take.

  13. MotleyHealth
    October 5, 2011 at 7:29 pm

    Take a look at the nutrition section. If your aim is to lose weight then it is more about the food you do not eat. A balanced diet is key really, regardless of whether you are looking to lose weight or gain weight. Also read the reply from the 4th – i.e. less bread.

  14. mariam
    October 15, 2011 at 12:04 pm

    Hi.
    I am 22 years old female. My weight 86 kg and my height is 5.9ft I want to reduce 15 to 20 kg.
    Am on dieting around from 1 month and also am using treadmill for 30 to 40 min 6 days in a week. But I loss only 1kg. plz can u give me any good advise to loss my weight or else I will use any weight losing tablets

  15. MotleyHealth
    October 16, 2011 at 9:33 pm

    Hi Mariam, just keep exercising. As you get fitter you will be able to exercising with greater intensity and this will burn more energy. Make sure your diet is healthy too, it is possible that you are still over-eating. Stay positive – you have lost weight – maybe not as much as you had hoped, but you have got fitter and lose some weight. Just keep pushing yourself.

  16. Manoj
    October 25, 2011 at 3:49 pm

    Hi, I’m Manoj. 22-year-old male.
    My weight is 75 KG. I am having too much fat on my stomach, so pls tell me the best exercise to do. It is possible for me to reduce my stomach fat by running 3-4 km everyday. pls tell me the solution. I am very frustrated. I want to lose my fat.

  17. MotleyHealth
    October 25, 2011 at 4:19 pm

    Hi Manoj, yes you can lose fat with daily running but you also have to reduce the amount of food you eat and improve the quality of the food you eat.

  18. Gera
    October 27, 2011 at 10:35 pm

    Hi Jon,

    There are mo magical solutions. You need to have less calories than necessary on daily basis. My own experience is eating “normally” without much excess but doing aerobic exercises like running, cycling and when is possible swimming – you lose lot of cals and you get fit also.

    Cheers,

    Gera

  19. MotleyHealth
    October 27, 2011 at 10:42 pm

    Yep, that really is the key – more exercise, get fit. If everyone focused on getting fit and eating a healthy diet then nobody would need to look for ways to lose weight!

  20. Gaurav
    November 1, 2011 at 8:45 am

    I am from India, M 26, Male, working professional, I am 6+ weight 84/85 approx, My diet is 3 time a day. Morning:- small Breakfast (one Tea cup, 2 peaces of white Bread), Afternoon :- 2 chappityes with Some Vegitable, Dinner (Same as Lunch).
    Ok

    Now I daily Run/Jogging (I believe technically both are same thing), I do jogging at 6 AM for 400m Per ground)-total 5/6 Rounds normaly or some time 7/8. (Which I cover almost in 15/20 Minutes)

    Just after that I do abs, I lay down on Ground with some hook on legs & faceup the sky & up & down my body from chest to head (almost 21+ 21 Times)

    Also called abs exercise (From legs to Hips My body is flat & from abs to Top I up & down approx 40 Time (2 brake 20/20),

    I am doing all this from last 20-25 days, I am really fit but I am having little extra (very little belly) That I want to reduce is i am doing correct

    With Regards
    Gaurav

  21. MotleyHealth
    November 1, 2011 at 12:34 pm

    Hi Gaurav, maybe try reducing bread, increase vegetables and work on increasing the running. 25 days is a short time, give it a few months so that your fitness increases and hen you should see some more noticeable changes.

  22. Rose
    November 18, 2011 at 8:39 am

    Hi, I’m Rosanna suffering with obesity. I currently weigh around 90kg & I also have Thyroid problem. I dont eat much infact I skip meals daily. I cant do strenuous exercises unlike others because I had a Spine surgery sometime back. I walk daily for 30mins. Now, please suggest me a suitable weight loss plan so that I can become fit & confident.Thanks…

  23. MotleyHealth
    November 18, 2011 at 11:01 am

    Hi Rose, first you could increase your walking as this is a good form of exercise. Try to walk a little longer, aim for 45-60 minutes and maybe take some longer weekend walks too. You diet could do with an overhaul though. If you are skipping meals then this is likely to mean that you consume more when you do eat, and this is likely to lead to weight gain. Better to spread the meals out throughout the day and eat less in each meal, but enough to provide your body with the nutrition that it needs. So start the day with a healthy breakfast (oats are great), a hearty soup for lunch and something healthy like fish and vegetables in the evening. Reduce bread and other baked goods – monitor these foods carefully as they all contain a lot of energy.

  24. huyen
    November 18, 2011 at 6:24 pm

    hi everybody,

    i love sport so much, and do sport everyday, especially Yoga. i really wannt to lose weight, but i dont know if Yoga can help me ??? i do Yoga 60 Minutes 3 times a week ( at 5p.m )and walk 45 Minutes 3 times after Breakfast 1 hour. ( with the pram of my brother )

    i would like to jog aswell, however people said that walking and jogging make huge or bulky thighs or calves. my thighs are very big .they dont look fat.but big muscles. How can i lose this muscles ?..i love eating and eat all the time, i would like to jog to burn mor calories. but i am concerned about that if i eat a lot and do much sport , my muscles will be bulkier ? it is that true ?

    please help me, and give me some tips to lose weight from jogging. should i jogging with long distance and slowly or sprint ?

    Thanks for your answers .

  25. MotleyHealth
    November 18, 2011 at 8:53 pm

    Jogging will not cause you to develop bulky thighs, just look at long distance runners, they are mostly very slim. Sounds like your biggest problem is eating too much, when you say “.i love eating and eat all the time” what are you eating? How much? You need to focus on losing fat not losing muscles. Jogging will help. Yoga will also help if it is an energetic form.

  26. bree
    November 26, 2011 at 8:49 pm

    Hey. I’m 16, and weigh 180lbs, I’m 5foot8inches. I really want to lose my stomach, how long should I excersice for?

  27. MotleyHealth
    November 27, 2011 at 10:25 am

    Hi Bree, start with 45 minutes a day.

  28. martin
    November 30, 2011 at 2:56 pm

    my weight is 80 kg and I use to run 35 min and 60 min lifting for every day and I eat a bread and egg on breakfast, rice on dinner, so am I doing the right way to lose 15 kg in 4 months? thanks

  29. MotleyHealth
    November 30, 2011 at 8:04 pm

    Hi Martin, you should lose weight on that diet and fitness regime. Largely it depends on how much you are eating in those 2 meals. You do need a better diet though, eggs, bread and rice is not varied enough and you need to at least add fruits and vegetables.

  30. Sangeeta
    December 1, 2011 at 8:11 am

    Hi, I am 22 years old and my height is 5’4 and weight is 68 kg. I really want to reduce 15 kg. I have been walking for 30 minutes for at least a month now but couldn’t find much change. I cannot reduce my food as I feel hungry but ready to do as many exercises as possible. Pls guide me on the same.

  31. MotleyHealth
    December 1, 2011 at 2:24 pm

    Sangeeta, you must reduce your food intake to lose weight, especially if you are only going to walk for 30 minutes a day. Why not start running instead of walking?

  32. sneha
    January 29, 2012 at 9:04 am

    hmm….nyc plans…can u suggest somemthng 4 me….i am 15yr old teen….i weigh around 90kg or so..i was a pretty overweight child since the begning…but now i want 2 loose sum weight…l.plzz suggest a realistic diet plan 4 me…i am a veggie…

  33. MotleyHealth
    January 29, 2012 at 6:45 pm

    Hi Sneha, sounds like you need to get exercising. Do not worry about diet for now, so long as you eat no junk food, soda or sweets you should be OK. Go easy on the bread too. Most important is to exercise daily to start with.

  34. Antoinette
    February 15, 2012 at 3:11 am

    HI,

    Jan 1st 2012, I made the decision to implement healthy eating and exercise into my life indefinitely. Om currently 5′ 6, 151 lbs. I typically work out 4 to 5 days per week (60-90 mins daily). including lots of cardio and weight training and basic ab work. I limit my fat and overall caloric intake to 1200-1500 daily. I’m down 7 pounds and a lot more toned. However what are the best things I can do, outside of my normal routine, to improve my core/abs? Also I find that I struggle with chocolate/sugary cravings. Any advice? I would love your input! Thanks!

  35. MotleyHealth
    February 15, 2012 at 1:52 pm

    For core abs, just performing a variety of exercises is best really. These articles provide some more options:
    Stomach Exercises to Build a Solid 6 Pack
    Abdominal Exercises to Tone and Strengthen Your Stomach

    Chocolate – this is a hard one. Really it is mostly a matter of willpower and habit. The first step is to ensure that they are not easily available – stop buying them. If you have them in the house for others, keep them hidden away out of sight.

  36. Anee
    April 8, 2012 at 3:50 pm

    Hi im 50yrs old, female 5’2″ and weigh 73kgs. I regularly do power yoga for about 1 hour (5-6 days a week). i have a low calorie diet. What more should i do to start reducing weight. Thanks.

  37. MotleyHealth
    April 8, 2012 at 8:20 pm

    Hi Anee, power yoga and a low calorie diet should be enough really. You could add some more cardio, such as walking, swimming etc.

  38. Liam
    May 13, 2012 at 11:25 pm

    I am not very fat, I just have a bit of extra flab. Could you recommend me a calorie goal per day, and maybe some exercises I could do here and there throughout the day to lose weight? I’m 6′ 2” and 210 lbs. Thank you.

  39. MotleyHealth
    May 13, 2012 at 11:46 pm

    Hi Liam, take a look at the daily calorie table and the healthy eating article to help answer these questions. For exercise, as it says here, anything will do really. What are your goals? Do you want to get stronger and build some muscle, or be leaner? Circuit training and weight training are good options – you will find info on both here at MotleyHealth.

  40. ishrath
    May 24, 2012 at 6:19 am

    i am 27 yrs married women having 2 kids height 5,1″and weight 85 kgs.
    i have already loose 22kgs .so how i acan i losse more .i am not loosing weight after doin 3 hrs workout and strict exercise.please suggest can i use diet pills or what shall i do to reduce my weight.

  41. MotleyHealth
    May 24, 2012 at 8:49 pm

    Hi Ishrath, well done on losing 22 kilos. If you managed that, you can lose the rest of the weight without pills. Reduce calories and do more exercise.

  42. Kate
    June 21, 2012 at 2:06 pm

    Hi, I am 38 year old mother of 2. I have been following quite a strict exercise program – weight training 5x a week, plus interval training and running and low calorie diet. I have started to see my body nicely changing and my strength and fitness improving, but now I have hurt my back and can not weight train for a while, also no running. As I still have around 10 kg to lose and also want to keep my fitness level, would Pilates 3x a week, plus 60 mins of vigorous walking 6x a week, be enough to keep losing the weight?
    Thank you very much for advise!

  43. MotleyHealth
    June 21, 2012 at 7:09 pm

    Hi Kate, it may be enough. Reduce calories a little, and do as much as you can comfortable do while also giving your back every opportunity to recover.

  44. Richa
    June 24, 2012 at 10:45 am

    Awsome article. Thanx :)

  45. Rajat Sharma
    July 1, 2012 at 2:07 am

    Hi,

    I am Rajat I am 33 years old, 6 feet, weight 117 KG. My diet is morning I am talking fruits, Lunch – 2 Chapati (Wholemeal Breads) one Dal and One Vegetable and in Dinner I am taking only fruits. For exercise I have joined the Gym I do workout on cross trainer for 15 to 20 min and then I do some weights like Lat pull down, bench press, squat carrying weights and in last I do some abb exercises. Actually I am suffering from sciatic nerve pain 2 years ago I was 85 KG, when this sciatic nerve pain problem started doctors told me to complete bed rest now the pain is still there but the frequency is reduced or I can say that the pain killer is working for me for 2 days.

    Please help to choose best workout plans which helps me to reduce weight and don’t increase my sciatic nerve pain problem also. I am vegetarian by deity.

    Regards

    Rajat

  46. MotleyHealth
    July 3, 2012 at 12:26 am

    Hi Rajat, well, it sounds like you need to eat less food, and take in more protein. So reduce reliance on chapatis and eat more nuts and pulses for protein. If you can eat eggs do so. The main reason you went from 85 kg to 117 kg was because you ate too much. You need to reduce calories and exercise DAILY. Do whatever exercise is comfortable for you, whether walking, swimming, cycling, using an elliptical etc. As you are using a cross trainer now, that seems like a good way to progress. Increase time from 15 min up to 30 mins a day. The key is to be consistent in your workouts and your eating – this means exercise daily, eat healthy daily.

  47. Cana Teace
    July 31, 2012 at 10:00 pm

    I thought this was free. I am so naive.

  48. MotleyHealth
    August 3, 2012 at 8:58 pm

    Hi Cana, this page / site is free for you to use. What specifically are you referring to?

  49. Anshul
    August 28, 2012 at 11:34 am

    i m 23 years old and used to weigh 99 kgs.In 20 days i have lost 7 kgs of my weight.but for past 4-5 days their is no significant lose.i do cardio exercise for nearly 1 hour and loose about 850 calories per day.In morning i take sproutes and one one main course.after that i take lunch with 1 tomato,1/2 cucumber and 1 onion as salad ad 3 chapatis coupled up with nearly 1 bowl each of dal and cooked vegetable after that i eat 1 fruit. In evening i eat 1 fruit and then go for exercise for 1 hour.At 9:00 pm my dinner comprises of 1 tomato,1/2 cucumber and 1 onion as salad ad 2 chapatis coupled up with nearly 1 bowl each of dal and cooked vegetable.this is my whole day plan.i eat very very less of sweets and oily things.Should i continue with the same plan or should i inculcate more things in it.i want to weigh 75-80 kgs by Diwali i.e. 13th nov of this year.kindly help me.I don’t want any one to say me fat.

  50. MotleyHealth
    August 28, 2012 at 1:13 pm

    Hi Anshul, it sounds like you are eating too much – 5 chapatis, 4 bowls of vegetables and dal, plus the other food. Stop the chapatis completely for a start and see how that goes. You are getting lots of carbs from vegetables, lentils and fruits, so should not need flour too.

  51. harvinder kaur
    November 15, 2012 at 8:25 pm

    Hello i need to lose face fat, how is that possible?

  52. MotleyHealth
    November 15, 2012 at 10:17 pm

    Hi Harvinder, you need to lose overall body fat, you cannot target face fat. So, exercise and diet.

  53. ffion
    November 16, 2012 at 10:37 pm

    hi, i’m a 20 year old female and i have been following a low carb, high protein and veg diet and going to the gym at least 5times a week, for 4 weeks. i’ve lost 15lbs so far, and 2inches around my waist. i do try to keep to a variety of exercise, but i am mainly concentrating on cardio – i.e 20-30mins on the stairmaster, followed by 20-30mins brisk walking uphill. each day i burn at least 500cals in the gym, and try not to eat more than 1100 cals. i hope you can tell me if i’m going in the right direction, my ultimate goal is to lose around another 20lbs by March. (ii am asking because i’ve noticed a decrease in the amount i’m losing per week.)

    thanks :)

  54. MotleyHealth
    November 17, 2012 at 9:55 am

    Hi Ffion, you are certainly moving in the right direction. 15 pounds weight loss is a great achievement in 4 weeks. Just focus on improving your fitness while maintaining the healthy diet. You should try to increase that amount of exercise you do a little, raise that 500 Calories. Consider adding some upper body resistance exercises to compliment the stepping and walking that you are doing.

  55. Bee
    November 26, 2012 at 4:12 am

    Hi, I am a 30 year old women and I would like to lose about 20kg of unwanted weight, especially around my stomach area. My problem is I am an assistant restaurant manger, who works minimum 12 hours a day, I don’t usually finish till 2 am, then I come home and eat as my last meal is at 4 pm in the afternoon the previous day, what do I need to do lose weight, and eat smaller portions, and not to be so hungry all the time??? But I am on my feet all day. Please help. Thanks.

  56. MotleyHealth
    November 26, 2012 at 10:26 pm

    Hi Bee, you really need to do two things:
    1. Set yourself set meals and stick to them, eat nothing else. So, wake up, have your breakfast, then have a good lunch before you work, then take a planned snack while working in the evening. Eat nothing when you get home.
    2. Exercise before breakfast, or before lunch a few times in the week. Assuming that you work from 2pm until 2am, then sleep from around 3am until 11am, you have 3 hours in the morning to have a light breakfast, exercise, wash, prepare lunch then head off to work. 30 minutes of exercise a day will make a big difference.

    As a restaurant manager you are probably already very active, on your feet all the time. So the main change has to be in your diet.

  57. jaya
    December 10, 2012 at 5:55 am

    I am 48 years and 90kg. I want to lose weight fast. I walk on the tread mill and burn 250 cal. Can you recommend a diet plan. I am non veg

  58. MotleyHealth
    December 10, 2012 at 1:21 pm

    Hi Jaya, focus on increasing the time on the treadmill. 250 kcal is good, but only a start. You will get those calories back with one sandwich (plus some). We recommend our Low GI Diet plan, which is available on ebook. Otherwise read our article on healthy eating, or purchase the Diet Solution Program. Whatever approach you take, the most important factor is consistency. Never cheat, always stick to the plan.

  59. grunhead
    December 23, 2012 at 12:34 pm

    Hi, I am 41 year old male weighing 167 pounds..I run regularly , reaching a peak of 25.38 for 5k,55 min for 10k can cover a mile in less than 8 min.
    my problem is my weight keeps swinging from 160 – 170 within few months, if i stop running( due to work related issues, where i might come home late for 1 month)…
    I dont know how to overcome this…

  60. MotleyHealth
    December 23, 2012 at 2:05 pm

    If you have to stop running then you need to replace it with something else, such as a home based bodyweight circuit. Or, reduce the amount you eat when you are not running.

  61. grunhead
    December 26, 2012 at 9:27 am

    Hi Motleyhealth,

    Thanks for the reply. Based on Cooper 12 minute run, I place my VO2MAX between 42-44.my problem is as soon as I run my 5k in 26 minutes, my HR begins to increase repidly to 182-185, and I somehow manage to complete 5k.(Hit the wall, with the average HR of 173. In essence, It seems I am doing the Interval run for entire duration of 26Min.

    If I run, at slower speed, of say 10Kmph, I am very comfortable.( But I dont want to run slower, hence I exert)

    recently I found eating a banana before run, I was little comfortable for same effort.

    What is the effect of banana on a run, and please advise whether I am straining too much.

    Thanks..

  62. MotleyHealth
    December 27, 2012 at 4:52 pm

    Hi Grunhead, a high heart rate may pose some health risk, it really is not possible to say if or how you may be affected though. If in doubt consult your doctor. If in doubt, go slower with some faster intervals to help build the fitness levels without pushing too fast too soon.

    AS for bananas, they are great. We wrote a little about them here: 10 Banana Smoothies to Keep You Running. There is also some additional information about bananas in the part on Yohan Blake’s Diet.

  63. Vbhorn
    January 17, 2013 at 1:24 am

    I am a 48 year old male. I run six days a week 10k each run. I weight 167 with a goal of 155. I am 5 foot 6 in. I currently use Nutrisystem for food. Is this a good diet and exercise plan? How can I improve it? Thanks.

  64. MotleyHealth
    January 17, 2013 at 12:23 pm

    Hi Vbhorn, I cannot comment on Nutrisystem, all I can say is that if you wish to lose fat, reduce calories to ensure you have a daily deficit. I assume the Nutrisystem meals will make calorie counting very easy? 10k run a day will burn a lot of energy. You may want to do some bodyweight exercises to work the upper body too. Try to avoid high GI foods and ensure you are getting enough protein to prevent muscle wastage.

  65. suzane
    January 18, 2013 at 10:00 pm

    my height is 5.5’n my weight is around 60kgs..i want to lose around 8-9 kgs of wt…my diet is like i have sprouts in morning then i have only one meal which include one veg 2 chapatis with curd in b/w them i take fruits…n i do exercise daily(aerobics) for about 30-45 min….how can i lose weight as fast as possible???nd i especially want to reduce fat on near nd on belly pls suggest

  66. MotleyHealth
    January 18, 2013 at 10:45 pm

    Hi Suzane, you need to simply reduce calories. Stop the chapatis, cut back on the curd portions. Smaller portions. The exercise should leave you sweating and feeling exhausted, if not, it is probably not enough.

  67. Parm
    February 20, 2013 at 1:09 pm

    Hi, I’m a 40 year old female, height 5.2 and current weight 68 kg, goal 52kg.

    I’ve excised a number of times over the past couple of year’s i.e. personal trainers covering circuit training, and an average of 2 to 3 gym sessions per week. However, due to no real fast results, I give up and stopped after a couple of months.

    I’ve now started my exercise again without a personal trainer, and going back to what worked for me in my 20’s and early 30’s. I’m now in the 2nd week of exercising, and trying to complete 1hr minimum of exercise per day:

    • Mon and Tues spinning class = 45 mins
    • Wed & Thurs = Gym machines 10mins per machine (cross trainer, rowing, stepper, treadmill (interval running & walk. walk at 5.5 = 1min and run at 9.0 = 1min), and light weights (approximately 20 mins)
    • Friday = Spin & Tums, bums and legs classes
    • Saturday = jogging (3 miles – currently taking 40mins to complete) and Yoga class (1hr)
    • Sunday Rest day or 1hr gym day.

    I’m also watching my calories and not taking more than 1200, I’ve also included flaxseed and Wheatgrass.

    I’ve never really been over weight, however from the age of 37, the weight issue started. I also had bad eating hobbits previously i.e. leaving long gabs between meals, and lived on biscuits, coffee and tea throughout the day, followed by eating the house down in the evening.

    I know there are no quick fixes for weight loss, however can you confirm I’m on the right track and suggest anything else and also what are your thoughts on both flaxseed and wheatgrass?

    I know I’m only in my second week, but after all my exercise, I’ve not seen a huge change on the scales, however do feel I’m getting toned.

    Kind regards

  68. MotleyHealth
    February 20, 2013 at 4:28 pm

    Hi Parm.

    I think that your workout routine looks pretty good. You are doing a good variety of exercises, and you have planned your week too, so the first big hurdles of boredom and poor planning are already cleared – well done. If you maintain 1200 Calories a day you will lose weight, no doubt about that. The only problem you will face is properly measuring exactly how much food and drink you are consuming.

    As for flax seeds and wheatgrass – both contain several vitamins and minerals which are vital for a healthy body. Are they needed? No, not really. If you are following a healthy and well balanced diet they are probably not going to make a massive difference. However, they are unlikely to cause any harm either, and as they provide healthy fats, vitamins and minerals, go for it.

    Do not worry about how long it takes now. Stick to your plan and your new lifestyle. Keep exercising. Fast weight loss is really not important – it will come if you stay on track.

  69. asif Siddiqui
    February 21, 2013 at 6:00 pm

    I always wanted to get a perfect physique, but never achieved one, I love dancing and never get tired of, so will dancing reduce my fat? and what is the amount of fat I will lose if I dance for 30 minutes everyday. and what about running?

  70. MotleyHealth
    February 21, 2013 at 6:24 pm

    Hi Asif, dancing is an excellent form of exercise, however, 30 minutes a day would be the absolute minimum really. The fit dancers that you may see on television train for 4-6 hours a day. If you want a perfect physique you will certainly have to exercise for more than 30 minutes a day, probably at least 3 hours a day, with weight training, bodyweight and cardio all included.

    Running is an excellent way to get fit and burn a lot of calories (for fat loss). As for how much weight will you lose – that depends on how much you weigh now, how much you eat, what your muscle mass percentage is, and how intensively you exercise. So, pretty hard to say.

    Form a plan and work towards your goals.

  71. Charise
    May 7, 2013 at 3:49 am

    Hi~ I’m charise and I’m only 15 yrs. old.
    my weight is 55.
    I want to lose weight by jogging,dancing,and other stuff that makes me sweat.
    And i do it every night.
    Is this right? I need to lose 10, can you give me some tips?
    Thank you

  72. MotleyHealth
    May 7, 2013 at 10:00 am

    Hi Charise, that is a great way to get fit. To lose weight you will also need to ensure that you are eating healthy, so no junk food, snacks or soda drinks.

  73. Varun
    July 26, 2013 at 3:10 pm

    Hi there,

    Am 29 year old Male,5’9, weigh 78 Kgs, my breakfast normally comprise of wheat bread, with stuffing of potato, tomato, and cucumber, lunch I normally take a sub or a chapatti with lentils or veggies, Dinner is 2 chapattis with lentils or a bowl of veggie. Have completely given up on sugar, use sugar free for tea and coffee. Also, every weekend I go out with friends for booze, about 2-3 pints of beer without any appetisers.

    Exercise is very less but I don’t have a sitting job so I end up burning calories on the job, I want to lose weight, need suggestions on the current diet, and also do I get enough energy if I don’t consume sugar at all. Thanks in advance.

  74. MotleyHealth
    July 26, 2013 at 8:09 pm

    Hi Varun, if anything you still have too much sugar in your diet. Bread for breakfast, chapatti for lunch, chapatti for dinner – lots of carbs which are converted to glycogen for your energy needs. Look to reduce portion size slightly.

  75. Oracy
    August 17, 2013 at 6:46 pm

    Hi.stumbled upon your article and really appreciated your insights and truths about losing weight. I’m in early 40’s,female,too scared to weigh myself,get my size by the fit of my clothes.I am currently inbetween a snug 14and a loose16. I recently decided that I would like to make a real effort to get back to a size 12. So I’m having fruit for breakfast and lunch,vegetables for supper.after reading your article I will start skipping.how long should I skip for a day?I have given myself a month.my biggest problem weight areas are butt, thighs,arms.
    thanks for great article and useful comments.

  76. MotleyHealth
    August 31, 2013 at 9:11 am

    Hi Oracy. There really is no time limit on this. Aim to do around 45-60 minutes of exercise every day. You will not be able to skip for long though, so incorporate other exercises.

  77. Sonny
    October 23, 2013 at 10:35 am

    This is one of the most informed articles I’ve ever read on weight loss. Thanks for sharing MH.

    The best exercise is to exercise. And the best time to exercise is to do it. For me, I like to mix up my routines as much as I can to keep the workout interesting. For example, when I go for a 5 mile run, I like to do mini sprints in the middle. I’d pick a target that’s 50 – 75 meters ahead and sprint 100% (or sometimes 75%) to it. Then I’ll go back to my jogging pace till I see the next target.

    I really think that the key to weight loss is finding a diet and exercise you are comfortable with and able to fully commit. I’ve myself have been inconsistent and falling off diet plans and fitness levels. It’s much easy to stay in shape than get back into it.

    Instead of waiting another New Year’s Resolution, I’m starting my fitness workout now. Cause now it the right time to start.

  78. hardev
    September 6, 2014 at 4:03 pm

    I walk 4km in 45 minutes
    How many calories I waist in that

  79. MotleyHealth
    September 6, 2014 at 5:13 pm

    Hi Hardev, it really depends on your weight and also if there are hills. As a rough guide each kg you weigh will burn 3.2 Calories for 45 minutes of walking. So if you weigh 60 kg that would be 3.2 x 60 = 192 Calories. If you weigh 100 kg it would be 320 Calories.

    This is very approximate.

  80. Evette Naidoo
    September 14, 2014 at 8:51 am

    Hi MH tank u,tank u,tank u afta searching for ages about ways to loose weight.I finally stumbled upon ur site.I’m a 38yr old stay at home mum,5.2 weigh 75kgs.I really dnt have an exercise plan,I just dnt have the time.I need to drop my daughter at skool,we walk.Get back home clean,wash n on my feet from 8 till 12 till I go fetch my daughter.I hav probably a slice of toast for breakfast if I find time and I dnt eat lunch at all.Have a slice of toast for supper and I just dnt do snacks.But cnt seem to loose the weight.HELP!!!

  81. MotleyHealth
    September 14, 2014 at 10:43 am

    Hi Evette, I assume that you dop eat more than two slices of toast each day …. however, one simple change would be to swap the toast for a piece of fruit, such as a banana, apple, pear etc. This will give you as much energy (more or less) but you will digest the food slower and feel the benefit for longer. Also, more goodness in the food.

    When you do eat your main meal serve smaller portions; often when people eat very little throughout the day they overcompensate at dinner time.

  82. manzoor
    September 27, 2014 at 9:59 pm

    Hi sir,
    I am 35 years old, I weigh 75 kg and am 5 foot 6. I want to reduce my weight.
    I am running 4 km/h.
    I take one glass of milk at morning.
    Lunch 2 chapatis +some vegetable
    Dinner 2 chapatis with some vegetable. Sometimes I do not eat dinner. plz sir can I reduce weight?

  83. MotleyHealth
    October 1, 2014 at 12:18 am

    Hello Manzoor, are you running every day for one hour? If so, in time you will lose weight if you stick to the diet you quote here. If you are not losing weight try eating fewer chapatis each day.

  84. Jyothi
    October 10, 2014 at 3:55 pm

    Hi I’m jyothi I’m 27 yes old n I’m 97 kgs n 5.1 I want to reduce my weight I do skipping for 20 mins everyday n I hv lost 2kgs from past 2 months I’m I did detoxing also but didn’t help

  85. MotleyHealth
    October 12, 2014 at 11:14 pm

    Hi Jyothi, just keep exercising and control the diet. You might need to eat fewer calories every day and do more exercise. As well as skipping do some circuit training style workouts. Our weekly exercise plan has lots of good ideas.

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