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Lose weight with sport – this is how it works

by Josephine Andrews
Published: Last Updated on 339 views

Losing weight with exercise is an effective way to lose weight sustainably. With exercise, you not only burn calories, you build muscle at the same time. These also use more energy when you are sitting on the couch. Read here how losing weight with sport works, what you should pay attention to and what role nutrition plays in losing weight with sport.

Lose weight with sport – this is how it works

The principle is simple: losing weight with exercise works by using more energy through exercise than you take in through food – a deficit arises. The body then begins to burn the fat reserves. If this is the case over a long period of time, you will lose weight.

Burning calories during exercise – that’s what matters

The following applies: the more calories you burn with exercise, the higher the potential for losing weight. The following factors play a role here:


You can lose weight faster with jogging than with easy walking in the same amount of time. Those who run uphill burn more than those who walk at the same pace on the flat.

The fat burning range with a pulse of about 130 beats per minute, which was often recommended in the past for losing weight with sport, is misleading. It is true that you burn more fat here than with higher pulse values. However, since much more energy is expended at higher loads, the amount of fat burned is still higher overall.

expenditure of time

It goes without saying – the more time you invest in your training, the more weight you can lose. How often sport is necessary to lose weight is individual and depends on the level of training – it should be at least three times a week for 30 minutes of training. In addition, as much exercise as possible in everyday life helps.

muscle work

The more muscle groups you use for your sport, the more energy you use. This is why, for example, Nordic walking, which also uses arm, shoulder and back muscles, is more effective than simple walking, which only challenges the leg muscles.

Muscles help you lose weight

One effect through which sport promotes weight loss even after the actual exertion is the muscles that are built up. Because they burn more energy even when they are resting – the body’s basal energy consumption increases. You will benefit from this especially if you do sports that build a lot of muscles, such as rowing, cross-country skiing or strength training .

Effort required: The larger the mass you are moving, the more force and therefore energy you need. Larger, heavier people therefore burn more than small, delicate ones.

Boosted metabolism

Even after exercise, your body still runs at full speed for some time. Athletes call this phenomenon the afterburn effect. However, if you exercise regularly, your body’s metabolic rate will also increase over the long term. He burns calories more readily overall. Sugar and fat metabolism in particular are stimulated.

Which sport to lose weight?

Studies have shown that high- intensity interval training ( HIIT ) is the most effective way to lose weight with exercise. Phases with very high stress alternate with breaks for recovery. Such extreme loads are not for everyone. Untrained people in particular are overwhelmed by it. The decisive factor is which type of sport suits you and which you enjoy. For many, a mix of endurance sports and strength training is the ideal combination.

Learn more about HIIT here .

Lose weight with sport – that’s what it takes

Losing weight with exercise has many advantages. You burn calories and build muscle at the same time. The result is a fitter, tighter body. Above all, losing weight with sport also has positive health aspects – physical and mental.

People with certain health problems especially benefit from losing weight through exercise. However, before beginning any exercise program, it is important that you speak to your doctor and only start after he gives you the green light.

For whom is weight loss with sport suitable?

Losing weight with exercise is suitable for anyone who carries around too much weight. It is crucial that you choose a type of sport that you enjoy and that you therefore integrate into your life in the long term. Because even if the training promotes fat burning: losing weight is a goal that takes a long time.

A big advantage for sports beginners: Losing weight with sports is possible at home – without expensive equipment and without leaving the house. Many fitness studios now offer online courses in which you can do exercises with your own body weight.

Specialty online gyms are designed specifically for the at-home workout and offer trials for newbies. If you would like to get a taste of the world of home workouts for free, you will find many training videos on the Internet to imitate.

Overweight persons

For overweight people in particular, it makes sense to lose weight with exercise in addition to a change in diet . Anyone who tries to lose weight solely through a calorie-reduced diet runs the risk of failing in the long term. If the calorie intake is too low, the body switches to the back burner: the metabolism drops and also requires less energy in the long term – a vicious circle. If you eat more after a while, the well-known yo-yo effect occurs. The pounds that you have laboriously starved off are quickly back on your ribs – usually even more.

Another key advantage for overweight people when it comes to losing weight with exercise is that it activates the body and metabolism. This counteracts muscle breakdown when you lose weight. In addition, sport stabilizes the psyche , which suffers from the stigmatization of overweight people, and strengthens self-confidence and quality of life.

people with diabetes

People with type 2 diabetes almost always have excess fat stores in their bodies, even if they are not overweight. So you benefit from losing weight with sport. Above all, type 2 diabetes is a metabolic disease. The central cause is a so-called insulin resistance. This means that oversaturated body cells only react sluggishly to the sugar hormone insulin and thus absorb too little sugar from the blood – the blood sugar level rises.

Sport can reduce or reverse this effect: Triggered by the increased physical energy requirement, the body’s cells are torn out of their sugar lethargy. Your receptivity to glucose increases again.

people with fatty liver

Not only alcohol, but also a too rich diet makes the liver fatty. In the long term, this can lead to cirrhosis of the liver. Fatty liver now affects large parts of the population – mostly without them knowing about it.

Studies have shown that the fat content in the liver can be significantly reduced with exercise. Even if you don’t lose weight with exercise. Of course, the effect is even greater when excess pounds actually fall off.

people with joint problems

Even if you suffer from joint problems, losing weight with sport will help you. On the one hand, every pound you lose relieves the joints, on the other hand, the movement builds muscles that stabilize the joint. The movement also ensures that the cartilage is well supplied with liquid and nutrients. This counteracts further joint wear.

Training methods that are easy on the joints, such as cycling or swimming , are ideal for people with joint problems such as arthrosis or arthritis . Regular mobilization exercises for the joints also support you in becoming more mobile again and reducing pain. The same applies here: go to the doctor first and get advice!

people with high blood pressure

Raised blood pressure and being overweight are often linked. A regular exercise program can lower blood pressure and help you lose weight at the same time.

Endurance sports with moderate exertion are considered particularly suitable for people with high blood pressure . Strength training is also possible. However, you should be careful not to overload yourself too much. This drives up the blood pressure at certain points.

Consult a sports medicine doctor and, if necessary, get medication before you start losing weight with sports as a high blood pressure patient.

Lose weight with exercise during pregnancy

It’s natural to gain weight during pregnancy – after all, you’re growing a child inside of you. Therefore, trying to lose weight with exercise is not a good idea at this stage. You can counteract excessive weight gain during pregnancy with regular exercise and training sessions adapted to pregnancy.

Training also protects against gestational diabetes and other possible complications.

Discuss with your gynaecologist which types of sport you are allowed to do at what intensity and up to which month of pregnancy. Well-trained women are often physically active until just before the birth. High-intensity units such as HIIT are less recommended for pregnant women. But cycling, swimming, special pregnancy yoga and jogging are all very suitable sports for pregnant women.

Lose weight with sport – mistakes that you should avoid

As effective as it can be to lose weight through exercise, you can also get it wrong. Try to avoid the following mistakes:

Increase in load too quickly

Beginners in particular should be careful not to overstrain themselves when losing weight with sport. Once your doctor has given you the go-ahead, start doing three workouts a week. Use a heart rate monitor for interval training to measure the load more precisely. Even when losing weight with sport, the body has to adapt to the training stimulus in the regeneration phase. Therefore, be aware of the rest days.

Irregular training

Constant dripping wears away the stone. This also applies to losing weight with sport. The best way to achieve long-term and sustainable weight loss is with a long-term workout plan. The load is constantly adjusted to your increasing fitness level.

You won’t lose weight from just one workout, no matter how strenuous. Losing weight in three days with sport is not possible. Create routines that make it easier for you to do the training regularly – even if you are less motivated. For example, look for a training partner or a weekly course. This increases the inhibition threshold to cancel the training and motivates you to continue to lose weight with sport.

Radical Diets

Even if many magazines fool you – diets with 1000 kcal per day or less are nonsensical and in extreme cases even dangerous. With such radical cures, you signal your body that there is a state of emergency. He shuts down his metabolism to adapt. This reduces your daily basal metabolic rate, you burn fewer calories and losing weight becomes even more difficult.

When losing weight with sport, it is therefore better to focus on regular training and a healthy change in diet. A balanced diet with lots of fresh vegetables, fruit and whole grain products is healthy and delicious.

A few rules of thumb for your diet in addition to losing weight with sport:

  • Reduce your sugar consumption
  • Eat a diet rich in vegetables supplemented with fruit
  • Rely on complex carbohydrates (whole grain products) instead of white flour
  • Cook fresh as often as possible and avoid ready meals
  • Include healthy (unsaturated) fats in your diet, such as fish or high-quality olive oil
  • Drink as little alcohol as possible – it slows down fat loss and contains a number of calories

Lose weight with sport – the equipment

Basic sporting equipment (functional clothing and sports shoes) is sufficient to start losing weight with sport. A training mat is recommended for home workouts.

The following three tools will help you to do your training regularly.

heart rate monitor

A heart rate monitor is particularly useful for beginners. This allows you to measure the actual load in real time and make your training as effective as possible. This is a good way to check the alternation between loading and unloading, especially during interval training sessions.

Practically every heart rate monitor signals the upper or lower limit acoustically, so that you don’t have to keep an eye on the values ​​all the time. Heart rate monitors are available from around 30 euros online or in retail stores.

body fat scale

A home body fat scale can help you lose weight with exercise. In addition to body weight, these scales use electrodes to measure body fat percentage, muscle mass and the percentage of water in your body. Even if you don’t initially lose any weight despite training with sport on the scale, the body fat scale shows you in detail what has already happened. You might see that they’ve gained muscle mass and lost fat. They still weigh the same, but the mass distribution is already much healthier as a result.

However, these scales only provide guide values ​​and show tendencies – they do not reach the measuring accuracy of calipers or other professional methods. Body fat scales are available from around 25 euros.

Some fitness studios are equipped with a body fat scale and offer this service to their members. It’s worth asking.

Interval Timer

Intense interval training is considered the best sport for losing weight. So-called interval timers have proven their worth for this type of workout. These are special apps in which you can enter the respective stress and relief phases manually.

If an interval or a break is over, the app will alert you with an acoustic signal. So you can concentrate fully on the strenuous workout. You can download many apps to your smartphone free of charge and lose weight particularly effectively with sport.

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