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Question
Posted by: julie | 2007/02/25

want to lose weight

I am 22 years old and weigh 75 and my height is 1.7m. I am trying to lose weight but finding it quite hard. I've been doing the circuit at a womans gym for a while, but its not really helping. What exercise should I be doing to lose weight and what diet could i follow, what foods should i avoid, etc? I'm particularly wanting to lose fat on my thighs and stomach.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageFitnessDoc

Hi there

I'm pretty sure that you need to try to include more cardio training in your week. Generally, there are two types of training, cardio and weights. And circuits is on the weights side, which is good, but probably not ideal. My personal opinion is that cardio is the primary focus for someone wanting to lose weight. The only way you will be able to lift your metabolic rate, and therefore burn more energy including fat, is by doing regular cardio training. Weight training has its place, as I will explain, but the cardio is the vital aspect that needs to be there to kickstart weight loss.

Cardio would include activities such as walking, jogging, cycling, aerobics, swimming etc. It is important to exercise between 4 and 5 times a week, for a minimum of 30 to 45 minutes each session. It is also ideal to work at a moderate to hard intensity, but for a longer duration. You should aim to do these sessions at an intensity that allows you to complete the session without feeling completely exhausted, but having worked up a good sweat and feeling that your breathing and metabolic rate are elevated.

now, with regards to weight training, it is important because lean muscle has a naturally higher metabolic rate than fat does. So, if you can increase your lean muscle mass (by weight training) then the idea is that you will also increase the metabolic rate, which means that you will, even at rest, be able to burn more energy. Hence, you will be able to keep weight off. So, that is where it fits in. However, the most important thing is to get started and to actually lose weight, you must be doing cardio training - the increase you get in metabolic rate during a 30 minute bout of cardio (and for the few hours after) far outweighs the weight training increases, and so if it's weight loss you are after, then cardio is the way to go. Once you have achieved weight loss, or you are still busy achieving it, then the weight training becomes important to sustain it.

Hope this helps
Regards

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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