In order to lose weight, you must achieve a caloric deficit in which you consume fewer calories than you burn. Your body will then rely upon stored fat for energy, causing you to lose weight. For each pound you want to lose, you’ll need to burn 3,500 calories more than you eat. By making permanent lifestyle changes, such as adding regular gym workouts to your weekly routine and following a nutritious diet, you can lose weight and keep the pounds off.
Intensity of Your Workout
Moderate- to high-intensity aerobic exercise provides the most efficient way to burn calories and lose weight. Moderate aerobic exercises such as brisk walking on a treadmill or leisurely biking on a stationary bike should elevate your heart rate and cause you to breathe faster. Vigorous exercise should increase your heart rate and breathing rate even more, making it difficult for you to carry on a conversation during the workout. Most gyms have a variety of machines that can provide vigorous aerobic workouts, including treadmills and stair climbers. If you pedal faster or at high resistance levels, you can also get a vigorous workout on an elliptical trainer or a stationary bike.
Duration of Your Workout
You can break up your aerobic exercise into shorter periods if necessary, but exercise for at least 10 minutes at a time to get the health benefits of an aerobic workout that elevates your heart rate. To lose weight, you may need to exercise for more than the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommended weekly 150 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic exercise. The longer you spend exercising, the more calories you will burn.
Burn more calories and boost your stamina by adding intervals of higher-intensity exercise to your workouts. For example, if you typically jog at 5 mph on the treadmill, try to run at 7 or 8 mph for two minutes every 10 minutes, or for the duration of a favorite song or two on your workout play list.
A one-hour gym workout can burn plenty of calories to keep you on track for steady weight loss. In half an hour, a 200-lb. adult can burn 455 calories with low-impact aerobics, 533 calories with biking at less than 10 to 19 mph, and 644 calories with running at 8.6 mph.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Physical Activity for a Healthy Weightrel="nofollow"
- Harvard Health Publications: Harvard Medical School: Calories Burned In 30 Minutes for People of Three Different Weightsrel="nofollow"
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: How Much Physical Activity do Adults Need?rel="nofollow"
- Chris Clinton/Digital Vision/Getty Images
This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or JillianMichaels.com.