How Much Exercise To Lose Weight

icon image fat man on couch how much exercise to lose weight

Why make losing weight any more difficult than necessary?

Everyone knows it takes exercise to lose weight, right?


We’ve all been seduced by the ads.

The ones that make us think we can take a pill, and skip exercising altogether.

Most of us can’t lose weight like that?

You’ll need to make some changes to your diet


add exercise to your diet plans.

But how much exercise to lose weight does it really take?

I’m going to give you a look into the 3 most important variables when it comes to combining focused exercise along with a change in diet to lose weight. Those variables are:

  • Type of workout and intensity
  • The type of calories you’re eating
  • How much weight to lose and how quick you expect to lose it

Why there’s no clear cut answer to how much exercise it takes

The number of minutes, hours, reps, or even which activity works best is just not something that can be answered?

The reason is simple enough, the variables differ from person to person.

However, I know you would like some sorta roadmap, right?

So we are going to delve into the 3 main variables to help you come up with how much exercise you should shoot for with your own own diet.

How Much Exercise Must I Do To Lose Weight?

You’ll see that these are the three common sense questions to ask yourself about exercising, so let’s get started.

1. Exercise Type and Intensity

back of woman running for exercise to lose weight

Here’s a key component of exercising: what type of training will you start doing, and how intense will your workouts be?

Doing high intensity Cardio will burn quite a few more calories than your normal walking routine, so you must consider how you will actually exercise, right?

The thing about intensity and calorie intake is this:

The more intense the exercise, the more calories you burn. However, the more intense your workout – the more energy you’ll need.

Eating the right foods can help you cut calories and maintain energy levels at the same time, and that’s what you’ll need to lose weight.

A healthy diet that produces energy while cutting the calories that needlessly add fat to your body.

Here’s a post on what to eat before you workout to keep your energy levels up.

I don’t know what types or intensity levels you’re up to doing, but generally speaking:

Aerobic type of exercises take longer to impact your weight loss goals.

Fitness routines to lose weight like jogging, biking, treadmills, or elliptical machines usually take many more hours a week for meaningful impacts on your body.

However, I’m not trying to discourage you from this type of workouts, they are great for your weight and general health, just slower than anaerobic activities.

If you’re fitness level is up to it, sprinting, resistance training, interval training with HIIT techniques will simply be more effective. Check this post to learn more about losing weight with cardio training and running.

Fitness Levels Determine How Much Exercise

In order to safely engage in high intensity training you’ll need to be fairly fit, or either make certain you do not try to accomplish the levels of exercise a more fit person would engage in.

In other words, take your time and learn to enjoy both exercise and watching the pounds drop as you body changes slowly.

Check out this page at Harvard Medical School that list many different exercise types and how many calories you can expect to burn with each.

2. Calories Consumed and Calorie Quality

Calipers on sandwich counting calories to lose weight

I think we all recognize that for any weight loss to occur you’ll need to consume less calories than you are using on a daily basis, right?

The fact is that no matter how many calories you’re burning with exercise, if you are still consuming more than you’re using — you’re not likely to see any weight loss.

One thing to do is start keeping a record of your daily calorie intake.

Knowing how many calories you are eating along with how many you are using with your exercise routine is key.

Where are your calories coming from?

When it comes to your health, and losing weight, all calories aren’t the same. So, you’ll need to take into account that the source is just about as important as the amount.

In other words, 1000 calories of fresh vegetables, meat, fish, fruits, and nuts are going to serve your efforts much better than 1000 calories from potato chips and sweet treats.

So up to this point, you can see that if you are aware of how many calories you ate daily to get you overweight, you can see that by cutting them by degrees will give you a caloric deficit.

How many calories does it take to maintain my body and energy levels? And how many calories does it take to lose weight?

I’ve got a couple of methods to help you decide what your calorie deficit should be: one you calculate, the other with a calorie calculator.1. How to figure your own calories?

Get out the calculator and use this formula to determine how many calories it takes to maintain your present weight:

655 + (4.35 x your weight in pounds) + (4.7 x your height in inches) – (4.7 x your age in years)

I have always found that by cutting my calories by about 25% daily along with moderate exercise will cause me to lose from 1 – 1 1/2 pounds a week.

As far as I am concerned this is all I need to cut to stay healthy and maintain my energy levels.2.

Where to find a calorie calculator?

Here’s the best free online calorie calculator I know about and it will also indicate what your calorie intake should be to lose 1 pound and 2 pounds a week.

I highly recommend this calculator because it has tons of great information when it comes to your weight and calorie consumption.

Back to the point:

If you get yourself on a low calorie diet, it naturally follows that it will take less exercise to lose weight.

Merely walking for 30-45 minutes 3 or 4 times a week could be your training routine to see real results while cutting your calorie intake.

3. What is the Weight Loss Goal and How Quick Do You Expect It?

Now this is probably the most important variable: what is your own goal for losing weight and how quick do you want it to happen. If you’re starting any diet with the hopes of dropping a few pounds, or a lot, without a plan — your efforts may be doomed from the start?

What is your goal? If it’s to lose about 5 pounds in a couple of months, that should be an achievable goal for most any one. In fact, you could probably reach that goal without much or any exercise at all?

Exercise is Vital to Weight Loss and Health

However, exercising 20-30 minutes a day a few days a week could not only make that happen quicker, it could also be responsible for better health, lower blood pressure, and cholesterol.

On the other hand, if you plan to lose 25-30 pounds in that couple of months: you just changed the equation drastically, didn’t you?

For this to happen, you’ll need a lot more exercise, and at some point you’ll need to turn to high intensity exercising. You should also plan on taking care that you are drastically altering your eating habits to both cut the foods that got you overweight, while eating foods to keep your energy levels up.

How to bring it all together and make the right exercise choices to lose weight?

I have gone over the most important variables and included both the calorie calculator and the list of calorie burn for you.

These should give you a much better estimate about how much exercise you need to lose weight each day and week.

Your own exercise plan is going to hinge on:

  • Your fitness level
  • Calorie intake
  • Quality of food consumed
  • Type of exercise
  • Exercise intensity level
  • Willingness to get it done

I would say that the first thing to do is to take a realistic look at where you’re starting from, decide on realistic goals and time frames, take a look at your fitness level, and make a plan accordingly.

The main thing to remember is that losing weight without exercise is so difficult most people give up before ever expierencing any real weight loss. So if you’re planning to lose weight, plan to exercise.

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