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Topic: Favorite and Most Effective Weight Loss Exercise?

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Subject: Favorite and Most Effective Weight Loss Exercise?
Date Posted: 8/29/2011 11:56 AM ET
Member Since: 2/6/2009
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As someone who is trying to get into better shape and shed some unwanted pounds from my college years (I didn't gain a freshmen fifteen, more like a senior thesis thirty!), I've been exercising on a regular basis. But even doing this for several months, I haven't seen much improvement in my weight or my clothing sizes and it has led me to wonder if I'm doing the right exercises.

What exercise or activity to you find the most effective for losing weight and getting in better shape?

Date Posted: 8/29/2011 12:41 PM ET
Member Since: 2/19/2009
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I've actually heard that exercise is not all that effective for weight loss, and that diet is more important. Which is not to say exercise is not important for your health! Obviously it has many other health benefits. I have lost about 17 pounds over a period of about 14 months, and have maintained it now for a little over a year. I did it by a combination of portion control and a lot less animal products, weight training, and aerobic exercise.

Date Posted: 8/29/2011 6:09 PM ET
Member Since: 8/13/2008
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Weight loss is 90% nutrition and 10% exercise. If you are still eating over the recommended calories for your specific body and weight loss goals, you will not see results. 

Date Posted: 8/29/2011 10:27 PM ET
Member Since: 2/6/2009
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I am working on a healthy diet. That wasn't my question. I just wanted to know about effective weight loss exercises.

Date Posted: 8/29/2011 10:50 PM ET
Member Since: 2/19/2009
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I don't know if 90 / 10 is the correct ratio, but it is certainly in that direction. Which leads me to believe that if you are not seeing results it probably has more to do with your diet than your exercise habits. Again, exercise is a factor, altho a smaller one, and it has many other benefits. Apparently weight training is particularly effective compared to other types of exercise because it builds muscle mass, and muscle tissue weighs less than fat. So if you gain muscle mass you could deceptively appear to be getting fatter according to the scale. But in that case you would notice the difference in your clothing. Anyway, the weight training program I have been using is 8 Minutes in the Morning. There's a whole series of them and several are posted here. I like it because he gives you a sequence of exercises to do over a four-week period. I don't have to figure it out myself, which is a relief since I am not an exercise physiologist and don't really know anything about how to put together a good weight-training program. But he is and he does. Yay, I don't have to do it myself!

Date Posted: 8/30/2011 6:00 PM ET
Member Since: 6/26/2006
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Well, if you want to see how many calories you'll burn doing a certain activity for an hour you can look at this table.

But I agree that diet is way more important than exercise. A lot of people find calorie counting to be effective. Just make sure you're not starving yourself, because then your body will go into "starvation mode" and hold on to the pounds.

Calculate your basal metabolic rate to figure out how many calories you burn in a day without extra exercise, and then eat less than that. You can also figure out roughly how many calories you burn just living your life, and then calculate your calories from that.

One pound = 3500 calories. To lose one pound, you need a deficit of 3500 calories.

(I'm not endorsing any of the web sites I linked to - I'm just providing them as a reference point.)

 

Date Posted: 8/30/2011 9:23 PM ET
Member Since: 6/26/2006
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I also want to add that the most effective exercise is the exercise you do. If you don't like running, try Zumba. Don't like Zumba, try spin, etc. If you don't like it, you won't be motivated to keep doing it. An hour of a lower-calorie burning exercise burns more calories than sitting on your butt.

Date Posted: 8/30/2011 9:50 PM ET
Member Since: 8/13/2008
Posts: 13,147
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It's actually a myth that muscle weighs more than fat...A pound of fat and a pound of muscle weigh just that. A pound. Muscle is more dense than fat.

Date Posted: 8/31/2011 1:21 PM ET
Member Since: 2/19/2009
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Yes Colleen, you're right. Thanks for straightening that out, I always get it mixed up.

Date Posted: 8/31/2011 6:04 PM ET
Member Since: 8/13/2008
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I didn't know it wasn't true until I started seeing a personal trainer. It makes sense though. :)

Date Posted: 9/5/2011 6:48 PM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2008
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I've read that the #1 exercise for weight loss is running.

Date Posted: 9/11/2011 2:26 PM ET
Member Since: 12/26/2008
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I started running about 4 months ago.  When I started, I could only run for 3 minutes.  Now, I run for 30 minutes (not straight--2 minutes walk, 3 minutes run, repeat) and do 30 minutes of walkiing with an incline.

I have lost nearly 20 pounds.  Not losing weight so fast, but my body has really changed.  Lost 2 dress sizes, have muscles I never saw before, and feel better than I have in years.

Running yes



Last Edited on: 9/11/11 2:27 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 9/11/2011 3:17 PM ET
Member Since: 8/31/2008
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I have lately heard that diet makes the most difference in losing weight, but all my life, on my body, it has been exercise (or lack thereof) that was key.  I seem to need fairly vigorous exercise to lose weight. 17 years ago I lost a chunk of weight by jogging 3 miles ~every other day for about 6 months.  (I jogged because I could never lose weight by walking even when I walked a lot everyday.) I did not diet.  Since then, I have gained a lot of weight, and have various joint issues so jogging is out of the question.  I have tried cutting calories a fair bit, but it NEVER resulted in weight loss.  This summer I swam 29 miles. I lost 6 pounds.  That is not a lot, but I could not have lost those pounds by merely dieting.  I think I am one of those people that dieting only serves to reduce my metabolism.  Exercise is the key, but I have joint and foot issues that make it hard to exercise.

So, if I could still jog or run, that takes the weight off best for me.  I have a friend who lost 50 lbs doing weight training.  She is convinced that a person can do aerobics all day and not lose an once.  She believes the weight machines are the key.  I am now thinking that the most effective exercise varies from person-to-person.

Date Posted: 9/25/2011 9:14 PM ET
Member Since: 12/7/2007
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I also want to add that the most effective exercise is the exercise you do. If you don't like running, try Zumba. Don't like Zumba, try spin, etc. If you don't like it, you won't be motivated to keep doing it.

^ Yeah, that.  You have to find the motivation that works for you, IMO. 

Running burns a LOT of calories.  I love to run.  I started after baby #2 was born and I didn't have many exercise options besides running around the park while I pushed the girls in a jogging stroller.  Now, just about 3.5 years later I'm training for my second marathon.  Racing keeps me motivated...not only do I work out insane amounts of hours, but I also keep my diet really clean because food is now fuel for my runs and that's about it. 

You do hit a point of diminishing returns with running, though.  Once I was up to 35 miles a week or so, it became hard to drop anything because you have to eat SO much and you are SO hungry.  I actually gained a couple pounds in marathon training/after the race.  So once the race was done I dropped my mileage, and added some strength work in the form of yoga, mostly...plus a lot of swimming and some biking.  The combination of those things, plus watching my diet very closely, helped me drop the last 10 pounds to get to my pre-baby #1 weight which I hadn't been at since 2004. 

Date Posted: 10/31/2011 9:17 PM ET
Member Since: 4/16/2008
Posts: 1,356
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To put my dime in.....I started working with a trainer and he has me doing free weights.  I have lost inches but not a lot of pounds.  He told me that he can help with the size, but the weight has to come from diet.  I thought I would hate lifting weights, turns out I love it and I hate missing when I get sick or have business that has to be done in the evening.  You can get a good cardio work out just from lifting weights.

Date Posted: 11/13/2011 8:16 PM ET
Member Since: 11/28/2008
Posts: 3,365
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I like weights too:) I do weights 2 times a week, cardio(walking or an exercise DVD) 3 times.  Even with my exercise DVD's though I like to have the weighted gloves on. I am really enjoying the weights and they seem to help quite a bit. I watch my diet but nothing major. Salads, chicken, fish, etc. But I also have my days where I don't eat right at all:) Stick with it and find something you enjoy doing. I have the exercise game for the Wii and I liked it but I didn't stick with it. I prefer doing my walking and weights. My sister on the other hand loved the Wii exercises. Let us know how you are doing though:)

Date Posted: 12/12/2011 7:22 AM ET
Member Since: 2/19/2007
Posts: 1,610
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P90X is the BEST

Date Posted: 12/14/2011 12:21 PM ET
Member Since: 1/20/2007
Posts: 1,898
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I'll put in my vote for running, combined with strength training. You may not see the scale move, but you WILL see your body change if you keep at it. I'm constantly blown away by what I see in the mirror since I started running.

Date Posted: 12/21/2011 5:44 PM ET
Member Since: 3/13/2009
Posts: 8,022
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The gym in my apartment complex has quite a few pieces of equipment.

I normally trade off between the treadmill and the all-in-one weight machine.  If I'm feeling lazy, I have free weights in the house that I'll do sets on while watching a movie or something.  I occasionally use the eliptical, but I don't like the bike or the stair-stepper.

I haven't lost any weight, but I've gone down a pants size and a shirt size, so that's good enough for me.  I'm also a lot more toned.  Weight isn't everything and I'm happy with my shape right now.

Date Posted: 1/20/2012 10:01 PM ET
Member Since: 2/11/2011
Posts: 2,886
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zumba

Date Posted: 1/24/2012 9:47 AM ET
Member Since: 10/27/2007
Posts: 2,284
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For about 3 months now I have been doing Pilates and Spin class twice a week.  Last week I dropped a Spin and added a Circut Training class using lots of weights.  I was sore the first day but this week I am back for more. 

Date Posted: 6/11/2013 1:29 PM ET
Member Since: 6/8/2013
Posts: 1,022
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Doesn't look like this thread has been visited in over a year but a good website to check out for fitness is tribesports.com. There are a ton of exercise and diet ideas there and if you are active on the site, it's a great place to keep yourself accountable to your health.

Date Posted: 6/17/2013 1:12 AM ET
Member Since: 5/22/2013
Posts: 28
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Abdominal Exercises which keeps our body shape keen..

Date Posted: 11/27/2014 9:33 PM ET
Member Since: 9/9/2007
Posts: 131
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Walking, hiking, stretching, belly dancing, and portion control works for me.  Cut out fast food.   I have lost 25 lbs and am at my ideal weight and strength.  I'm 60+

Date Posted: 12/6/2014 8:10 AM ET
Member Since: 2/2/2011
Posts: 1,657
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Calorie counting plus strength training, running, walking, elliptical helped me lose 8 lbs. I have added yoga and love it!  

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