Losing weight becomes a struggle as you age.
It is because ageing slows down metabolism, which is how our body burns calories and boosts energy.
As the rate of metabolism slackens, an ageing body then loses its muscle mass, which gets replaced by fat.
When this happens, you lose the one that burns the calories, and your body retains the one that stores excess energy.
Now how does exercise help?
The article—"Does Metabolism Matter in Weight Loss?"—published in July 2015 by Harvard Medical School put it this way: "If you eat and drink more calories (energy intake) than your body expends (energy output), you will gain weight. On the other hand, if you eat and drink fewer calories than are burned through everyday activities (including exercise, rest and sleep), you'll lose weight."
Research has been encouraging people to allot at least 30 minutes a day for physical activities.
In the long run, they help prevent chronic diseases such as cancer, diabetes, and heart problems, as well as bump up the production of endorphins, which trigger a positive feeling in the body.
But if you exercise to lose weight fast, you have to look at both the frequency and intensity.
For further research, PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) spoke with Archie Brodeth, a fitness coach and Mr. Philippines 2018 winner of Men’s Physique.
The short interview with him revealed the types of exercises that can burn more calories in less amount of time.
But you need to make time to do the exercises because, as Brodeth emphasized, "You need at least four times a week in the gym."
Brodeth recommended compound exercises, which can work multiple muscles, build them, and burn more calories, in a short amount of time.
He mentioned barbell deadlift, barbell squat, and barbell bench press.
But if you're uncomfortable working out with equipment, he suggested the following:
Squats, which work the hips, glutes, quads, and hamstrings, and strengthen the core; they also help improve balance and coordination, not to mention bone density.
First set: Squat with a kettlebell
Burpees, which, according to fitness experts, is equivalent to doing air squats, push-ups, and jumping jacks altogether.
First set: Burpees with variation
Mountain climbers, which gets the heart rate fast and fires the body's muscle groups such as deltoids, biceps, triceps, chest, obliques, abdominals, quads, hamstrings, and hip abductors.
Second set: Mountain climbers
Meanwhile, another fitness coach, Roflen Ray Atienza, expounded on the benefits of bench press, deadlift, and other "strength workouts" using barbells.
The bench press workout, he explained, "will help you tone those arms as it makes your triceps stronger and your pecs bigger."
Deadlifts, a full-body exercise, can improve posture and grip, and produce Testosterone, a steroid hormone that can help increase the growth of muscle mass and strength.
How many sets?
Atienza, who is also a Muay Thai practitioner, replied, "For every compound exercise, you can do three to five sets of 15-12 repetitions. There are no limitations of repeating these workouts per week..."
Aside from compound exercises, Brodeth and Atienza recommended endurance training, which, is essentially being stronger, longer.
Atienza said running is the most popular approach.
And the number of calories you lose is dependent on the distance, intensity, speed, and frequency of your run.
But the general rule of thumb is that "the average person burns 100 calories per mile (or 1.6 kilometers) of running," as stated on Runnersworld.com.
To lose weight fast, you need to burn 2,800 calories, so, if you can lose 100 calories per mile (or 1.6 kilometers), you need to run an average of 28 miles (or 45 kilometers) per week or four miles (6.4 kilometers) daily.
When you run faster, your body works harder, and as a result burns more calories.
And if you want to go easy on your knees, run every other day but either increase your speed or distance.
Swimming is also great endurance workout.
To tone the heart and muscle, Health.com cited lap swimming as effective in burning "a respectable 476 calories per hour. "
If you want to burn more, the butterfly stroke can give you the maximum calorie burn. According to Livestrong.com, it will burn around "150 calories in 10 minutes for a 160-pound person." Next to butterfly stroke is the freestyle stroke.
If you do the interval training, you can also increase your calorie burn. How to do it? Swim as fast as you can for a lap, then swim the next lap at a more relaxed pace.
For fats found in abs, low back, butt, hips, and thighs, Brodeth suggested "fasted cardio," which can help lose the stubborn fat faster.
He elaborated, "Make sure to not take any meal.
"It is advised to do it in the morning: three to five times a week, 30 minutes a day. [When you do cardio], make sure to not take any meal."
Speaking of meals, both trainers stressed that regular workouts must be coupled with a "balanced diet."
Atienza said, "You need to know your calorie intake, body fats, and anthropometric measurements."
The latter was defined by Study.com as "systematic measurements of the size, shape, and composition of the human body."
Meanwhile, micronutrition is the method that works for Brodeth, who counts all the carbs, fats, protein, and sodium in every meal.
For his every meal, he also takes into account the micronutrients—vitamins and minerals—that play a role in metabolism.
The fitness coaches also underlined keeping yourself hydrated all throughout the workout and throughout the day. And don't forget to warm up and cool down.
Is it possible to lose five pounds in a week?
Brodeth said realitistically, "It is a hard thing to do. It takes discipline.
"You can only lose one to two pounds and gain one to two muscle weights per week. That’s the healthiest way of losing and gaining weight in a week."
For Atienza's part, exercises, he said, are just a part of the battle.
You should know proper nutrition and do calorie count. The principle is you don't take more than whan you can burn.
He ended, "Be guided by professionals. Look for a mentor or coach to give you workouts that are fit for your lifestyle."