FIVE ways to exercise for WEIGHT LOSS

If you know how to exercise the right way, you can do less and gain more...more time, more endurance, more speed, and more confidence in meeting your goals. Here are FIVE proven ways to exercise to lose inches while building strength, endurance, and confidence!

"Let's step away from diet culture and learn to fuel and move our bodies well." -Marian McCormick RDN, CPT, CLT

1. Add INTERVAL training to your workout program. Incorporating interval training into your workout program will increase EPOC--excess post-oxygen consumption, which increases the total calories burned during and AFTER the workout. EPOC is affected by INTENSITY, more than duration, so you can exercise LESS and burn MORE calories. To add interval training (also called HIIT), add some slow/fast repeats to your bike ride, challenge yourself to some hill repeats on your next run (race up, jog or walk down), and/or do a circuit (2-4 rounds of 40 seconds of work followed by 20 second breaks). These are INTENSE workouts, and should not be done every day, but incorporating HIIT 1-3 days a week can make all the difference in creating a calorie deficit and building cardio endurance!

2. Make LIFESTYLE movements a priority. We live in a day where most ADLs (activities of daily living) are done for us or made easy. We can "blow" leaves and mow our lawns or remove snow with minimal exertion. We have remotes to change the channel or lift our garage doors. These movements add up over time. Many people today struggle with muscle imbalances (one muscle takes over another's function) leaving us with back problems and general discomfort from inadequate physical activity. This can be avoided or reversed with good body alignment and proper exercise. After the age of 30, muscle mass begins to decline, leading to weight gain and poor functional fitness. Again, this can be completely prevented or reversed by staying active EACH day. Avoid prolong periods of sitting, get up, move and stretch. Not only will you burn more calories, but your body will thank you for supporting its need to move with purpose.

3. Do compound STRENGTH training exercises. If you think cardio is the way to go for weight loss, you are partially right. Absolutely, cardio burns fat and should be incorporated most days of the week. However, strength training can induce EPOC just as much a cardio interval session. Using the right amount of weight with COMPOUND exercises blasts through calories too! The more muscle groups you recruit, the more calories you will burn!

Here are 5 compound exercises that engage the entire body and burn serious calories!

Squat to press

Sumo squat with lat pull downs

Row in plank position


Pushup to plank jack

4. AIM for 30 minutes, 5 days a week. If you are deconditioned and/or just starting out, start with 10-20 minutes 3 days a week and work your way up to at least 30 minutes 5 days a week. Weight loss requires a caloric deficit of 200-500 calories a day (more if your BMI is greater than 30). A 30 minute workout burns 150-300 calories a day depending on the intensity (remember EPOC!) and your body weight. The rest is up to you...take responsibility for your NUTRITION. On rest days, make sure you are fueling your body well and stay active.

5. Set REALISTIC goals. Weight loss requires a caloric deficit. Period. There are many ways you can do that. Exercise is just one piece of the "puzzle". In fact, you can lose weight without any exercise at all if you learn how to fuel your body. I don't recommend that, as you will miss out on all the benefits of physical activity (mood boost/depression fighter, improved insulin use, confidence booster, energy booster, and so much more!). Meet yourself where you are at when it comes to exercise. Starting an intense exercise program after months of inactivity can cause discomfort, injury, and inconsistant effort. Experiment with what works best for YOU and your lifestyle. You don't need a gym, a lot of time, (or even weights) to get in incredible shape! Weight loss requires a sincere desire to change habits. A 20-30 minute QUALITY workout 3 days a week will CHANGE YOUR BODY in just 3 weeks. It is up to YOU to stay in the ACTION stage of change. That is where the results come! If you can't be consistent, the results are only temporary. Find your "happy place" where you enjoy what you are doing and can make it part of your lifestyle.

What is a QUALITY workout program?


Monday- run/walk/bike miles for speed (challenge your pace, but keep it steady!)

Tuesday-Strength training circuit (compound exercises) or yoga

Wednesday-interval run/walk/bike (hill repeats, sports drills with cones, farlek run/walk/bike, slow/medium/fast repeats)

Thursday-Strength train (upper body/lower body/core) or yoga


Saturday-long run/walk/bike, steady state at a comfortable pace

Always listen to your body! You need to take a break from the intensity every 6 weeks or some "wellness workouts" where you do what you truly enjoy and simply stay active! Remember to eat well too!

Check out Mega Burn 2 (HITT + compound exercises) and more FREE 10, 20, and 30 minute workouts on my UTUBE channel HERE!

Marian McCormick RDN, CPT, CLT is a Registered Dietitian and women's fitness professional with a love of chocolate, her 4 boys, movies, running, and all things faith, family, food, and fitness! Join me weekly for quality meal ideas and product reviews HERE!

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