Have you ever wondered what you should prioritize when trying to lose weight? Should you focus on Cardio, strength training or Nutrition such as tracking your macronutrients (protein, carbs Fats and fiber) to achieve your weight loss goal? In my opinion each of these components are important, and by only doing one may get you some results, but eventually will not be able to maintain to achieve your ultimate goal.
Here's my breakdown on how you can achieve the ultimate weight loss and long term maintenance:
Track Your Food
By knowing what goes in, it will be easy to determine why you are seeing progress or not. One advice is to use a food logging device or food tracker app. Logging your food is the most important component of weight loss. Figure out what a safe calorie deficit is for you (consult with a registered dietician and a nutritionist before starting any plan), follow these guidelines consistently and the weight should come off or on depending on what you are trying to achieve. Make sure to readjust your daily goals as you lose weight.
Technically, you don’t have to exercise to lose weight!! Millions of people lost weight with very minimal activity, and simply watching what they eat and how much. But I don’t suggest this method as this approach is not the most optimal for overall health. Counting your calories and macros is vital for weight loss, but it takes more than that to be strong and healthy. Keep in mind, we are organisms that are dependent upon work — or, in other words, exercise.
Strength or resistance training is the best form of exercise you can do, no matter your age or whether you are trying to lose weight. I know that not everyone loves to workout or be in a gym environment. But the return on investment — denser bones, stronger ligaments and tendons, better posture and, most importantly in this by building more muscle you technically are able to burn more calories.
Your strength and body composition (Muscle Mass) has a direct effect on how you interact with your environment, and also how your body burns calories throughout the day. The stronger you are, the easier daily tasks become, such as climbing the stairs, carrying a full laundry basket and raking leaves. Strength train for the future: Preserving muscle for your 50s and beyond will help delay the need for assistance with everyday activities. Muscle is what keeps us moving, and it needs to be fed a steady diet of weight training. An optimal, efficient way to strength train: Complete compound exercises like squats, shoulder presses and dead lifts two to three days a week.
Cardiovascular exercise is often thought of by the mainstream media and even some doctors as the best way to lose weight. It’s not. That’s not to say that it isn’t important, it’s just not at the top of the list.
I’m a big believer in being balanced, so every single one of my clients does some sort of conditioning work, whether it’s running on a treadmill, riding a spin bike or pushing a sled. I suggest twice-weekly sessions of 10–20 minutes of lung-scorching, high-intensity interval training. You can do these types of workouts at the end of your strength-training sessions or on the days in between.
Another option is to do low-intensity, steady-state cardio. It’s the perfect place to start if you are new to the exercise game or in the early stages of losing weight. Walking or using a recumbent bike are also acceptable for such workouts. Try doing this two times per week.
Remember: The best place to start when trying to lose pounds is with your Food and the amount of calories you consume. Make sure your daily caloric allowance is a safe deficit. Even if you don’t count your daily macros, your body does. Adding strength training will help you maintain your muscle mass for today and for the future. And, no one likes to feel winded walking up a flight of stairs, so round out your program with a little cardio conditioning work. Good health comes at a cost: time, energy, money, sacrifice and hard work. Just keep in mind that the cost is even greater if you don’t commit.