Losing weight should not be based on the number on the scale. Weight loss, instead, should be based on the amount of fat loss. The reason is that weight loss alone, including losing water and muscle mass, can be detrimental to health. But losing fat means reducing subcutaneous fat (fat directly below the skin) and visceral fat (fat deep within the abdomen and surrounding organs). Fat loss, rather than strictly weight loss, helps reduce the risk of chronic diseases and inflammation, and helps maintain muscle mass. Therefore, focusing on fat loss is the healthier option of the two.
Which exercise is best for achieving fat loss?
Exercise enthusiasts often debate whether cardio or strength training is best for fat loss. However, there isn’t one single exercise when it boils down to it. Rather, the best exercise for losing fat is the exercise you enjoy and will stick with long-term. And another important factor is exercise variety. Mix it up by varying your workouts. For example, if you only do a spin class weekly, try something new such as working with a personal trainer or taking a kickboxing class.
Besides, if your body has become accustomed to making the same exercise moves over and over, this sets you up for overuse injuries by stressing the same muscles again and again.
The point is to include all kinds of moves, from cardio, lifting weights, and flexibility moves from yoga or Pilates.
Cardio, also known as aerobic exercise, is excellent for improving heart health, lowering blood pressure, reducing stress, improving sleep habits, reducing joint stiffness, and torching calories.
Strength training improves bone density, maintains lean muscle mass, and increases metabolism, even when you’re at rest.
Flexibility moves using yoga or Pilates maintains core strength, improve balance and agility, and lengthen and strengthen muscles.
Again, it goes back to utilizing a variety of exercise modalities to lose excess fat mass for your best health. But, let’s not forget one other critical factor you must practice for the best success at lowing fat mass – eating a healthy diet.
Combine exercise with a healthy diet
If you exist on eating pizza and hot dogs, it doesn’t matter how much you work out. That’s because exercise alone will not take care of weight loss. Why? Because you will not burn as many calories as you think exercising. Take, for instance, a man who weighs 180 pounds and jogs for 30 minutes. He will have burned around 400 calories. But then, if he comes home and eats just one slice of pizza containing 380 calories, weight loss will stall.
The trick is to combine a healthy diet with a variety of exercises. This “marries” together a happy relationship of eating just enough calories from nutritious foods while working out most days of the week, creating a higher likelihood of losing weight healthfully.
The idea is to plan meals by filling your plate with vegetables, fruits, nuts, whole grains, lean meat, fatty fish, and dairy. Also, be sure to include fiber in your daily diet. Women require between 20 to 25 grams a day, while men need 30 to 38 grams of fiber daily. Fiber slows down digestion, providing both a feeling of satiety and fullness.
The main ideas are to get up and move each day while eating a diet of nutritious foods. Make exercise fun with an emphasis on variety and delicious meals, and you’ll be on your way toward successful fat loss improving your health.
Dr. David Samadi is the Director of Men’s Health and Urologic Oncology at St. Francis Hospital in Long Island. He’s a renowned and highly successful board certified Urologic Oncologist Expert and Robotic Surgeon in New York City, regarded as one of the leading prostate surgeons in the U.S., with a vast expertise in prostate cancer treatment and Robotic-Assisted Laparoscopic Prostatectomy. Dr. Samadi is a medical contributor to NewsMax TV and is also the author of The Ultimate MANual, Dr. Samadi’s Guide to Men’s Health and Wellness, available online both on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Visit Dr. Samadi’s websites at robotic oncology and prostate cancer 911.