To lose weight, less is more when it comes to exercise

By Betty Murray

If you’re looking to lose weight by working out, you will likely be disappointed in the results. Are you in denial that you need to change your eating habits in and exercise regularly to lose weight? Over the years, multiple studies have confirmed that exercise yields little weight loss when not combined with a change in diet. Surprisingly, new data reveals that less exercise may be more beneficial for weight loss.

A new study by researchers at the University of Copenhagen reveals that when trying to lose weight, less may actually be more. The study managed a control group of guys who maintained their diet and sedentary lifestyle, a group of guys who were asked to exercise 60 minutes each day and burn about 600 calories, and another group who were asked to exercise 30 minutes each day and burn 300 calories. In the end, the group of guys who worked out for just 30 minutes each day lost more weight.

Why? Researchers aren’t entirely sure of the reason, but consider two factors to be to blame. First, the men who worked out for 60 minutes each day also ate more calories each day. Additionally, those men were more fatigued, which in turn led to a primarily sedentary lifestyle outside of the 60 minutes of exercise. The men who only worked out for 30 minutes each day had more energy to continue to move and be active throughout their day.

What does this mean for you?

If you are trying to shed unwanted weight, don’t chain yourself to the gym for an hour or more each day. Moderate amounts of exercise (at least 30 minutes each day), combined with a low-calorie diet will yield the weight loss you desire. If working out is a struggle for you, here are a few tips to keep you motivated:

  • Choose exercise you enjoy. Whether it’s running, walking, Zumba, yoga or any other form of exercise, if you enjoy it you will be more likely to keep it up.
  • Exercise with a friend or in a group class. The majority of people are not self-motivated when it comes to exercise. Find a friend who enjoys the same form of exercise as you to workout with you. If you can’t find a friend, join a group fitness class at your gym.
  • Change it up. Variety isn’t only good for your brain, it’s also good for your body. Adding variety into your workout routine will keep your muscles from growing accustom to any one type of exercise. In the end, you’ll be more motivated by the change in routine and may even lose more weight.

Betty Murray, CN, HHC, RYT is a Certified Nutritionist & Holistic Health Counselor, founder of the Dallas-based integrative medical center, Wellness and founder of the Metabolic Blueprint wellness program. Betty’s nutrition counseling practice specializes in metabolic and digestive disorders and weight loss resistance. A master of the biochemistry of the body, Betty teaches her clients how to utilize nutritional interventions to improve their health. Betty is a member of the Institute of Functional Medicine and the National Association of Nutrition Professionals.

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