Is There a Best Way to Lose Weight?

If the reason you exercise is to lose weight, you may have wondered which type of exercise will give you the best results: endurance training (like going for long runs) or strength training (like lifting weights).

recent study published in the Journal of Applied Physiology found that combined with a reduced kilojoule diet, the type of exercise might not be an important factor when it comes to weight loss.

The researchers selected 96 obese men and women to enroll in a supervised 22-week program. The participants were randomised into four different exercise groups: a strength training group did an eight-exercise circuit routine; an endurance training group did cardio exercises; a combined strength and endurance training group did a combination of cardio and circuits; and a control group was told to exercise at least 200 to 300 minutes each week, as recommended by the American College of Sports Medicine (this could include a variety of activities, such as walking and gardening).

All four groups exercised three times a week and followed a reduced-kilojoule diet designed to create a kilojoule deficit for weight loss.

So what happened? At the end of the program, everyone lost weight. There was a significant decrease in body weight among all four groups (a range of 8.5-10 kilos) – so regardless of physical activity group assignment, participants shed kilos.

This supports evidence suggesting that the most effective way to slim down is to lower your kilojoule intake while also increasing your activity level. As a runner, you probably already have a pretty high activity level and watch what you eat.

But there are ways to improve both sides of the equation and boost your chance of weight-loss success. Give the following tips a try and you’ll be on the path to permanent weight loss.

Move more

  • Take the stairs instead of the elevator. (It really does burn more kilojoules!)
  • Go on a 10 to 15 minute walking break for every hour or so spent sitting.
  • Get co-workers involved by turning lunch breaks into walking breaks and starting friendly pushup competitions in the office.
  • Leave some free weights under your desk and use them for squats and lunges.

Eat less

  • Learn how many kilokoules your body needs by signing up for a food-tracker program
  • Set goals for daily kilojoule intake (a gentle reduction of about 830 to 1600 kilojoules, so not to leave you too famished) and track your food intake.
  • Use portion control – eat from a smaller plate and serve yourself less.
  • Fill up on vegetables and other lower-kilojoule choices.

Subscribe to Runner's World

Related Articles