Trying to lose weight can be like trying to fit the pieces of a puzzle together. How many calories should you consume? How much should you walk or run to burn those calories off?
Matthew Baltzer, NASM CPT, ACE WMS, coordinator of the New U weight loss program at Fort Sanders Health and Fitness Center, has gotten pretty good at helping people fit those puzzle pieces together. The problem is that sometimes we need different puzzle pieces than the ones we may have picked up from friends, family, the media, or popular culture.
“Aerobic exercise is great for losing weight, at first,” Baltzer says, “but if aerobic is all you do, it will become a rate of diminishing returns.” Baltzer explains that with only aerobic exercise like walking and running at an unchanging pace, a person has to exercise for progressively longer periods of time to continue to see results. Higher intensity exercise (anaerobic) burns more calories overall, meaning more calories burned from fat in a shorter period of time. Some good examples of anaerobic exercise are safely lifting heavier weights, or interval training that involves switching back and forth between a walk at a normal pace and a walk at a faster pace, or between a jog and a sprint. But Baltzer says the piece that makes the biggest difference in the weight loss puzzle isn’t exercise. It’s nutrition.
“This usually means a reduction in sugar and carbs, getting the right source of carbs, more protein, fats and fiber, and more veggies,” Baltzer says, “and remember, WATER IS KING!” Baltzer says we are usually somewhat dehydrated when we wake up in the morning, so replacing that first cup of coffee with six to eight ounces of water as soon as we wake up can make a big difference in how we feel. He then recommends drinking two to four ounces of water every 30 – 45 minutes.
“When exercising, we need 6-12 ounces every 15-20 minutes,” Baltzer says, “but we need to be properly hydrated not just on work out days but all day every day.”
Baltzer says a good goal is to work your way up to half your body weight in ounces of water per day. To learn more about Baltzer’s New U weight management program at Fort Sanders Health and Fitness Center, visit fshfcknoxvillegym.com/weight-management.