While 8 hours of exercise a week is the best thing you can do to lose weight, it’s sometimes difficult to fit into your schedule enough time to maintain the weight loss you’ve worked so hard to achieve. If you have only 8 hours of time each week, would it really be enough to keep the weight off? That depends on how you use that time! Read on for some ideas about how you can lose weight through exercise in as little as an hour a day or even less!
8 Hours Of Exercise A Week
There are several health benefits that come with an active lifestyle. Not only will you be healthier, but your weight management efforts will be more successful as well. For example, people who exercise regularly have higher metabolisms and lower levels of body fat than those who don’t. Physical activity can also decrease blood pressure and reduce stress, both of which are tied to higher risk for obesity and heart disease.
In fact, one study found that overweight and obese people who maintained a consistent exercise program over time lowered their risk for developing Type 2 diabetes by up to 70 percent (2). It goes without saying that reducing excess fat is beneficial for keeping overall weight in check, too! Plus, regular workouts can improve cholesterol levels and boost energy—both significant factors in maintaining healthy weight.
The Problem with Weighing Yourself Daily
Studies have shown that people who weigh themselves daily are more likely to have weight-loss goals because they notice changes in their weight. But we don’t recommend getting on that scale every day, or even every week. Scales aren’t always accurate, and daily weigh-ins can cause people to obsess over weight fluctuations instead of focusing on all those other health indicators, like eating healthy and getting exercise.
Plus, weighing yourself too often can throw off your body image—how you feel about your body isn’t always an accurate reflection of how much fat you actually have. If you are concerned about your weight, check your progress (and what needs improvement) once a month—it’s usually enough to keep tabs on things without causing obsession.
No More Expectations, Only Habits
Our bodies are essentially machines programmed to follow habits. If you want to shed pounds, you need to program your body to burn calories at certain times of day and not at others. Research suggests that developing specific eating habits may be one of most effective ways to keep weight off long-term, which is why when I got down to 155 pounds, I chose not just to lose weight—but also develop healthy eating habits that would stick with me for life. You’ll learn how in just a minute… but first let’s talk about why creating healthy habits really works.
Don’t Try to Lose 15 Pounds in 3 Months
Crash diets often lead to quick weight loss, but because those pounds are lost from both fat and muscle, they’re harder to keep off in the long term. You could also lose water weight, which can be regained just as quickly as it came off.
A slow, steady approach might mean giving up some of your favorite foods at first; however, you can develop better eating habits over time. Use exercise as an aid for your overall weight-loss plan—not an excuse not to pay attention to what you eat. Consider counting calories if you find yourself obsessing over every bite of food that passes your lips. Most people overestimate their calorie intake by at least 25 percent! A good rule of thumb is that one pound equals 3,500 calories.
Small Changes Make Big Impacts
Small lifestyle changes, like cutting out just one soda from your diet each day, can make a huge difference in your health over time. People who made that small change, for example, reduced their daily calorie intake by 1,971 calories each week! That’s over 10 pounds per year. So while you might think that cutting out 8 hours of exercise each week is only going to have a minor impact on your weight loss goals—it could have a serious effect. It all comes down to energy balance and making small changes towards living healthier is an excellent way to achieve success in your weight loss journey.
How To Move More When Sitting at Your Desk All Day
Instead of just being glued to your chair all day, we’re encouraging you to get up and move around at least once an hour. Don’t worry, it doesn’t have to be for that long — just go for a short walk or do some light stretches. In our experience, no matter how much exercise you do throughout your day, if you sit still all day at work your body will continue storing fat like crazy. Getting up and moving around will help with weight loss because muscle requires more energy than fat, so it’s a good idea to jump up and move every hour or two when possible.