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Exercise Habits for Weight Loss That Science Says Actually Work

There's no time like the present to get started with your fat loss journey.

Let's get real: Any weight loss journey can feel overwhelming to start. The best way to kick things off is by introducing solid methods that are proven to be successful and that you can easily keep up with. To assist in the process, we're here to share some pretty stellar exercise habits for weight loss that science says actually work. Listen up to learn these solid ideas, because there's no time like the present to get started with your fat loss journey.

Good exercise habits aren't limited to fat-burning workouts at the gym. It's an entire overall plan that involves eating well, shopping better, managing your stress, and devising a workout regimen that fits your lifestyle and one you can reasonably maintain long after you reach your goal. After all, one part of a good plan is to get results. The other end—after crossing your finish line, so to speak—is the ability to stick with it and stay at your new weight status.

As with any successful process, consistency is key. Show up for yourself, and stick with all parts of your healthy game plan—at the gym, in your kitchen, and at the grocery store. Stay motivated, and remind yourself how hard you're working. If you fall a tad along the way, don't get down in the dumps; just get back on the right track, and achieve the results you're working for.

Related: Top-recommended Exercises To Lose 5 Inches of Belly Fat, Trainer Says

Eliminating processed food items from all meals is a must.

Before you begin any weight loss workout, it's essential first to review your diet closely. Research shows you shouldn't shop when you're hungry, and you should stay far away from things like processed foods. Unfortunately, these items are usually the first items people who are trying to diet purchase, as they provide calories on the package trying to look like a best friend. On the contrary, they typically contain added preservatives, sugar, and salt, according to the Mind, Body and Soul blog via NYU. These ingredients are true diet killers, as they will zap your energy and cause your body to hold onto weight.

Opt for healthy choices, and head for the fresh fruits and veggies aisle. Also, add grains to your shopping list. These will make for yummy meals filled with nutritious calories.

Kick up your cardio and strength sessions with interval training.

woman fall bodyweight workout, exercise habits for weight loss

Now, let's get into the best exercise habits for weight loss. This power couple—cardio and strength training—is a major player for your end game. A 2012 study in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research reveals that running on your treadmill is more effective than using a kettlebell when it comes to weight loss, burning as much as 25% to 39% extra calories for just as much effort. Combine your cardio workout with strength training, and now you're talking about major weight loss results. It's important to build muscle; doing so will continue to burn calories after your workout, according to Livestrong.

By performing your cardio and strength training in intervals, you can burn fat faster. Interval workouts are when you alternate quick, intense bouts with low-intensity exercise or a break. Working out this way will cause your body to metabolize at a higher level during sweat sessions, and then take an extended period (hours) for your body to cool back down, according to Prevention. This process is called excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC) when you continue to burn calories after you're done working out. This was revealed in research published in the European Journal of Applied Physiology.

Work out for an hour or more each day, and stick to a calorie deficit.

It's essential to put in the right amount of exercise on a daily basis. Livescience reports around 60 minutes of exercise each day may be effective when you're trying to tip the scale, according to a review published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association. However, the American College of Sports Medicine explains, "[The] recommended levels of PA [physical activity] may help produce weight loss. However, up to 60 min/day may be required when relying on exercise alone for weight loss."

In addition, Luke Hughes, CEO and Co-Founder of OriGym tells Livescience, "Doing high levels of physical activity can help to put you in a calorie deficit, meaning you're consuming fewer calories than you burn, which will result in weight loss." Hughes adds, "Reducing your calorie intake and increasing the amount of physical activity you do, essentially moving more while eating less, will create a bigger calorie deficit and naturally lead to weight loss."

Alexa Mellardo
Alexa is the Mind + Body Deputy Editor of Eat This, Not That!, overseeing the M+B channel and delivering compelling fitness, wellness, and self-care topics to readers. Read more about Alexa