A very commonly asked question is "What's the best equipment for losing weight?" When you look at the huge range of exercise equipment available today, it can be mind-boggling. What do each bit of apparatus do? What works? What's the guarantee of weight loss? Does anyone actually know the answer?
I've put together a few facts, and quotes from authoritative sources which should help:
- FACT: Despite what some many adverts try to make you believe, there is no single piece of equipment that will help you drop fat faster than another.
- FACT: We all lose fat when we expend more energy than we consume, not by what type of apparatus we use.
- FACT: Quick weight loss is not usually permanent because our bodies don't actually burn fat very rapidly. In fact when we see a dramatic reduction in weight, it's most likely to come from water loss.
- FACT: A pound of body fat equates to approximately 3500 calories. So if you have a calorie deficit of 500 calories (meaning that you burn 500 calories more than you eat each day) you would lose approximately one pound per week: [500 X 7 days = 3500]. It's easy then to calculate that a calorie intake deficit of 1000 calories would mean that you'd lose approximately two pounds per week.
- FACT: It is widely accepted that a healthy rate for weight loss is two pounds per week.
So which do you choose: The machine that is supposed to get you the most fit; the one that burns the most calories; or the device that has least impact on your joints?
These are all valid concerns, but none of these is the most important question you should be asking yourself, says exercise physiologist Dr.Bryant A. Stamford. That question is: "Which machine do you really want to use? When it comes to exercise and weight management, a good assumption is that if someone needs to exercise for weight management, they're probably pretty easily turned off by exercise," he adds.
So instead of choosing the treadmill for the calorie-burning factor, or the elliptical trainer your friend recommended, figure out which machine feels best to you. "What is it going to take to get you compliant?" asks Dr. Stamford "Everything else is secondary."
Another industry expert, Jeremy Silva, agrees: "The best equipment for losing weight is the one you're most willing to use" he says. Sticking to a balanced eating plan will help you to manage your weight. Starving oneself or restricting your calorie intake by too much can lead to overeating later on. Instead, concentrate on nutrient dense foods rather than calorie dense ones; they will be more satisfying in the long run. During busy times, having a light snack before a party or event can help to keep hunger in check and may help prevent you from overindulging later. "The best equipment for losing weight is actually your own self-discipline!" he adds.
Remember that exercise doesn't have to be an "all or nothing" endeavour. Do your best during the busy times, and try not to let the exercising itself become a source of stress.