Overweight and obese individuals’ main health goal is to shed off extra pounds and as many find it very difficult to control their diet, they make intensive exercise their last option. As some of these individuals still fail through physical activities while others barely know much time they need to spend on exercise, Your Healthy Life seeks to share an idea of how much exercise individuals need to lose weight and some views of experts on the amount of exercise to be executed to achieve a satisfactory weight loss.
How Much Exercise Do We Need To Lose Weight?
Energy intake versus energy expenditure brings about energy balance. Energy intake also known as calorie intake involves the food we consume while energy expenditure entails basal metabolic rate and physical activity.
The difference between energy intake and energy expenditure is the energy balance. If your energy intake is more than your energy expenditure then you will obtain a positive energy balance.
Energy expenditure depends on the start bodyweight, basal metabolic rate, and physical activity. The amount of exercise or physical activity needed to lose weight usually depends or is influenced by the frequency, intensity, type, and time of this activity. 100g of french fries has about 300kcal. Energy intake from the consumed 100g of French fries is equivalent to the energy expenditure by moderate walking for 30-60 minutes at 3miles per hour (Mph). A man walking for 3Mph will expend about 300kcal the same as what was consumed in the 100g of French fries. If that man walks daily for 1h at 3Mph, he is bound to experience weight loss assuming he does not consume extra calories since he will have a net negative energy balance (calorie deficit). Bodyweight is reduced if he continues this process 3 to 4 months. This is because his energy expenditure is greater than his energy intake.
If he continues to do the same exercise (1h of moderate walking) daily after this weight loss, his weight is likely not going to decrease but remain constant (plateau). This usually frustrates individuals that despite regular walking, they find no change in their body weight. This plateau or no change in body weight arises because, with decrease body weight, there is a decrease in basal metabolic rate (BMR)-according to mechanisms in medicine. Your total energy expenditure decreases whenever your basal metabolic rate reduces. As most individuals may give up or quit this exercise due to no change in body weight, the weight is gained again, and in some more rapidly. The weight is regained due to a decrease in energy expenditure which makes the energy intake to be greater than the energy expenditure (due to no physical activity) hence a positive energy balance.
However, if that individual didn’t stop but kept the duration and intensity of that physical activity (moderate walking at 3Mph) without any changes in the diet, the man enters a state of weight maintenance characterized by gaining a minimal amount of weight. Weight maintenance is brought by energy balance where the energy expenditure is nearly equal to the energy intake. No change in energy balance leads to no change in weight. So, to end the weight loss plateau or maintain a negative energy balance, we must decrease our calorie intake or increase our calorie burn. Some ways to do so include restricting our calorie intake or increasing the intensity, frequency, or duration of the exercise. So if the man continues his exercise at an increasing pace, he is likely to experience a continual decrease in his weight.
The 3500 Calorie Deficit Rule.
A calorie is the SI unit of energy and it is the amount of energy needed to raise the temperature of 1g of water by 1. A calorie deficit or negative energy balance arises when the amount of calories used by the body during metabolism (energy expenditure) exceeds the amount of calorie intake and when your body lacks calories to perform all its functions. As a result, your body obtains its energy and fuel from stored fat found in the belly and hips in particular. When fat is burned, we lose weight.
Keeping ourselves active via exercise or physical activity by increasing the number of calories our body needs at constant calorie intake, we are likely to achieve a calorie deficit.
The 3500 calorie deficit rule brought forth by many experts simply states that 3500 calories are equivalent to 1 pound of weight loss and this can be achieved in a week. This theory was founded by Max Wishnosky in 1958 and reported in his textbook Modern Nutrition in Health and Disease, and later updated by Dr. Kevin Hall and Dr. DM Thomas (International Journal of Obesity).
During exercise, if we burn 10 calories in 1 workout, then we would need 3500 /10, which is 350 workouts to burn 3500 calories. Burning 100 calories in one workout would need 35 workouts to roast 3500 calories to lose 1 pound of body weight per week.
It is recommended to do moderate-intensity exercise for 200 minutes (greater than 3 hours) with a healthy diet each week for those wishing to have rapid results on weight loss. And those with a low-calorie diet with exercise can do for more than 2 hours per week.
Other experts recommend you make aerobic exercise your friend at least 3 times a week with a healthy diet of course if you wish to attain satisfactory results. Each session of exercise may be done for 15 to 20 minutes or even more if you wish to be aggressive with your result.
Data from the National Health and Nutritional Examination Survey reports that low levels of recreational physical activity were linked to a 3 fold greater risk of weight gain in men and approximately 4 folds in ladies. However, this survey did not mention the quality of the diet of the respective individuals.
Others proposed moderate physical activity for close to 60min/day which has proven to maintain normal weight or gaining of fewer than 2.3 kg over 13 years in ladies.
The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) recommends 150-250mins/week of moderate to vigorous physical activity with an energy equivalent of 1200 to 2000kcal/week.
Moreover, physical activity levels of 225 to 300 mins/week has been proven to prevent one with normal weight from becoming overweight or an overweight individual to become obese. Supportive evidence emphasized that people who exercised in more than 200mins/week (-13.1kg) lost more weight compared to those who exercised between 150-199mins/week (-8.5kg) as well as those who exercised in barely 150mins/week (-3.5kg).
Obese individuals who have successfully attained positive results on weight loss need a substantial amount of physical activity for weight maintenance. If this is the case, then physicians need to keep on reminding their patients that weight loss may not occur from a physical activity program except the given amount of exercise training is well above the minimum recommended values.