While you can lose weight by dieting only, imposing severe caloric and dietary restrictions often results in short-term weight loss followed by long-term weight gain. Maintaining extremely restrictive dietary habits over a lifetime proves challenging, if not impossible, for many people, due to feelings of deprivation along with the physical impact of a slowed metabolism. Implementing a workout routine along with a healthy lifelong diet plan gives you a greater chance at long-term weight-loss success.
According to a University of New Mexico review of the 2000 study, "Exercise Alone is an Effective Strategy for Reducing Obesity and Related Comorbidities", you can lose weight successfully by just exercising, as long as you burn more calories than you eat. Despite the results of this study, originally published in "Exercise and Sport Science Reviews," many health and fitness experts still agree that the best weight-loss programs combine a healthy diet with regular exercise.
Your workout routine for weight loss and muscle toning should include a balance of both aerobic exercise and weight training, as described by the American College of Sports Medicine in "Physical Activity & Public Health Guidelines." Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise on most days, along with eight to 10 weight-training exercises twice a week. Perform at least one set of eight to 12 reps of each weight-training exercise.
As reported in the "European Journal of Social Psychology," a 2009 study demonstrated that it takes people an average of 66 days to form a habit. This means that you should expect it to take some time before your new workout routine and your accompanying diet plan begins to feel normal. In addition, MayoClinic.com suggests that you should realistically aim to lose a half to 1 kilo per week for sustainable, healthy weight loss.
Before beginning a workout routine and switching to a healthy diet plan, undergo a thorough physical examination by a doctor to make sure you don't have any underlying health conditions that might limit your physical activities. Understand that one or two missed workouts or unhealthy meals will not ruin your overall effort. For best results, choose strength-training exercises such as squats and push-ups that work multiple muscle groups simultaneously.
Engaging in a regular workout routine that incorporates both aerobic exercise and strength training can help you lose weight and gain fitness. Coupled with a healthy diet plan, experts believe this to be the best recipe for weight loss followed by lifelong weight maintenance. The additional benefits of regular exercise include an improved self image and rise in self esteem, higher energy levels and a reduced risk of overweight and obesity-related illnesses.