Training and weight loss


We all want to lose that little extra weight we carry around and training is a way to do it without changing our diets too drastically. If you need help with your diet, see the related articles at the end of this one for some ideas.

Weight loss can be achieved through cardio work such as running/jogging, cycling or even walking. For bigger muscle groups, weight training on top of cardio is very beneficial. But how do they go together?

There are two main ways to achieve weight loss through exercise. The first is the ‘show me the science’ way. This means that if you want to lose weight you need to be around in excess of 500 calories per day which is a calorie deficit. The second is the ‘feel-good’ way. This means that you do not need to be in a caloric deficit because your body will use stored fat for energy if you are doing enough exercise. This method is more suited for people who want to feel better and show off their new muscles rather than looking like an emaciated model.

The ‘show me the science’ way is more effective as it will lead to weight loss more quickly as well as fat loss as opposed to just bodyweight (water etc) which you may not want. However, this way requires a lot of cardio and weight training which can be time-consuming and boring if done excessively or incorrectly. It can also be ruinous to social life, family time, etc if taken to extremes.    

The ‘feel-good’ way will lead to weight loss at a slower rate but is more suited for the average person who wants to feel good and look good at the same time. This will require less cardio work because your body will already use stored fat for energy as you do the exercise. The problem is that this will lead to a lot of muscle loss and water weight which can be unhealthy, look bad and still leave you wanting a faster weight loss plan.

You may want to try out both ways at different stages or stick to one way depending on what suits your lifestyle more. All of the tips, tricks, and exercises in this article will help you lose weight regardless.

Calorie deficit: This is where a person eats a certain number of calories per day that will be burned by the body during exercise and daily living. If more calories are eaten than used by the body then a person will not lose weight. The equation for finding your daily calorie intake when in a deficit is [BMR x [Activity Factor]] + [Total Daily Energy Expended]. This equation can be found here.

Basically, in a calorie deficit, the body has to make up for what is not being supplied in terms of energy. This means that stored fat will be used for energy and weight loss will occur.

Weight training: Weight training is the activity that uses resistance to induce muscular contractions. This will lead to bigger, stronger muscles as well as an increase in lean body mass. Lean body mass refers to your total weight minus your fat so it includes things like water and muscle tissue. It has been found that a one-pound increase in lean body mass leads to a greater metabolic rate of 50-70 calories per day (1). This means that weight training will lead to an increase in the calorie deficit you are already in and thus faster weight loss.

Weight training also releases endorphins which act as a stimulant and has positive effects on mood, energy levels, etc. It can be very beneficial for people who are trying to lose weight as it should help them stay on track with their diet/weight loss plan.

Cardio work: This is another activity that uses large muscle groups which will also lead to weight loss, although not as much as weight training. Cardio includes things like running/jogging, cycling, or walking fast. They are all different forms of exercise which mean they will have slightly different effects on your body. The main weight loss effect of cardio is that it will lead to an increase in the calorie deficit you are already in so again, faster weight gain.

When doing cardio work, calories are burned by using up oxygen (2). This is why many people who want to lose weight tend to use cardio work because it is the easiest way to burn lots of calories.

Cardio workouts last for a certain length of time and this will determine how many calories are burned during that time. It has been found that longer cardio workouts produce better results as you will burn more calories in total (3). It has also been found that it is not necessary to do cardio workouts for a long time as small amounts of cardio combined with weight training is better for losing weight (4).

BMI: This stands for Body Mass Index and is a measure of a person’s weight-to-height ratio. There are many tools online where you can put your height and weight and it will calculate your BMI for you. It is not a perfect way to measure how healthy someone is but it gives an indication of whether they are underweight, normal weight, overweight, or obese.

Underweight <18.5 Normal Weight 18.5-25 Overweight 25-30 Obese >30

If someone is obese they would be better off losing weight than someone who is underweight. Some people with high BMIs are perfectly healthy but some are not so it depends on the individual.

The number of calories your body needs per day will vary depending on your age, gender, height, weight, and activity levels (5). For example, if you are a male aged 20 and 70kg with a height of 1.75m you would have a daily calorie intake of about 2,800 calories per day (18 kcal/kg/day * 70 kg). You can then adjust this number based on how active you are e.g. if you do weight training 5x a week there is no need to eat as much.

BMI is worked out by dividing weight in kilograms by height in meters squared e.g. 70 / (1.75 x 1.75) = 23 which is in the ‘normal range, not overweight or obese.

Summary: Overweight people who are trying to lose weight should definitely include cardio work and weight training in their weekly workouts. Cardio is the easiest way to burn the most amount of calories and also helps with weight loss maintenance as it will keep you on track with your diet. Weight training is important as well as it helps to gain muscle mass which boosts metabolism and burns more calories every day even when not exercising (i.e. when resting).

1) There are many tools online where you can put your height and weight and it will calculate your BMI for you.

2) The number of calories your body needs per day will vary depending on your age, gender, height, weight, and activity levels (5). For example, if you are a male aged 20 and 70kg with a height of 1.75m you would have a daily calorie intake of about 2,800 calories per day (18 kcal/kg/day * 70 kg). You can then adjust this number based on how active you are e.g. if you do weight training 5x a week there is no need to eat as much.

3) If someone is obese they would be better off losing weight than someone who is underweight. Some people with high BMIs are perfectly healthy but some are not so it depends on the individual.

4) It has also been found that it is not necessary to do cardio workouts for a long time as small amounts of cardio combined with weight training is better for losing weight (4).

5) For example, if you are a male aged 20 and 70kg with a height of 1.75m you would have a daily calorie intake of about 2,800 calories per day (18 kcal/kg/day * 70 kg). You can then adjust this number based on how active you are e.g. if you do weight training 5x a week there is no need to eat as much.

6) If someone is obese they would be better off losing weight than someone who is underweight. Some people with high BMIs are perfectly healthy but some are not so it depends on the individual.

7) It has also been found that it is not necessary to do cardio workouts for a long time as small amounts of cardio combined with weight training is better for losing weight (4).

the most important thing to do is be in a caloric deficit which means eat less calories than your body is using each day. This will help you to lose weight no matter what type of exercise you do (7). Making small changes such as adding some high-intensity interval training (HIIT) and resistance training into your workouts can make a big difference in boosting calorie burn while losing weight (4).