Exercise smart, not hard on a calorie-controlled diet

There’s always a new diet craze promising to solve all your weight loss problems. A quick fix that will ‘burn fat in seconds’. But even if they work at first, these fad diets never deliver sustainable results and are almost always debunked by nutritionists within months.

Counting calories to lose weight is the only method of sustainable weight loss that experts universally agree on – if you do it the right way.

The good news is that you don’t have to suffer through meals of lettuce with a sprinkling of flax seeds in order to experience healthy weight loss. By balancing your calorie-controlled diet with some of the simple exercises below, you’ll have more energy and a trimmer physique in no time.

Running Girl

Is exercise necessary for weight loss?

No – that’s the short answer. But if you want to approach weight loss in a safe, healthy way that’ll deliver consistent results, it’s important to balance your calorie-controlled diet with some good, old-fashioned physical activity. Not only does it burn calories; it strengthens and tones your muscles too!

In order to lose weight, you must burn more calories in a day than you consume. Dieters sometimes take this too far, eating far too few calories to remain healthy.

If you consume only 800 calories a day, for example, your body simply won’t have the energy it needs to function properly. You’ll also begin looking tired and unwell, defeating the whole purpose of weight loss in the first place.




Exercises for a calorie-controlled diet

In order to make sure that you burn more calories than you consume any given day, try out these light, safe exercises to complement your healthy eating practices.

  • Walking or Jogging
    The rate at which people burn calories varies based on how much you weigh and how fast you walk or jog, but most of us will probably burn anywhere from 200-400 calories per hour of walking and 600-1200 calories for jogging.

    Whether a jog before walking to work or a leisurely after-dinner stroll, walking and jogging are easy and enjoyable ways to burn calories.

  • Tai Chi
    Part martial art, part dance, part meditation – Tai Chi offers benefits over and above burning calories. In fact, it may seem like it wouldn’t burn any at all. But Tai Chi actually burns anywhere between 250-300 calories per hour and will lead to a healthy mind as well as a healthy body.
  • Dancing
    Is there a more fun way to burn calories than dancing to your favourite tunes? From aerobics to Zumba, ballroom or breakdance, there’s no type of dancing that doesn’t help lose weight, burning between 300-600 calories per hour.
  • Cycling
    Riding your bike not only gets you where you’re going; it also burns 250-600 calories per hour and leaves you feeling active and refreshed. Even if you are unable to cycle to work, a quick ride around the neighbourhood after work will go perfectly with your low-calorie diet.
  • Swimming
    Although it takes a bit more effort, swimming can burn anywhere from 650-800 calories per hour, making it a great way to burn calories and help you lose weight. It also tones your muscles, gives you a leaner physique and can help you to feel mindful and calm.
  • Resistance Training (weights)
    While it doesn’t burn as many calories as cardio training (at an average of 450 per hour vs. 800 for jogging), resistance training almost exclusively burns fat rather than muscle. This means that you’ll not only lose the extra baggage, you’ll look more toned and healthy too!

    What’s more, for every three pounds of muscle you gain, you’ll burn an extra 120 calories a day doing nothing…

  • Keep moving
    Every physical activity burns calories to some degree so the best way to burn calories is to keep moving every day. Activities like painting, housework and washing the dog burn around 350 calories an hour, running up the stairs burns around 540 calories an hour, even just keeping on your feet burns around 160 calories an hour!

Salad - Balance Box

With Balance Box, you get all the benefits of a reduced-calorie diet without actually having to count calories. We do all the work for you, whether you choose our 1200- or 1800-calorie plan. Better yet, the food tastes delicious, having been carefully designed and prepared by our expert chefs and nutritionists.

Learn more about our healthy eating plans and begin your weight loss journey today.


[Sources: NutriStrategy, Mayo Clinic]