Calories are a unit of measure that show the amount of energy in foods and drinks. The body requires a certain number of calories to function.
It will convert any excess calories into fat, increasing overall weight. The body can only lose weight when it is burning more calories than it takes in.
A person can lose weight through a calorie-restricted diet and regular physical activity. However, many factors can prevent weight loss.
1. Relying on exercise without addressing the diet
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It is essential to be in a calorie deficit to lose weight. This involves the body burning more calories than it receives from the diet.
Exercise is an effective way to burn calories. But, to experience any significant weight loss, a person needs to combine exercise with consuming fewer calories.
Research suggests that, without sufficient changes to the diet, exercise alone is unlikely to lead to substantial weight loss for most people.
A person may be able to lose weight with extremely high levels of exercise, but even in these cases, shedding more than about 4.4 pounds (2 kilograms) is unlikely.
The body burns most of its calories through its basal metabolic rate. This refers to all the processes that sustain life, such as digesting food and breathing. Even brain activity burns calories.
Physical activity, which refers to all the body's movements, takes up a much smaller amount of energy. Household chores and walking up a flight of stairs qualify as physical activity. Structured physical exercise burns an even smaller proportion of calories.
Without a sufficient reduction in the number of calories that a person consumes, it is very difficult to lose weight through exercise.
Research also suggests that people tend to eat more food when they exercise regularly. This can make it harder to maintain a calorie deficit and lose weight.
The best way to lose weight is by combining exercise with a calorie-restricted diet.
2. Enough exercise
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Regular exercise is essential for weight loss.
A study in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise suggests at least 225 to 420 minutes of physical activity per week for effective weight loss. It is important to maintain this level over an extended period.
Engaging in different types of exercise can also affect weight loss.
The two main types of exercise are aerobic and anaerobic. Aerobic, or endurance, exercises
involve the continuous and repetitive use of large muscle groups, such as the arms and legs. Examples of aerobic exercises include jogging and cycling.
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Anaerobic exercises involve short, intense bursts of activity. Examples of anaerobic exercise include heavy weight training or sprinting.
While aerobic exercises rely on a continuous supply of oxygen for energy, anaerobic exercises receive all their energy from glucose stored in muscles.
Both forms of exercise have several advantages for overall health, but there is debate over which is most useful for weight loss.
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According to the American College of Sports Medicine, aerobic exercise has a direct effect on weight loss, but anaerobic exercise alone does not. Anaerobic exercise can build muscle and burn fat but, because muscle weighs more than fat, there will be no reduction in weight.
However, anaerobic exercise can convert body fat into lean muscle. As muscle weighs more than fat, this likely explains the lack of weight loss from anaerobic exercise.
Anaerobic exercises, such as weight training, can also increase the body's basal metabolic rate. This means that they can have a more lasting effect.
A combination of aerobic and anaerobic exercise is likely the best method of exercising for weight loss.
3. Sugary drinks
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Consuming too many sugary drinks can prevent weight loss.
Research shows that the amount of sugar in the diet influences weight gain. But much of this could be specifically related to the consumption of sugary drinks.
It is easy to overlook drinks as a part of the diet. But many sugary drinks are high in calories.
Unlike various high-calorie foods, these drinks do not satisfy hunger and provide an insufficient amount of energy to the body. This makes it easier to consume too many sugary drinks without noticing.
Limiting or eliminating the consumption of sugary drinks can help enhance weight loss.”
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