A common question everyone asks is how much exercise do I need to lose weight and here is the short answer.
A short answer: 30 to 45 minutes. However, the effects of exercise on weight loss will, of course, depend on the intensity of the exercise as well as your diet. Shorter periods of high-intensity exercise are, in fact, the best way to lose weight. Read on if you want to find out why.
The basic principle of weight loss is burning more calories than you take in. When the body burns all of the calories you’ve eaten it has to use other sources of energy, and that’s when weight loss happens.
In theory, the more you exercise and the more intense the exercise is, the more weight you lose. However, depending on the type of workout you are doing, exercise can also cause a rise in hunger hormones which will make you feel the need to eat more.
Research and experience have shown that the sweet spot for weight loss is 30 to 45 minutes of intense exercise. By intense exercise, we mean exercise during which your heart rate is around 75 percent of your maximum. This type of exercise is beneficial for weight loss in three different ways.
First of all, short periods of intense exercise affect your hunger hormones in a way that suppresses your appetite. According to research, levels of acylated ghrelin, a hormone which causes hunger, were lower in people who worked out on a regular basis.
However, it’s not just the hormones. This type of exercise also causes your body to send more blood to the muscles. When this happens, blood is distributed away from your stomach and intestines. This might make you feel less hungry for hours and possibly days after exercise. This type of effect can’t be achieved with low-intensity workouts.
An added benefit of intense exercise is the after-burner effect, officially known as EPOC or excess post-exercise oxygen consumption. It’s not anything new – several studies, including this one by Vella and Kravitz, have shown that your body continues to burn more calories for an extended period of time after exercise. The more intense the exercise is, the longer the after-burner effect lasts.
So there you have it, if you are trying to lose weight, you’ll need 30 to 45 minutes of intense workout. You should exercise on a regular basis, but always schedule at least one rest day a week for best results. Once you achieve your desired weight, keep on exercising! Regular physical activity is even more important after you’ve lost weight if you want long-lasting results.