The Best Workout Routine For Losing Weight


Some people exercise solely to improve and maintain an already-fabulous physique. Others just want to make their bodies look presentable by shedding visceral fat.

If you’re looking to get your BMI down as quickly and efficiently as possible, this explainer from an exercise physiologist will help to steer you in the right direction.

There are few things more disheartening than stepping onto a weight scale after weeks of exercise only to see identical numbers. Fortunately, it’s possible to maximise your weight loss by making a few tweaks to your regime.

As NYU Langone Health’s Heather Milton explains in the above video, the perfect exercise routine involves the right mix of cardiovascular and strength training. There are several different options that fit this bill, so the trick is to find the one that suits your personal exercise preferences and style.

Click on the video above for the full skinny!

[Via Business Insider]

This story has been updated since its original publication.

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  • Disclaimer: ‘the right mix of cardiovascular and strength training’ varies drastically from person-to-person, based on your genes, diet, lifestyle, gut microbiome and stress level. It is highly unlikely that you will achieve ‘the right mix’ since you can never fully know or control all of these factors. Those who do somehow achieve dramatic positive results only do so on a temporary basis, then regain the weight rapidly – plus additional.
    All of the above comment is based on the latest peer-reviewed evidence.
    The only proven way to reliable weight loss is to eat less calories than you burn. Beyond that, literally nobody knows what they are talking about, and either is a freelance writer ‘reporting’ on something way outside of their expertise, or trying to sell you something.

    Good luck. You’ll need it.

    • The only proven way to reliable weight loss is to eat less calories than you burn.

      Except that ‘calories in/calories out’ is broscience that is every bit as bad as BMI
      – and BMI is appalling 19th century French broscience invented by a numbskull who thought that average was ideal (Quetelet)… at a time when the average dude was 5’6″ and weighed about a buck-20.

      BMI was re-christened, and given a new lease on life, by a 20th century fraudster (Ancel Keys – the dude who cherry-picked data that gave us the totally-wrong “lipid hypothesis” for cardiovascular disease).

      There’s also a good indication that BMI is flawed in cross-section: South Asians (Indians, Pakistanis etc) get no increase in risk of CVD until their BMI hits 35; for East Asians (Chinese, Japanese etc) the increased risk of CVD kicks in at BMI of 25. (This assumes that BMI research will all be declared pure as the driven snow when the Cochrane Collaboration gets around to it… no p-hacking, no researcher biases… that would make it the only discipline in which that was true).

      Anyhow… back to CICO as idiotic drivel…

      The composition of the calories matters, because things that are isocaloric are not isometabolic. A person who is in complete caloric balance can gain weight, lose weight or remain the same depending on the macronutrient composition of their intake, and the type of each macronutrient (e.g., for carbs: sugar vs rice vs baked potato, for example).

      To convince yourself of this, swap out 250 calories of protein from your diet, and replace it with 250 calories of table sugar. You will get both fatter and heavier (heavier because you will also retain more water). Replace it with slightly less sugar if you like – to account for differences in the energy required to metabolise protein vs sugar. You will still get fatter and heavier. Sugars affect body composition, water retention, microbiota… they really do a job.

      Another data point in support of the ‘composition matters’ hypothesis: it’s now pretty much established that re-heated cooked rice, while isocaloric with its freshly-cooked analog, is metabolically ‘worth’ between 10% and 30% less to the human body because of the transformation of starches into ‘resistant’ starches.

      Here was I thinking that crows were smart…

      • Oh look, someone with a Guy Fawkes mask avatar has replied to me! This is sure to be an enlightening, well-researched repl-… Oh nevermind.

        *sigh*… Obviously with ‘less calories’, it’s implied you will eat a balanced diet.
        Of course the amount of calories a food contains vs. the calories your body will extract out of it is different – however for the purposes of losing weight, counting the calories a food contains not only provides a buffer for weight loss purposes – it’s also INFINITELY more practical.
        However, even if I were stupid enough to suggest that somebody eat nothing but 250 kilocalories of straight-up sugar, then YES they WILL lose weight. You don’t even have to go into physiology to know this – it’s simple physics. You can’t create mass out of nothing. (you will die of malnutrition though). Because of this, it makes ZERO difference if a food is isocaloric vs. isometabolic (both buzzwords frequently pushed by pseudoscientific publications – I wonder why?) What you’re delving into has elements of truth, however you are unnecessarily complicating matters. The average Joe wants to know how to construct a bird feeder – instead, you are debating whether birds are or aren’t dinosaurs. It’s irrelevant, and it just reeks of you trying to sound smart, but failing badly.

        I hope you enjoyed typing that completely obvious and unnecessarily smug reply though. Just make sure you clean up and have a cigarette afterwards or something.

      • BMI certainly has it’s weaknesses but the reason it is used is because it is simple, practical and cheap. Ideally, maybe, you’d have a couple of thousand dollars worth of tests – genetic, MRI, blood tests, medical history, etc – but is that actually good value for anyone?

  • Exercise won’t do it, and calorie restriction won’t either. The key is reducing the amounts of glucose from carbs and proteins (yes, proteins also convert to glucose at certain levels).

    You have to get your body burning fat for fuel – as in replacing glucose as the primary fuel. Then it works really well.

    I have lost 10 kilos on 2.5 months, with only about an hour a day walking for exercise. I don’t eat processed foods of any type, no bread, no rice, no potatoes and no pasta. I eat reasonable amounts of leafy vegetables, avocados, salads, cheese, eggs, nuts and berries.

  • I actually found the best way for me to lose weight was just lift heavy stuff,
    lifted weights for a few years, after about 6 months of lifting weights I started to loose weight because myetabolism increased, so it didn’t matter what I ate, as I never changed my diet. So basically just lift heavy stuff a few times a week and you will eventually get to a point where you will start to loose weight. Just might take a while depending on what your diet is like.

  • Interesting extra detail in the comments, even in the seemingly smug replies.

    One thing I would add is that it is important to understand exactly which weight you are losing. That is, you want to lose fat and not muscle. Calorie restriction is likely to reduce weight in many cases but if you are not exercising and eating a balanced diet, chances are you are going to be losing a lot of muscle along the way (and possibly not much fat) which is a bad result. The body is always wanting to be efficient and hanging onto muscle when the calories are tight is a tricky thing to get right and a bit different for each person.

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