Exercising Smarter Not Harder | WeightWise

September 20, 2021

Cardio, walking, jogging, Zumba, strength-training exercises, Insanity, P90X.

What’s right for you?

The weight-loss surgery experts at WeightWise are happy to make exercise recommendations. These recommendations and suggestions are based on our staff’s experience with and knowledge of health and wellbeing best practices. This expertise is informed by years of working with patients to help individuals make the most of their exercise regimens.

So why do these same experts encourage patients to avoid some of the more popular and trendy workout programs, such as Insanity workouts or Tony Horton’s P90X workouts to lose weight?

I get this question a lot. It’s a testament to the popularity of these exercise programs; the curiosity about what these programs entail; and the tremendous amounts of marketing dollars that go toward advertising these programs.

When a member of the public weighs the pros and cons of weight-loss programs and exercise regimens, one thing is often at the forefront of their minds: quick results. Instant results. And that’s what a lot of these exercise programs promise.

It’s easy to get discouraged when these programs fail to deliver on their promises. How many times have you thought, “I ate so well, I worked out every day, and I didn’t lose any weight!”? This can be very frustrating.

What is even more frustrating is seeing a commercial full of muscled, sculpted people saying they were once just like you — and now look at me!


My Story

Some personal details: I have to admit that I bought into the Insanity and P90X hype. I thought it sounded awesome — a quick burst of energy and the fat should just shed right off, just like it did with the people on the commercial!

Wrong! I was dying! I could barely make it through the video without stopping.

I kept telling myself, “I can do it! I used to be an athlete. If they can do it, so can I!”

All these thoughts went through my head until I finally accepted defeat. My thoughts had turned to, “How am I ever going to be able to make it through this video?”

Afterward, I find myself becoming increasingly frustrated that I couldn’t survive a 30-minute exercise routine. And then the hunger sets in …

I was craving popcorn, cookies, chocolate, soda, bread, and pasta. Basically, nothing good.

So what happened? I thought, “Hey, I gave it a shot! Go ahead and eat that cookie. I probably burned enough calories to eat several.”

Wrong again! I probably only burned 200 calories to 300 calories, and that would only give me one cookie. Was it even worth it?

Not only was I hungry, but I was super sore. I really enjoy weight lifting, but I would like to be able to walk the next day without being in pain.

I will say that the more you do these exercises, the better you will get and the more likely it will become that you will be able to complete them.

But wouldn’t you rather start at an easier level?

WeightWise Exercise Recommendations

Does that sound like anything any of you have gone through? It can be so frustrating!

So at WeightWise, we came up with a different theory to follow: Exercise smarter, not harder.

Most people think that exercise has to be high intensity. HIIT (high-intensity interval training), is very popular right now. In the exercise classes I take, that is all you hear about — that the higher your heart rate, the more fat you are burning.

However, that statement is false. Instead, all you are doing is using up whatever energy you have stored from what you ate most recently. And after exercising, you are going to want to go home and eat the house!

In order to burn fat, there are two concepts with exercise: lower intensity and longer duration.

If you love Zumba, by all means, continue Zumba. But think about your workout — not what everyone else is doing.

You have to keep in mind that you want to be a fat burner, and that happens at lower intensities, typically heart rate should be less than 120 beats per minute.

Walking 30 minutes or 45 minutes five times a week is more beneficial for fat burning than doing anything high intensity. That’s a good, solid cardio workout. It will help you gain muscle (or build lean muscle), and help you lose body weight.

Be sure to have rest days or the occasional recovery week once you really get into the swing of your workouts. Some people like to split up their cardio days and their strength-training days. Some people like to work out the upper body one day and the lower body the next. Whatever helps you stay focused and on track!

Try it for 90 days, follow a sensible and healthy nutrition plan, and see the results yourself. (Always speak to your health care providers before starting any exercise, strength training, or fitness test-type plans, or when changing your diet.)

Weight loss surgery is a lifestyle change, and so is exercise. We offer the VO2 assessment to find exactly where to keep your heart rate in order to be successful at burning fat.

The American College of Sports Medicine says that 65% of your heart rate is for fat-burning and 85% of it is more for cardio. If you think back to the commercials, the whole idea behind Insanity is to have your heart rate high for the majority of the workout. But you will just end up more hungry after this workout — and probably really sore as well.

Get in touch with WeightWise to find out what might work best for you. We look forward to speaking with you and discussing ways to get healthy that don’t necessarily rely on workouts like P90X and Insanity.

WeightWise is committed to your long-term health and wellbeing. It’s why we are such advocates for helping each of our patients thrive. We have a great, friendly, and experienced team of medical professionals, led by Dr. Toby Broussard and Dr. Greg Walton. Stop by today, or get in touch to learn more.

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