It is very possible that if you survey a hundred people that are starting an exercising program, the goal of ninety of them is to lose weight. But to lose weight in a healthy lifestyle you need to incorporate the three most important components to it: strength training, cardio and diet.
Cardio training is where you get the most amounts of calories burned. There are a number of cardio exercises that burn a respectable number of calories from a 30 minute workout. From a low of walking at 180 calories to a high of step aerobics at 400 calories, cycling, swimming, racquetball, rock climbing, skiing, running, elliptical trainer and rowing all fall somewhere in-between.
Strength training is not about burning calories immediately, but over the long term. Strength training builds muscle and inherently the more muscle one has, the more calories burned just at rest. Three pounds of additional muscle burns an additional 120 calories per day. But the calorie burn is only part of the results. Because of the additional muscle (we are not talking much additional mass, but more of a firming and toning) you will look leaner and with that leaner look, you will feel better about yourself.
Diet is the third component and it has a very important role. Regardless of how much you exercise, if you eat unhealthy, you won’t lose weight. A healthy diet should be low in saturated fat, sugar and salt, yet have some unsaturated fat as the body needs some fat to be healthy. A good diet consists mainly of fresh vegetables and fruits, nuts and seeds, whole grains, lean meats and fish.
Most of us know to lose a pound of weight per week; we have to burn 3,500 more calories than we take in. That breaks down into 500 calories per day. By adding muscle through strength training, burning calories through cardio and watching what we eat, a 500-calories-per-day reduction is easy to achieve. With a combination of strength and cardio training and a healthy diet, losing weight will come naturally and doesn’t have to be a single focus.