All of us exercise or should I say all of us want to exercise or at least people who are slightly heavy or are fat or feel that they feel slightly tighter in their clothes: just wish they could exercise their bulges away. Whenever  you talk to a doctor about weight loss ,you get a over simplified advice to work out more and eat less ;but I have seen that this seldom works for more than a few days unless exercise is also written as a prescription –so this is how to do it.

Shedding weight and keeping it of is a lifelong commitment. I know that: as I lost around 15 kgs 2 yrs back and have been able to keep them off. It’s not easy but a right mixture of diet and exercise can actually do the trick for most of the people who approach me as I work as a medical obesity specialist in Delhi in a hospital.

Losing weight is 50 % diet and 50% exercise.

As you start any diet routine; your dietician puts you in a calorie deficit state, you are eating less and burning more so the first few kilos come off pretty easily but the real trouble starts after the end of these first 30 days to 45 days .This occurs as you are losing weight, your body; as it is a beautiful piece of machinery; starts burning lesser and lesser calories to do the same work. This is called the slowing of your basal metabolic rate; i.e.: the rate at which you burn calories while resting, goes down. This slowing leads to stoppage of weight loss—that no matter how hard you diet, you do not appear to shed weight.

Now if you can keep your basal metabolic rate up then you can continue weightloss  .The trick is to exercise ;then a valid question is what would exercise do and what sort of exercises are helpful.

When you start losing weight, you are losing fat as well as muscle .take for example if you lose 5 kg weight then you lose 2kg muscle and 2 kg fat and 1 kg water. And now you end up having less muscle to burn that fat, so the more muscle you lose the less efficient you become at losing fat further.

So exercising to maintain muscle and burn fat. That’s the reason some amounts of weight training goes in favor of weight loss as muscle is the thing that eats away fat at rest.

At a certain heart rate the energy consumed by your body comes solely from fat. This is called: the fat burning zone. You can estimate it as 60% to 80% of maximum heart rate; maximum heart rate can be calculated by knowing your age,

Let’s take an example that you are 30 yrs old and want to lose fat then

  • Your maximum heart rate = MHR = 220- AGE = {220-30} so now that comes out as 190 so 190 beats per minute is your maximum heart rate.
  • And 60% of MHR is your target zone i.e. -114
  • And 80% of MHR is 152; so you lose maximum fat by doing any exercise that keeps your heart rate more than 114 and less than 152.

This can be achieved by brisk walks ,swimming ,light jog,going upstairs and downstairs, using cardio machines like jogger and cross trainer, dancing ,trekking and a lot other activities, but unless you do something to maintain the muscle you can’t keep the fat down.

Exercising regularly...

  1. Maintain muscles –which will eat fat.
  2. Makes body sensitive to insulin –that’s the fat burning hormone.
  3. maintains cardiovascular health so maintains blood pressure
  4. releases endorphins which make you feel good through the day.
  5. Maintains posture.

Exercise has numerous benefits but the more regular you are the more benefits you reap.