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The Best Exercise for Weight Loss

Get the most weight loss benefits out of your time spent exercising

If you’re going to start exercising with the goal of losing weight, then you want to choose the most effective exercise for weight loss.

That’s not to say you should do a type of exercise you hate. It’s important to find something you love so you feel happy to have exercise as part of your routine.

But if you’re newer to exercise, or just haven’t in a while, then you may be wondering what’s the best exercise for weight loss.

Well, you’re in luck, because there’s not just one best exercise to lose weight. There are plenty of options to choose from.

So if you’re looking for something to try for your new weight loss plan, give these calorie-burning exercises a try first to figure out what exercise you enjoy most.

Exercises to burn the most calories:

When your goal is to lose weight, you want to find exercises that burn the most calories.

Or in other words, make you to use the most energy to get through the exercise and recover from it.

The key is to get your heart rate up and keep it elevated for as long as is safely possible.

For that reason, cardio workouts are the best for losing more calories in one training session.

So it should come as no surprise then that many of the exercises we list here for weight loss are cardio-based.

Below are some of the best workouts to burn the most calories:

Running:

It’s likely that the first type of exercise that comes to mind when you think of cardio and losing weight is running.

Even looking at pictures of runners, you can assume that running must be great for keeping weight off–most of them are so thin!

So it’s true that running is great for your heart health and for burning calories.

Depending on your pace you can expect to burn between 648–960 calories in one hour of running.

That’s a ton of calories.

Swimming: 

Swimming is fabulous because it’s great exercise but doesn’t always feel like it. The water lets you feel weightless and able to move freely. Plus, if you love the water there’s something soothing about it too.

So it’s exciting that something so fun can also be such a great exercise for weight loss.

You can burn anywhere from 369–588 calories in one hour of swimming.

Cycling:

Whether you sign up for a spin class or take out your bike for street riding, this is a great exercise for weight loss.

There are plenty of people who swear by their cycling classes, not just for the calories burned, but also for the energy and enthusiasm infused in every session.

Depending on your rate it’s possible to burn 420-622 calories in a one-hour session.

HIIT:

HIIT workouts are one of the best options if burning the most calories is your goal.

HIIT stands for high-intensity interval training. And the way it works is you do shorter workouts ranging from 20-40 minutes. During these workouts, you alternate between high bursts of energy and longer rest periods.

So for example, you do might 30 sections of high-intensity exercise followed by 45 seconds of rest before you start the next 30-second round. This is the usual pattern of a HIIT workout.

How many calories can this type of exercise burn for you? Around 450 calories in 30 minutes.

That’s right—almost as much as running burns in an hour. 

It’s honestly staggering how great HIIT is for burning calories. And it’s a big part of the reason why it’s become so popular all over the country.

And another great thing about HIIT is that it’s possible to combine cardio and some strength training in one workout. So you get the best of both worlds.

Because there are major benefits of strength training and building muscle to help you lose weight. 

Want to burn more calories at rest?

Exercising at all will help boost your metabolism. So your body will start burning more energy even when you aren’t active.

But there’s one type of exercise that improves your metabolism above all others: strength training. 

When you lift weights (or use bodyweight) to build muscle you make it possible for your body to burn more calories at rest.

How?

Because muscle uses more energy than fat.

The more muscle you have on your body, the more calories your body uses—even at rest.

So if you want an exercise that does more for you throughout the day and not just when you’re exercising, then make sure you include strength training in your routine.

But you don’t need to lift weights every single day to see these effects.

Even two or three times per week is enough to see improvement over time. 

Need your exercise to be low impact?

But you may be thinking that some of the activities are too intense for where you’re starting out. And that’s okay—we all come from different starting points and have different needs.

That doesn’t mean exercise is impossible for you.

You can start by simply walking.

Walking is the best place to start if exercise feels unattainable for you.

Will you burn quite as many calories in an hour as other forms of exercise? Of course not. But you can burn around 186-276 calories when walking at a moderate pace for one hour. It’s definitely possible to burn even more than that depending on your pace and how far you choose to walk every day. 

And you will be amazed by what’s possible when you start walking and stick with it over time.

It works when you’re consistent and patient with yourself and your body. But the results do come. 

Making Exercise Consistent Is Key

While you now have an idea of the best exercise for weight loss, that doesn’t mean you should force yourself to do activities you don’t enjoy.

If you hate running, or any other type of exercise listed here, it’s not going to be the best way to lose weight for you.

The most important thing when it comes to exercise is to find a type of exercise that you enjoy most.

It could be dancing, tennis, golf, basketball, hiking, or any number of other activities. The key is to find the right exercise for you. And the weight loss will follow in time.

When you work with us at Valley Medical Weight Loss we help you get a plan for exercise that works for you and your goals. We pair your exercise plan with a diet plan and check-in to make sure you get the best results possible. 

Learn more about working with a weight loss doctor who can help you make your weight loss goals a reality.

Sources:

  1. “12 Exercises That Burn the Most Calories.” Healthline, 2019, www.healthline.com/health/what-exercise-burns-the-most-calories#at-home.
  2. Glantz, Jen. “5 Women Explain How Walking Helped Them Finally Lose the Weight.” Women’s Health, Women’s Health, 22 Oct. 2019, www.womenshealthmag.com/weight-loss/g19917712/lose-weight-by-walking/. 

Overcome Common Weight Loss Obstacles

If you hit a wall in your weight loss journey, don’t stress, and don’t give up! We have some tips to help you.

When you start your weight loss journey it’s easy to feel motivated and excited for the changes you imagine in your life. The last thing on your mind is all the weight loss obstacles that could get in your way.

But the changes you want take time. And over time the excitement starts to fade. You realize just how difficult it is to lose weight. And it’s not uncommon for all your goals to suddenly feel impossible.

But you can do it. Just like the thousands of others who have found success before you.

But we know it’s not easy. It’s never as simple as just do more exercise. Or just stick to your diet.

If it were as simple as just following those suggestions, then no one would be overweight.

The truth is…no matter how much weight you want to lose, there will be ups and downs. You will encounter roadblocks.

The key to success isn’t pretending that won’t happen. 

It’s in being prepared.

So here are some insights about how to overcome six of the most common weight loss obstacles. 

That way you can make a gameplan from the start. And when something inevitably tries to get in your way, you will overcome it and succeed in your weight loss journey.

1.Diet Struggles

Constantly feeling hungry

Hunger is one of the most difficult feelings to ignore. And if you’re constantly feeling hungry, then you most likely won’t be able to maintain your weight loss plan for very long.

But there are ways of getting around that. Like by choosing foods that are high satiety, but low calorie. High satiety means foods that make you feel full after eating them.

Foods like oatmeal, fish, greek yogurt or Icelandic skyr, popcorn, soup, fruits, vegetables, and potatoes (not in french fry form—sorry, I know they’re delicious).

These foods are filling and low calorie. Many of them highly nutritious too. 

And they’re a good place to start for another problem people face around food and weight loss:

Not knowing what to eat

There’s a lot of conflicting information about what the best diet is. 

But it really doesn’t have to be so complicated. Your goal is to eat for health and weight loss.

Based on your personal conditions, you may eat a different variety of foods from another person, but there are a few general rules to stick to:

You want to eat more foods that have high nutritional value. Foods that get you a mix of the right essential nutrients your body needs to be healthy. And you want to keep your caloric intake low enough to lose weight.

But when you don’t have time to put in the research to learn about all there is to know about diet, it’s easy to feel stuck.

This is why having a meal plan created for you can be so helpful. It takes all the thinking out of the equation on your end. You get an expertly created meal plan and the results will follow when you stick to it.

You don’t have time to cook

When you decide to cook your own meals because it’s healthier than going out to eat or relying on microwavable meals, you realize how time-consuming cooking can be!

Plus you’re tired after work every day. The last thing you want to do is cook every night.

The best way to get around this weight loss obstacle is to meal prep.

Every Sunday making all of your meals and putting them into portions that you can easily grab and heat up throughout the rest of the week.

It removes the temptation to go out to avoid cooking. It saves you the time of cooking a new meal every single day.

And it’s the best way to set yourself up for success.

2. Exercise Obstacles

Find exercise boring

If you can’t find the motivation to exercise it’s possible that you find exercise boring.

The thought of going for a run sounds like mind-numbing torture. And walking on the treadmill for an hour? Total snoozer.

Not everyone would choose to spend hours of their week doing rigorous activity. You might have other passions and interests you want to invest your time in.

But there’s no denying the importance of exercise for your health. You avoid doing it at your own peril.

The reality is that there are so many types of exercise out there. And while you see fitness influences all over social media, or professional athletes on TV, don’t assume that you must go all or nothing into exercise as they have.

Find an activity you enjoy—yoga, swimming, walking, jogging, team sports, lifting, or dancing.

It can be anything. But you have to do it regularly.

At least three days a week of moderate to intense activity is recommended. But what’s even better is getting into the habit of doing 30 minutes of fun physical activity every day.

Just remember that if you start to get bored you can always switch things up.

Don’t have time

I get it—we live in a culture where being busy is the default.

So this makes creating time for longer workouts difficult for many people. It’s hard to show up for classes that run for an hour or longer when you barely have time for everything else.

But there are ways of saving time in your workouts.

One simple way is by choosing to workout at home instead of the gym. This cuts down on commute time you inevitably have to factor into your day.

And don’t feel like you have to follow any program that will take you longer than 30 minutes to complete in a day.

30 minutes is enough time to get in a solid workout. And it’s a reasonable chunk of time to set aside each day.

It’s going to be difficult to do at first. Especially if you haven’t established a routine. Or if your daily schedule really does feel like mayhem.

But the 30 minutes you invest now will improve the quality of your life now and for your future.

Pain 

Pain is one of the hardest weight loss obstacles to overcome.

But it can be done.

Work with a trainer. Speak with a physical therapist. These are people who are specially trained to work with you through your pain.

And with so many different types of exercise to choose from, you can find something that won’t cause you pain. 

3. Embarrassment 

It’s easy to feel embarrassed when there’s a lot of social stigma around weight.

Maybe you’re embarrassed that all your past attempts at losing weight failed. And you believe no one will take you seriously when you say you want to try again.

Maybe you don’t want to step foot in the gym where you see plenty of fit and thin people.

That kind of embarrassment and fear is paralyzing.

So how do you overcome it?

One way is to remember that you aren’t alone and you have nothing to be ashamed of.

Changing your lifestyle isn’t easy. And everything you’re doing deserves compassion and celebration.

Know that you belong anywhere. If fear of the gym is stopping you from getting the exercise you need to burn calories and lose fat, let’s consider a few things:

  • No one in the gym actually cares about what you’re doing or even notices. And if they do, they’re the problem, not you.
  • The gym exists for everyone who wants to get healthier–that includes you!
  • Give yourself time to learn. You won’t feel like a pro in the gym at first. Embrace those feelings of uncertainty and channel them into learning so you can feel more at home there.

And finally, find people who support you. Anyone who cares about seeing you feel healthy and happy won’t shame you for trying. Even if you tried and failed before. 

Having the support of others normalizes what you want to do. Support helps you overcome any weight loss obstacles and helps you feel less embarrassed.

4. Motivation Fluctuates 

Our motivation to do everything comes and goes in waves. Truly, for everything.

Professional athletes, musicians, writers, and people from all walks of life will have plenty of days where they just don’t want to do it.

It might be one day. It might stretch to two weeks.

Because what happens with everything is we often reach a plateau. Or we find ourselves stuck in a rut. 

But progress is still happening. Even if we can’t see it or hear it, it’s happening. And you’re not far away from another burst of motivation and improvement if you just. keep. going.

So you will face low points in your weight loss journey. You’ll feel like it’s no use or that you aren’t making the progress you want.

This is truly one of the most insidious weight loss obstacles because it’s so easy to convince yourself nothing you do matters during times of low motivation.

It’s overcoming those low points that are the ultimate challenge. But there are some ways to regain that spark and stay on track.

Read motivational books, listen to motivational podcasts, watch inspirational documentaries. Find people who are willing to listen to you and motivate you.

Surround yourself with all the positive reminders of why you want to lose weight. 

And most importantly: don’t beat yourself up if you slip.

Did you have an extra cheat meal this week? Did you eat more in the last two days because of some social events that came up?

Do not worry.

A lot of times, when we break a pattern or a streak we feel like we’ve completely ruined everything.

And when we feel this way, it’s easy to just say you’re a failure, and give up altogether.

Instead, try to recognize the truth of the situation: you enjoyed the first treat in a month because you were happy and wanted to enjoy yourself.

Accept it, embrace that moment, let it happen, and then move on.

To shame yourself will only ever keep your motivation in a downward spiral. It will turn harmless incidents into catastrophic events even when it wasn’t close to being one to begin with.

5. Stress 

Stress is one of the most overlooked but hugely important barriers to weight loss.

Our metabolism actually slows down under stress.

And when we are stressed it’s easier to feel demotivated and run into more weight loss obstacles than when we feel at ease.

So if weight loss is your goal, it’s important to consider how stressed you are. And what you can do to reduce your stress.

Some common ways are to meditate, spend time outside, read a good novel, watch a fun series, take a bubble bath, or exercise. All of these activities can help you take your mind off what’s causing you to worry. And instead, let you focus on the present.

And if stress is really interfering in your life in many ways, it’s worth talking to a professional about your stress. 

The outcome would be a better state of mind and improved physical health.

6. Schedule Changes 

Have you ever gone on vacation and realized that it’s nearly impossible to stick to your usual weight loss plan?

Here’s the reality about vacations: they’re fun but they wreak havoc on your weight-loss plan. 

It’s harder to exercise. You don’t know what kind of gym your lodgings will have—if any. And you don’t know how much of your usual training routine you’ll be able to stick to.

There’s also the matter of food.

Chances are you’ll eat out regularly. This means you won’t be sticking to the meal plan that’s best for your weight loss and overall health.

Whether it’s a vacation, a new work schedule, or a life change that’s going to upend your normal routines for the foreseeable future, you can overcome these.

First off, it’s important not to stress out about these changes. Whether they’re temporary or long-term, the key to overcoming this obstacle is to create a new plan to keep losing weight.

People have achieved their weight loss goals under so many different circumstances. Some are undoubtedly easier than others. But your goals are always possible.

What’s the easiest way to overcome all of these weight loss obstacles?

With support.

It’s proven that those who have support in their weight loss goals are more successful and happier while doing it.

Why?

Because the changes you’re making are huge! They’re life-altering. And there’s no doubt that making lifestyle changes and creating new habits is one of the hardest things for us to do.

But when we feel supported and like our goals have a purpose outside of ourselves, they become more attainable. They become more enjoyable. 

Find out how to get life-changing weight-loss support at Valley Medical Weight Loss to make your weight loss goals a reality.

Sources:

1.“7 Filling Foods to Prevent Hunger Backed by Science.” Medical News Today, MediLexicon International, www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/324078.

2. Kiecolt-Glaser, Janice K, et al. “Daily Stressors, Past Depression, and Metabolic Responses to High-Fat Meals: a Novel Path to Obesity.” Biological Psychiatry, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 1 Apr. 2015, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4289126/.

Lose Weight Faster with Phentermine

Phentermine is one of the most effective weight loss drugs ever created—find out if it’s right for you.

Phentermine is one of the most effective weight loss drugs ever created—find out if it’s right for you.

To say losing weight is hard is an understatement. 

It takes years to see the results you want. You can’t eat the way you always enjoyed and have to change your lifestyle to be more active.

There’s nothing easy about that.

And so we’re always looking for ways to help you lose weight faster than diet and exercise alone. 

Phentermine is one of those options.

Phentermine is a weight loss drug that’s been around since 1959. It’s effective and there are decades of research to back it up.

Because of how powerful it is, this isn’t a drug you can get over the counter. Your doctor must prescribe it for you. And prescriptions generally don’t happen unless your BMI is 30 or higher—the threshold for obesity. 

The reason is, it’s created for people who need to lose a lot of weight. It’s not just for losing 5 pounds before your next vacation. 

But what makes phentermine unique is that the results are also quite rapid compared to others on the market. The drug is only meant to take for a short period of time and up to 12-13 weeks.

Since phentermine’s creation, it’s helped thousands of people lose weight, either alone or in combination with other weight loss medications.

So what exactly does phentermine help you lose weight faster?

Suppresses Appetite

One of the major barriers to weight loss is just feeling hungry all the time. And phentermine works wonders to suppress your appetite—making it easier to avoid junk foods and stick to your diet.

Believe it or not, exactly how phentermine suppresses appetite isn’t clear. Even after decades on the market.

What we do know is that it increases the levels of the neurotransmitters dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin in your brain. 

When your levels of these neurotransmitters increase, your appetite decreases.

Ultimately, the reason it’s so effective is that it’s able to help you overcome one of the biggest barriers to sticking to a new diet. 

Helps Patients with Eating Disorders

Since phentermine suppresses appetite, it helps individuals deal with a challenging eating disorder: binge eating.

Binge eating is when you eat huge quantities of food in short periods of time. It’s also combined with a compulsion to keep eating—essentially feeling like you just can’t stop eating even if you know your body is full. This can often be associated with a strong feeling of losing control while eating and feeling extreme guilt or shame after. 

It’s worth noting that this is different from overconsumption or overeating. Which is exactly what it sounds like—eating too much at a meal. But in this case, it’s an isolated incident or not associated with the other symptoms of a binge eating disorder.

Bulimia is another eating disorder that is similar to binging. And it’s connected with many of the same feelings: lack of control, shame, and guilt. A pattern of binging and purging can arise as a result of those feelings. With purging—or self-induced vomiting—happening in an attempt to regain a sense of control. This binging and purging pattern is what we know as bulimia nervosa.

Phentermine helps people overcome eating disorders by suppressing appetite as a start.

But it helps in other ways too.

It improves the sense of control over eating habits. And improves mood after eating.

In one study, patients with these eating disorders were able to reduce their binge days from 16 to 4 over a 28 day period—a drastic improvement! 

For those who need to lose weight and struggle with eating disorders, phentermine can be an effective option.

Weight Loss

Taking phentermine is a gives you a good start for losing weight. 

It lowers your appetite, prevents binge eating, and even promotes fat loss.

One study found that patients taking phentermine lost anywhere from 5-10% of their starting body weight at the end of a 12 week period. 

And another study had trial participants take phentermine for 13 weeks. The average loss was 13.9 pounds by the end of the study.

But doctors won’t advise you to take phentermine in place of diet and exercise.

And this is important to understand: no medication should be taken in place of diet and exercise. In fact, phentermine is most effective when combined with dietary and lifestyle adjustments to promote weight loss.

When you’re prescribed phentermine, your doctor will also give you a diet plan and realistic exercise expectations. 

And since taking phentermine is a short term option, it’s important to have those healthy lifestyle habits in place when the medication is finished.

How to find out if phentermine is right for you

There’s no doubt that phentermine helps you lose weight faster. But it isn’t an option for everybody.

The only way to get phentermine is with a prescription. So at Valley Medical Weight Loss, we can help you determine whether phentermine is right for you. 

It’s always important to discuss phentermine in detail with your doctor because there are some side-effects that can be exacerbated if you have certain health complications. 

Some of these side effects include:

  • Dry mouth
  • Insomnia
  • Flushing
  • Hyperactivity
  • Upset stomach

And phentermine should be avoided altogether if you have heart disease, glaucoma, or are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Ultimately, phentermine is effective and helpful when taken correctly under the guidance of a doctor. And when it’s combined with a healthy diet and lifestyle changes.

Our doctors work with you to figure out the right plan for you—whether it includes phentermine or not.

Contact us to make an appointment and learn more about a personalized weight loss plan to feel healthier and happier again.

Sources:

  1. Scott, Jennifer R. “The Differences Between Binge Eating and Overeating.” Verywell Mind, 19 July 2020, www.verywellmind.com/when-does-overeating-become-binge-eating-3495807.
  2. DH;, Bray GA;Ryan. “Medical Therapy for the Patient with Obesity.” Circulation, U.S. National Library of Medicine, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22474312/.
  3. Haddock CK;Poston WS;Dill PL;Foreyt JP;Ericsson M; “Pharmacotherapy for Obesity: a Quantitative Analysis of Four Decades of Published Randomized Clinical Trials.” International Journal of Obesity and Related Metabolic Disorders : Journal of the International Association for the Study of Obesity, U.S. National Library of Medicine, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11850760/.

Healthy Ways to Cope with Stress

Feeling stressed out can cause more than a headache or breakdown, it can also trigger weight gain. According to a 2013 study conducted by the American Psychological Association, over 40 percent of people report eating unhealthy foods or overeating in response to stress. You may have done it yourself after a long day at work that included a showdown with your boss, a flat tire and difficult customer. In an attempt to get a much-needed pick-me-up, you reach for that half-empty box of chocolates in the bottom of your desk drawer, or you stop at the drive-thru on the way home for a giant box of fries.

This is a common response to stress, and there is a good reason why – cortisol, the hormone released by the brain when we are stressed, triggers a ravenous hunger response. It may even interfere with the compounds that tell your brain when your hunger is satiated, leading to even more overeating.

Unfortunately, this response to stress can have unhealthy side effects, including weight gain. Cortisol doesn’t just make you hungry, but it also encourages the body to hold onto fat, particularly in the abdominal area.

Although you cannot control the body’s automatic, natural response to stress, you can make moves to limit stress in your life and relieve tension. Next time you are feeling stressed, try these strategies instead of reaching for an unhealthy snack:

Avoid Unnecessary Stress

It is impossible to avoid stress entirely, but you can limit it by learning how to say “no,” avoiding environments and people that cause you to stress out and cutting down your to-do list to just your top priorities.

Alter Stressful Situations

If you find yourself in a stressful situation, try to change it by expressing your feelings, being more assertive and being willing to compromise if necessary to find a common ground.

Find Healthy Ways to Cope

There are far more healthy ways to deal with stress than by downing a pint of ice cream. Next time you are on the verge of overeating due to stress, release healthy endorphins by going for a walk instead. Spending time outdoors can do wonders for your stress level, as can laughing with a friend, writing down your thoughts in a journal, unwinding with a massage, soaking in the tub or having a solo dance party in your kitchen. Get moving, connect with others and do something you love each and every day, no matter how stressed you are.

Learning healthy ways to cope with stress is one of the most important steps toward reaching and maintaining a healthy weight. To learn more about ways you can adopt healthy habits, check out our healthy weight loss programs today!

Image By: David Castillo Dominici