Is there such a thing as the best exercise for weight loss?
Before we get into it, I want to start things off by saying It’s not your fault why you’re not losing weight with whatever exercise you’ve tried to do up until this point.
Raise your hand if you’ve ever seen a video or read a magazine that says ‘5 exercises to lose belly fat.’ And they’re usually selling a workout program or some sort of equipment.
So you try it. You give it an honest effort. You even add in some sit ups for good measure.
But it doesn’t work.
In fact, nothing has worked in your quest to find the best exercise for weight loss. And that should sound familiar, right?
You do your sit ups, crunches, planks. But you look in the mirror and you look the same. You’re not getting a good return on your investment.
And this is what 95% of people that go to the gym every day do. The really messed up part is this is what a lot of personal trainers and a lot of so called experts want you to believe.
In this video, I’m going to show you the best exercise to lose weight. It’s definitely not what you think it is.
Let’s talk about conventional exercise wisdom. Because exercise is often considered one of the key pillars of weight loss. So let’s talk about two crucial concepts about it.
The Best Exercise For Weight Loss: Concept #1
First is the concept of calories burned during your workout. And the overcompensation effect that comes with it.
The connection is supposedly calories and exercise is the great equalizer. The concept being you can just burn off whatever you eat. That’s why you’ve got ellipticals, and bikes with monitors, and everyone’s got a smart watch or a fit bit.
And it seems like a pretty straight forward concept. And it ties in closely to the ‘Calories In VS Calories Out’ model.
Let’s say, you eat a McDonalds blueberry muffin which has 430 cals and 31g of sugar. You can just go for a run or go on the elliptical or lift some weights until you’ve accumulated 430 and you’re breakeven. We’re all happy and everyone lived happily ever after.
But it doesn’t work like that. That shouldn’t be breaking news.
Now I want you to understand a very important concept about exercise and diet. And this is what a lot of personal trainers and “experts” don’t talk about. But this is going to shatter your reality.
The pathways involved when you exercise vs when you eat are two completely different things. For this to make sense, we need to talk a little bit about basic human physiology.
Let’s go back to the muffin example. Muffins are made out of refined carbs and sugar. When you eat it, your body metabolizes all that sugar and turns it into glucose. And it’s going to cause the hormone insulin to go up to deal with all that extra glucose in your body. Any extra glucose that doesn’t get used up gets stored as fat.
All you have to remember is processed carbs, sugar, and artificial sweeteners spikes the hormone insulin the most. And high insulin blocks fat burning. I want you to remember that concept because we’re gonna come back to it in a second.
Now if you eat the foods I just mentioned repeatedly over time, it’s gonna cause a fatty build up in your liver which cause insulin resistance and fatty liver disease.
So eating a muffin, a granola bar or a protein bar isn’t good for you. It’s fattening.
But it’s not a very good marketing tool if you’re one of these companies that makes protein bars and say that your product is fattening. So you have to sort of sell it that it’s not that bad for you.
As long as you exercise, you can eat muffins. Or get that extra protein to build muscle by eating this protein bar. Or that you should fuel your workout with gatorade and BCAA. And they use professional athletes to market this stuff and everyone thinks it’s good for you. But you’re literally just drinking liquid sugar or you’re eating a glorified snickers bar by eating that protein or granola bar.
But people justify it because they worked out.
Now let’s talk about some of the benefits of working out. If you do some sort of cardio workout, you’re getting your heart to pump and that strengthens it. Do it longer and you can start doing marathons. If you do resistance training, you’re working out your muscles.
The number one problem with exercise
You can exercise your muscles but you can’t exercise your liver. They’re completely different physiological mechanisms. Yes, you’ll get stronger and some people will argue that exercise can deplete muscle glycogen. Yes, you’ll deplete some of the excess energy in your body but very inefficiently. And this concept mostly applies to professional athletes training all day. And they have access to top professionals to take cook their meals.
But at the end of the day, exercise has nothing to do with the liver which is what processes all the calories you eat. At no point do they intersect. They’re completely different pathways.
Remember, I mentioned earlier that high insulin from eating a lot of refined carbs, sugar, and artificial sweeteners blocks fat burning.
This is why you see those poor souls at the gym who spends hours at the gym on the elliptical or the stair master, they do their spin classes or they do 1000 thousand sit ups, because they’ve been sold that whatever they’re doing is the best exercise for weight loss but they don’t see any result for their efforts. They still look the same.
They’re frustrated and they think it’s their fault because they’re just not working out hard enough. You are. You’re just not working on the right things.
And this is super clichè but so true. You can’t outwork a bad diet. If you hear anyone say that “Just do this one exercise and you’ll get a six pack. This is the best exercise for weight loss. Just do this one thing!” They’re lying to you.
80% of your weight loss results will come from your diet. The other 20% comes from lifestyle choices and that includes sleep, stress, your social interactions, and exercise.
You know this is true because two of my students inside the Fat Loss Accelerator transformed their bodies without exercise. One of them lost 25 lbs of fat and went down 6 dress sizes and my other client lost 5 inches off his waist. They were both dealing with injuries so they couldn’t really exercise but they still lost a lot of body fat.
The problem is, most of the general population think diet and exercise are equal parts in terms of fat loss. They’re not. Most people focus on exercise. The 20% part. And it’s not even 20%. It’s maybe 10% of the equation.
And people fumble their way with the 80% part of the equation which is their diet. A lot of people think they’re eating “healthy”, but they’re not. Spoiler alert: they’re not.
The Best Exercise For Weight Loss: Concept #2
Now the other exercise concept that I wanna talk about is the idea of being able to spot treat yourself. Because I get asked all the time, “What’s the best exercise to get rid of my love handles?” or “What’s the best exercise to get rid of the excess fat around your arms?”, or “What’s the best exercise for weight loss?”
Listen, you cannot spot treat yourself. You can’t go, “I’m gonna do 100 sit-ups every day to lose my belly fat.” Or, “I’m gonna do 100 bicep curls to get rid of my arm fat.”
It won’t work. And you should already know that.
I’m not saying sit ups don’t work. But you’re not gonna see the results until you’ve gotten rid of all the fat on top of your muscles.
The best exercise for weight loss is five sets of not eating so much crap. Seriously. That’s the plain honest truth about it.
If you focus on the 80% part of the fat loss equation and turn yourself into a fat burner where you have metabolic flexibility, your body will target all the unwanted fat in your body and burn it off. No amount of exercise can do that for you.
This is how David who you met at the video above was able to lose 70 lbs and completely transform his body. He focused on the 80% part of the equation. He exercises for maybe an hour a week.
And that’s the other point that I wanted to make. You want to focus on quality over quantity when it comes to your workouts.
What I mean by that is you don’t have to be doing chronic cardio where your spending hours on the treadmill or the stair master. Or you’re doing a million isolation movements. There’s a lot of studies now that shows that you can get the same benefits of doing hours of cardio by simply doing a few minutes of high intensity interval training or HIIT for short.
I want you to think less, but better when it comes to your workouts.
At the same time, you wanna be inconsistent with your workouts. What I mean by that is you want to vary the types of workouts that you do.
Think about it this way. Our ancestors walked at least 5 miles every day. When was the last time you walked for 5 minutes?
In between those 5 mile walks, they would go hunting or they were being hunted which means they were sprinting all out, they would climb trees or hike mountains when they were in gathering mode, they would build shelters so they would be lifting heavy rocks, and so on.
Our ancestors did NOT wake up at 6 am every morning to go to their spin class and sit on a desk for 8 hours every day. Do you know what I mean?
So add variety to your workouts. Maybe go for a 30 minute walk one day. Go for an all out sprint the next day. Go hiking. Then lift really heavy weights one day. Then do HIIT the next day. Your workouts doesn’t have to be confined within the four walls of the gym. You want to always find ways to move your body even outside the gym. Take the stairs instead of the elevator very once in a while. Park your car further. Your goal is to avoid prolonged periods of inactivity.
Listen, exercise is good for you. You should do some form of it every day. It’s like brushing your teeth. It has lots of benefits. You get stronger, fitter, you build muscle and other good stuff, but weight loss is not one of them.
So diet is diet, and exercise is exercise. Just don’t confuse the two. If you have weight to lose, that’s a dietary problem. You need to fix it with diet. You can’t fix it with exercise. If you want to train for a marathon or build muscle, that’s an exercise problem.
They do go hand like peanut butter and jelly. It’s not like you can just diet and build muscle. If you diet, you’ll lose weight but you won’t build muscle. That’s where exercise comes in. Just don’t think you can exercise your way to a six pack.
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