Exercise is key to losing weight and maintaining weight. You have probably heard that its all about the math, more calories burned than eaten. That is true but an oversimplification. Its like saying the secret to getting rich is to spend less than you make.
The more you exercise on a regular basis, the stronger your entire body becomes. The stronger your body is, the more calories you burn at rest (base metabolism, base metabolic rate). Two people who are both 5’6″ and weigh the same can look very different and have very different base metabolism based on how much of the weight is muscle. A person with 30% body fat is going to look plump and will gain weight more quickly than their leaner counter part. Muscle burns fat even when its at rest. So, you want more muscle so you can have a piece of your kid’s birthday cake and not feel guilty. Your metabolism is a product of exercise, not genetics. You can change your metabolic rate with consistent exercise.
If you are going to be successful, you have to find an exercise that you like. If you like to dance, find a zumba or hip hop fitness class. Some people take Barre classes which is fitness ballet. Try those to see if you like them. If you like to bicycle, try a spin class in the winter. Get a bike and ride it. Hiking is great exercise. Running is great exercise, too. But its not fun for everyone. No one has made more jokes about runners than I have.
Me, I have the coordination of an epileptic hippopotamus. Dance classes frustrate me. I can never keep up. I also have anger management issues. The first time I took a fitness boxing class, I fell in love. I got to wail on a boxing bag and take out all my frustrations. It was so much fun, I eventually bought a heavy bag for my house. I even took classes at a formal boxing gym.
There is one other activity that I have gotten hooked on. Checking my calories burned from my body monitor. This is a device I wear on my arm and it tracks the calories I actually burn during the day. I learned that boxing and running burned more calories for in an hour than other types of exercise. I like checking my calories burned and seeing high numbers.
So I do run, but not because I like running. I like seeing enormous numbers after a 2 hour run and knowing that I can eat more because I ran.
I did try Zumba. Twice. I was miserable. I tried the hip hop class. Twice. Liked the music. Hated not being able to do well. The point is not that you need to take boxing class. You need to find what you love. Try things that you never thought you’d do. You might be surprised at what your passion will be. Mine is boxing and that surprised me immensely.