Hann writes: How much training do you need to do to lose weight?
My take on it:
That depends on a number of different variables. The aim of the game is to lose body fat and for most of us, but not all, there is usually a corresponding decrease in scale weight.
1. What your nutrition and caloric intake looks like. In the simplest of terms, if you eat crap, you look like crap! This does not mean you must forgo "sometimes" foods for the rest of your life but you do have to put it into perspective and realize that "sometimes" really means just that. I'm asked, how many calories do I need to consume to lose weight? That really depends also. I'd prefer to see someone being very active and consuming more rather than going the starvation route. If body fat loss is your goal, aim for no more than half a kilo (or a pound for my American friends) per week loss.
2. Your level of fitness to begin with. Fit bodies utilize fat better than unfit bodies (see post below)
3. How hard you train. You need to train hard enough so that your muscles really do need to recover. There is a high metabolic cost associated with recovery. In every day terms, when you train, you need to do it with intention, and at a level congruent with your current fitness levels etc. You should be looking for progression and improvement every few training sessions.
4. What type of training you do. Neglect strength training at your peril! Most women seem to do best with a 60: 40 cardio/strength training split. Strength training raises your metabolism if you add lean muscle to your frame and there is a high metabolic cost in recovering from hard sessions. Again, when you train, do it with intention! You "become" how you train, so don't faff around!
5. In terms of how long, this depends on your goals. Endurance athletes obviously need to train with longer distances in mind. If body fat loss is your goal, you are best off thinking about quality over quantity. A 30 minute focused workout is better than 60 minutes of wandering around the gym.
Let me know if that sheds any light.