The Real Secret to Weight Loss
Adding strength training into the mix will help you drop a dress size even faster because, it helps you preserve muscle mass and metabolism - something neither diet nor cardio can do for you. Plus, high intensity strength training packs an even greater temporary afterburn than cardio exercise. Another bonus: Sculpted muscles translate into lost inches even if the change doesn't register on the scale. "Muscle is denser than fat so it takes up less room," notes Shafran. "Firming up will make you look so much thinner even if you weigh the same."
So if you're determined to lose weight and make it stick, eat right and maintain a steady diet of cardio and strength exercise. Aim for 3-5 cardio workouts and 2-3 strength training sessions per week. Cardio sessions should total up to at least 30 minutes a day and strength training sessions should hit every major muscle group with at least one set. (Major muscles include the back, chest, arms, legs and abs.) And if you're tired of trudging on a treadmill, grinding it out on an exercise bike or yawning your way through a weight circuit at the gym, get creative. Join a walking group or exercise with a friend. Consider hiring a personal trainer for a session or two. Pop a workout into your DVD player - DVDs are affordable and led by some of the top workout pros in the country.