Relax and Lose Weight. An Easier and More Enjoyable Way to Reduce Fat.
One way to lose weight is to burn more calories. You can burn a lot of calories by exercising doing short intense workouts or longer less intense ones. Workouts that burn the most calories per minute are good if you are trying to burn calories quickly. Another way to lose weight is to consume fewer calories. You can go on a diet. Avoiding junk foods and high calorie drinks helps a lot.
Working out is hard and so is dieting but there is an easier way.
The Worst Calorie Burning Workouts.
Exercises like yoga, tai chi, walking, biking or canoeing at a slow pace, golfing and lifting light weights don't burn very many calories per minute and they don't speed up your metabolism like intense cardio exercises. They are some of the worst exercises you can do for burning calories. If you are exercising to burn a lot of calories then doing them is a waste of time. However relaxing exercises have other benefits.
Relaxing Exercises & Nature
Yoga does not burn many calories but people that do yoga on a regular basis are often lean. Stress, boredom and bad habits can cause people to gain fat. People make bad choices. Bored people are more likely to eat when they are not hungry because they want something to do. Stressed people are more likely to eat junk food to make themselves feel better. Watching TV is associated with eating junk food and drinking high calorie drinks because the people watching TV are often bored and stressed.
Relaxed people or more likely to make good decisions. One of the side effects of being relaxed is that it reduces the desire to consume junk, both physically and mentally. Meditation can cause a person to crave healthy food while reducing their junk food cravings. Doing things to relax can also reduce boredom. Spending time in nature can make you feel more relaxed and keep you busy.
You don't need to meditate or practice yoga. Simply walking in the woods, biking around a provincial park or taking it easy at the beach can be enough. If you do relaxing exercises and spend time in nature you will not need to burn as many calories because you will not consume as many extra calories. I go for a walk in the woods almost everyday to relax and get a bit of exercise.
Burning Empty Calories
A glass of water contains 0 calories. A small glass of pop may contain 100 calories. Not drinking the pop could save you 20 minutes of intense exercise. Empty calories are extra calories that don't come with nutrients. You need nutritious foods and drinks. You don't need junk food or high calorie drinks that contain little or no nutrients. Junk food can't replace healthy food. That is why I consider the calories from junk foods and drinks as extra calories.
It is very easy to consume 500 extra calories during the day but it could take over an hour of vigorous exercise to burn it off. I burn around 500 calories when I bike for 14 miles. It takes me a little over an hour and it is very tiring. Biking at a fast pace is one of the best ways to burn calories. Calorie wise not eating some cookies and drinking a can of pop is about the same as me doing an intense workout for 45 minutes. If I exercised for 45 minutes but I ate the cookies and drank the pop then they would cancel each other out.
Losing Fat or Keeping It Off
The hard way is work at it. Exercise a lot to burn off the calories. Avoid eating the foods you crave so you consume fewer calories. Suffer to lose weight. You torture yourself because you want to get rid of fat or keep it off. When I started exercising a lot it increased my appetite. So I was consuming more calories. It is nearly impossible to ignore food cravings. That is why dieting rarely works. I am not saying exercise is bad. It is good for you and it can be enjoyable. Exercising to burn off the extra calories is just hard and it takes up a lot of time. Maintaining a healthy diet is good but you should not try to ignore hunger or cravings for certain foods.
The easy way is to relax and keep busy. Do things to make yourself feel relaxed to reduce stress and keep busy to avoid boredom. The rest practically takes care of itself. You eat better because you no longer want to consume junk or overeat. You burn calories while doing things you enjoy doing. No high calorie comfort food, no overeating, no sitting around for hours and hours being bored.
I recommend both ways. Do relaxing exercises and relax in nature but also include cardio, weight lifting and bodyweight exercises. If you crave junk food have it but have small portions. Think about how much exercise it would take to burn off the extra calories and decide if it is worth it.
© 2013 Michael H