If you know the fundamentals of how to lose fat you’ll know that a caloric deficit is that crucial thing that leads to fat loss. And you’ll also know that achieving a caloric deficit can be done by consuming less calories in your diet as well as exercising to burn off calories in your body. But what’s the best exercise plan to lose fat?
Any type of exercise or physical activity burns calories. But results from exercising varies based on the structure of your exercise plan. The best exercise plan to lose fat does not consist of just one type of exercise. There are a few different exercise methods that can be incorporated in a fat loss training plan that can be designed in various ways. A variety of effective fat burning workouts can be done with or without gym equipment.
What Makes An Exercise Plan Good For Fat Loss?
I’m aware that everyone is different in their goals, interests and personal preferences. But in my opinion the best exercise program for losing fat should maximize fat loss and deliver all the additional benefits that exercise training could give: effectiveness, efficiency, improved health, higher fitness and a better-looking body.
Here are the various exercise methods that can be incorporated in an exercise plan to get all these benefits.
Steady State cardio
Steady state cardio is the most popular exercise method used for losing fat. It involves doing any type of cardio or aerobic exercise at a specific pace or intensity level for an extended period of time.
For example, walking for 30 minutes or running for 20 minutes are 2 forms of steady state cardio. This way of exercising is very effective for burning calories plus it produces good health and fitness benefits. You can create your exercise plan based on steady state cardio alone and lose fat. But there are a few drawbacks for doing this type of exercise by itself.
The drawbacks for doing steady state cardio is that if the intensity is too low and the duration is short it will not be effective enough to get good fat loss results. On the other hand, if the intensity is too low and the duration is too long you could end up losing a lot of muscle mass. High intensity steady state cardio is better for fat loss than low intensity cardio but the risk of muscle loss is imminent if the duration is too long.
High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
High Intensity Interval Training or HIIT is a special way of exercising for fat loss that involves alternating between high intensity bouts of exercise and low intensity exercise for recovery. HIIT is much more effective at burning calories than steady state cardio, and it’s much more time-efficient. According to reports it is about 50% times more effective.
You’ll burn a lot more total calories from an HIIT workout than you would from a steady state cardio workout of the same duration. HIIT also helps improve fitness conditioning and leads to better health.
You can also use HIIT alone to lose fat and get the additional health and fitness benefits. Also, with very high intensity steady state cardio like sprint intervals you do not have to workout for long durations to get huge fat loss results. This decrease in duration also makes steady state cardio less risky for losing muscle mass. I believe it’s the best cardio workout for fat loss, but it’s main drawback is it is very physically demanding on the body, therefore not everyone would be able to do it.
Weight training is most commonly known to be used for gaining muscle mass, but many people do not know the tremendous benefits that weight training have for fat loss. Apart from burning calories to help with losing fat, lifting weights is the only exercise that will maintain or build your muscles. If you want to lose fat and at the same carve out a toned athletic body, strength training with weights is a crucial requirement. Weight training is also effective for improving health and fitness condition.
Without weight training while you are in a calorie deficit you’ll just get a skinnier, smaller body. But you’ll not get the additional benefit of reaching optimal body composition fast if you do not strength train. So if your goals include shaping and toning your body, not just losing fat, strength training needs to be integrated in your exercise program for fat loss, not just for building muscle. Also, you can burn calories effectively with weight training. So it can be used by itself in an exercise plan to lose fat.
However, despite the all-round benefits of weight training it may not be an optimal exercise plan to lose fat for many people. If you are already lean and just want to maintain your leanness or gain muscle, then lifting weights alone can work fine. However, for maximizing fat loss and reaching peak condition, including cardio especially HIIT will be very beneficial.
Creating The Best Exercise Plan For You
Since you now have an idea of the benefits and the limitations of each exercise method you can now choose or design an exercise plan that will be best to reach your goals.
It’s easy to see that each one of these exercise methods can be used to lose fat by itself and deliver other good benefits, so if you combine all three methods in one fat loss program you will get all of the benefits including losing fat effectively, gaining strength, improving your health, increasing your fitness level and transforming your entire body shape. But the fact is, not everyone will want all of these benefits.
Therefore, in reality, the best exercise plan is one that is designed to suit your goals, preferences and interest. You may find it best to use just one method, a combination of any 2 methods, or combining all 3 methods in one fat loss program to get the outcome that you are after.