Whether you are beginning a new fitness routine or find yourself plateauing with your current plan, you probably want to know if what you’re doing now is adequate or if it is time to switch things up.
The four considerations we tackle today will help you choose the best workout for your weight loss goals.
But first, let’s consider what it takes to make fat loss happen.
Calorie Deficits and Weight Loss
A caloric deficit is required to achieve fat loss. Focusing on your intake and output of calories ensures that you consume fewer calories than you burn.
Training is an integral part of building muscle. When building muscle, you expend calories, contributing to a greater output while also working to increase your metabolic rate, which directly correlates to your muscle mass. Your total daily energy expenditure includes the number of calories you burn at rest and the calories you expend through your daily movement, including training.
If you find it challenging to maintain a deficit, feel burnout during training sessions, or are not sure where to start when it comes to calculating and tracking calories, consider utilizing a nutrition coach to understand these needs and support you through the process.
Four Things to Consider When Choosing the Best Workout For Your Goals
There are four primary considerations when choosing the best workout for your goals, including a consistent movement routine, a positive mindset, a healthy support system, and a routine you love.
1: A Consistent Movement Routine
A consistent movement routine supports fat loss regarding your average caloric output. Therefore, finding ways to build a consistent routine will be the greatest plan for fat loss, as you will be more likely to execute and stick with your workout routine.
Scheduling movement into your routine and planning based on your weekly schedule is a great place to start until training becomes a part of your daily routine.
Depending on your schedule, it is best to try to workout at the same time each day to build the habit and find consistency daily. It is helpful to treat it like an appointment or book your class ahead of time if you are in a group training environment so you will be sure to follow through on this commitment to yourself and your goals.
2. A Positive Mindset
When you are not where you want to be, it can be easy to get down on the process and throw in the towel. Therefore, the best way to maintain your process and achieve results is to maintain a positive mindset.
Mindset practices can be intentionally incorporated through practices such as gratitude journaling and focusing on what is going well. Finding a workout routine that you enjoy is going to have a significant impact on your mindset as it will help you to focus on your fitness progress while enjoying the process. A healthy and effective outlet for activity will also support feelings of gratitude for what your body is capable of.
Some examples of movement that support a positive mindset include movement in nature, whether walking, running, hiking, biking, or skiing. Another excellent movement practice to support a positive mindset is yoga due to the intention of mindfulness and gratitude during that practice.
3. A Healthy Support System
A healthy support system is another element that may be a helpful consideration when deciding which workout is most effective in achieving your weight loss goals. You may have this in your partnership or close friendships, or you may want additional support in this area.
If you have very few people in your life who are supportive of your goals, you may want to join a community fitness group with built-in accountability, support, and encouragement.
Support systems can include like-minded individuals with similar goals and are often found in exercise groups or clubs. You may find that the people you train with can keep you on track with gym goals, in addition to being a great support in healthy lifestyle practices outside of the gym, including nutrition and healthy social events.
CrossFit, run clubs, intramural sports, and combat sports are all examples of fitness hubs that come with a sense of team comradery and support. Some days you may not want to workout, but you want to go see your friends. Going to socialize and leaving with a great workout meets two needs and keeps you moving forward toward your weight loss goals.
If you are having difficulty finding a healthy support system or would like additional support in your journey, you may consider hiring a nutrition coach to help with scheduling, commitments, encouragement, and accountability.
4. A Routine You Love
The greatest workout for you is likely a combination of what you enjoy and look forward to doing each day, what supports the greatest output, what leaves you feeling the best in your body and your mind, and potentially includes a healthy support system.
It is also essential to consider what is going to support the greatest caloric output in the long term rather than from one workout alone. There is often a debate between cardio output and resistance training in determining what is best for weight loss goals.
Cardio Vs. Resistance Training
Cardio lovers often preach the effectiveness of their training modality due to the amount of calories expended during their training sessions. Similarly, strength training advocates say that the greatest caloric output is a result of resistance training due to the increase in metabolic rate and calories burned at rest that come with an increase in muscle mass.
As mentioned previously, our caloric output will include calories burned at rest and our daily movement. Therefore, there is no right or wrong answer. The most important thing is determining what resonates with you at this stage in your journey. What feels manageable to you? This may change during different seasons in your weight loss journey. Both are excellent forms of movement that can support your weight loss goals.
Similar to our flexible approach to nutrition with the process of tracking macros, you do not need to put yourself in one camp or another and solely live there. You can integrate both forms of movement through various modalities.
Cardio comes in many forms, including trail running, swimming, cycling, skiing, triathlon training, and intramurals such as soccer or hockey clubs. Resistance training includes body weight resistance that can be found in activities including yoga, jiu-jitsu, CrossFit gymnastics, and more! You can only reveal what is already there. So, resistance training may align best with your weight loss goals, as the combination of muscle gain and fat loss results in a “toned” body composition.
Do What You Love, Love What You Do
With all of this in mind, consider what you want to do and prioritize that over what you feel you need to do to make the greatest impact on your life, from weight loss goals to longevity.
Remember, your weight loss journey can be enjoyable and effective. Consider building a consistent exercise routine that supports a positive mindset and provides community. This will have the greatest impact on achieving and maintaining your goals.
Life Is Good said it best, “Do what you love, love what you do.” It is also okay for your workout preferences to change over time or even seasonally. Explore new outlets, find what you love in your current season, and keep your steady movement habits regardless of what you are actively participating in. Keep moving; keep exploring!