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  • Writer's pictureDr Susan Baxter

Do I Have To Workout Every Day To Lose Weight?

Updated: Sep 15, 2022

Most people assume that you must work out to lose weight and may even believe that working out every day is required to meet your weight loss goals. However, you do not need to work out every day and don’t need to work out at all to lose weight.

Before you stop working out, read this quick article to understand why you don’t need to work out every day or at all, but why you should include exercise in your daily life.

Why Don’t I Have To Workout To Lose Weight?

Weight loss comes down to a very simple principle of how much energy your body needs and how much energy you give it every day. If you don’t provide enough energy through food and drink, your body will use its fat and sometimes muscle reserves.

If you limit how much food and drink you consume to less than what your body requires, then it uses those reserves, and by using those reserves, you lose weight because the fat is being converted to energy and leaves your body.

If you consistently keep your energy intake low enough, you see significant weight loss that doesn’t require anything else.

What Is Required To Lose Weight Without Working Out?

Specific steps to lose weight without working out are:

  • Use an online calculator to determine your calorie requirements per day

  • Track everything you eat and ensure you know how many calories you consume.

  • Make sure that your calorie intake is lower than your calorie requirements by at least 100 calories per day.

You may need to adjust your calorie limits based on personal experience as you track calories and check your weight loss. Slowly lower your calories by another 100 per day if you’re not seeing weight loss after two weeks.

Also, ensure that you don’t increase how much you’re eating just to hit the calories the calculator tells you. You can track your calories over a week from everyday eating to see how much you usually consume and then lower that value, rather than using an online calculator.

You can check our blog about the best diet for weight loss for women, here.

Is Weight Loss Through Diet Alone Optimal?

Weight loss through diet alone is NOT optimal for your overall health, it’s possible to lose weight through diet alone, but you can improve your health through other methods and make your weight loss faster and easier by adding exercise to your regime.

Consider if weight loss alone is all you want or whether your goal is to be a healthier, better version of yourself with a longer life.

What Are The Most Efficient Workout Methods To Lose Weight?

Incorporating a workout routine into your weight loss regime is a great way to improve overall health, make your weight loss faster by burning more calories, and raise how many calories your body needs when resting due to increased muscle.

The big concern may be how many workouts you need each week to get optimal results, and you’ll be happy to know that nobody thinks you should work out every single day at the gym for health or weight loss.

At a bare minimum, you should be doing around 30 minutes of cardio at least five days per week to help with your weight loss and improve your cardiovascular health. This can be an actual workout like jumping rope, or you can walk to the store instead of driving, do some yard work, or even clean your house with some intensity.

Most Efficient Weight Loss Workouts

The most efficient weight loss workout is the one that you stick with consistently. If you try to work out too often and for too long, then you may see initial success, but it becomes a chore that you can’t keep up forever, and you’ll likely slide back into old habits.

You can get great weight loss results by adding a resistance workout 2-5 days per week. These workouts could be as short as 40-60 minutes if you’re using your time effectively and not chatting or playing on your phone.

The simplest way to explain resistance training is that you need to lift weights, dumbbells,

barbells, sacks filled with sand; otherwise, that requires you to struggle a little to move something from point a to b many times.

Research and focus on compound movements which are exercises that incorporate multiple muscle groups into the movement to limit how many exercises you need to do and how long you need to stay in the gym.

Great compound exercises:

  • Squats of any variation

  • Deadlifts

  • Overhead press

  • Bench-press

You can find your preferred exercises but try to make sure they’re not focusing on a single muscle if your goal is weight loss and efficiency in your workout.

Should I Be Doing A Lot Of Cardio For Weight Loss?

Cardio is an option to burn more energy and improve your heart health. However, it’s not

optimal to lose weight if you compare it to resistance training.

You should be doing cardio to help warm up, warm down, and improve your cardiovascular system, but you shouldn’t be doing massive amounts of cardio as your primary method of working out for weight loss.

Most dedicated cardio such as running, rowing, elliptical training, and other cardio equipment at the gym or your home does burn energy which increases how many calories your body requires on that day.

You need to perform a lot of cardio or very intense cardio to get significant results, and unlike resistance training, the results are short-lived for the time you did the cardio, as far as weight loss goes.

Does Cardio Suppress Your Appetit

Cardio suppresses your appetite during and for a short time after completing the cardio. However, what research has shown us is that while cardio does burn calories and suppresses your appetite, that is short-lived, and your appetite will rebound to be more than what it was had you not done the cardio.

So cardio can make you hungrier later and eat more, or you’ll just have to feel hungrier for the limited results you got from doing the cardio.

So, as you can see, I am happy to say that if it is weight loss alone you are after, you do not need to do exercise, but if it is to be healthier and to live longer than exercise will need to play a part!

ONE caveat I have found from YEARS of working with people is that if you have PREVIOUSLY worked out in the past and then try to lose weight and do not work out to the level that you did before, your body will resist weight loss past a certain point and it is necessary to take proactive steps from the start of your weight loss journey to accommodate that.

I can help you to be niggle free, and live a healthier life, just reach out to us and we can help! You can message us on Facebook or Instagram.

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