On structured exercise:
You want to do the least exercise necessary to elicit results –
The more exercise you do to reach a goal, in this case weight loss, the more you will have to continue to do when you reach your goal. Why? Because your body adapts, it becomes comfortable doing what it’s doing, and it learns to do it more efficiently so uses less energy, and calories, to perform that exercise. It’s the theory of adaptation. Doing too much, more than is necessary to elicit change and progress, may also wear out the body and metabolism. Exercise is a form of stress. In healthy amounts it’s a form of eustress, or good stress, enough for the body to be able to positively adapt to. Hit the tipping point of ‘too much’ though, and you’re going to overly stress it and damage your metabolism where you become stuck. Stress increases hormones that cause your body to want to hold onto fat, low metabolism, and lower energy.
Another problem, if you keep doing more and more, not only will your body adapt, but you will hit a wall where you cannot fit in longer time. You will feel like you’re spending a lot of time in the gym or doing your chosen exercise and turning wheels and it’s eating up too much of your time.
So the solution? To treat exercise as an adjunct to other means of reaching your goal, such as eating, sleep, and stress or lifestyle behaviors. Use exercise for other means than just to burn calories, lose weight, or allow you to eat certain foods.
Develop an effective workout plan. Be strategic in using your exercise to build and maintain muscle, resistance train so you can develop muscle definition, improve heart health, live long and age well, remain injury free and pain free…get the idea? Perform a few different types of exercise, a combination of types and forms of cardio, and resistance training, cycle through workouts for a period of time, then cycle through others for another period of time. Perform more focused workouts. Workouts that you are putting your mind into your muscle of, focusing on the movement and movement patterns to engage more muscle fibers, and elicit more change on a deeper level.
Then really identify and be honest in determining areas of your life to balance out what else is needed to reach your goals. Again, in the circumstance of weight or fat loss, that would be your diet, sleep, and stress management. You can’t workout a lot or often, and not focus on diet. Fact is, creating a calorie deficit via food intake is going to get you better results in the long term than just more exercise.