Fitness Myths: Best Exercise for Fat Loss

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The topic of which exercises of what type of exercise is best for fat loss is a popular one in the fitness industry. In reality, the question of which exercise will make you lose more fat is a flawed one and something that needs to be addressed if you want to avoid falling for training fads.

As I have said before in previous blogs, in order to lose a significant amount of fat then an individual must be consuming fewer calories than they are burning. Of course there are several other factors that go into fat loss but if you do not stick to this first rule then your diet will be unsuccessful and you will disatisfied with your fat loss results. It is therefore easy to conclude that you can do the best exercises in the world but if you consume too many calories then you can not lose a significant amount of fat. This is why I would argue that the question of best exercises for fat loss is the wrong one to be asking; the first thing to always get right is your diet. The exercise that you do will burn calories which allows you to consume more calories whilst still being in a calorie deficit. This will mean it should be easier to stick to your diet and so exercise is still a big factor in weight loss. 

Now obviously some exercises and activities will burn more calories than others even when intensity and workload are equated. These differences will only play a small role however, and the bigger picture should not be neglected. The most important factor to consider when designing a training program is adherence. It does not matter how great your exercise program looks on paper, if you do not stick to it then it is not a good program. This is why when people ask me ‘what’s the best exercise for fat loss?’ my answer is, ‘the exercise that you enjoy the most’. If you enjoy going for long walks but don’t enjoy getting sweaty and out of breath then HIIT training probably is not for you and you should probably stick to trying to walk more as you way of burning a few extra calories.

All that being said, I have a strategy that I use with a number of my clients and they have had success doing so. This involves an emphasis being put on strength training, a training modality that is quite often overlooked when trying to lose weight. Of course there is some bias on my end as I am a strength athlete myself but there is reason behind this. One way that strength training can help with fat loss is that it can help with adherence to a diet. If you have a structured training protocol to follow then it makes sticking to a structured diet far more easy. Another reason I use strength training as the foundation of my training programs is that it will help preserve muscle when losing weight. When you are in a calorie deficit then you are also at risk of losing muscle along with fat. By doing resistance training, you are more likely to preserve the muscle you have than by not doing any at all. The final reason and probably most important is that strength training results are quantifiable. It is easy to see if you have progressed on your squat because you can lift more weight than you did last week. This keeps people motivated and can help with adherence.

To conclude, the most important thing to consider for fat loss is that you are consuming fewer calories than you are burning. This means your diet must be in check before you start worrying about the most optimal training program. Exercise is a great way to burn more calories and make it easier to reach a calorie deficit so exercise should not be neglected. The most important thing to consider when selecting what exercise you want to do is how likely you are to stick to it and this is why I advise people to give strength training a go. Progress can be made pretty quickly at the beginning provided that you have a fairly good program and the results soon become addictive making it easy to stick to.

I hope you’ve found this blog informative and if you have any questions on any of the topics brought up in this blog then please get in touch.

Speak to you next Week.


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