Losing weight when you’re older can seem like an uphill battle when you have a slowing metabolism. It’s not like when you were younger and could eat anything you wanted and could easily shed a few extra pounds.

Yet, struggling with weight loss doesn’t have to be a constant frustration or mystery (no more weight loss pills!). Combined with an overall health plan and an exercise plan infused with HIIT workouts, a weight training regimen, and cardiovascular activity, you will start burning fat and dropping inches.

It’s a common myth that cardio will torch calories fastest, yet heavy weight training actually blasts fat more than cardio.

Creating a caloric deficit isn’t the key to losing fat

Instead of always focusing on calories and cardio, you need to improve your insulin sensitivity. The more muscle you have, the more insulin-sensitive you will become, making it much easier for your body to release stored fat.

Insulin’s role is to manage carbohydrates and blood sugar and to allocate the correct amount of sugar into storage. What is insulin sensitivity? It directs how much insulin is needed to store glucose in a healthy amount.

To improve your insulin sensitivity:

Reduce sugar intake

Have a balanced strength training workout

Get more sleep

Reduce your carbohydrate intake

Decrease your stress

Practice proper strength training

Unlike cardio, strength training boosts your metabolism even after you exercise. When you stop cardio the calorie blast also stops; yet hours after you finish strength training you continue to burn calories. If you’re focusing only on cardio to lose weight, you’ll also lose necessary muscle. Without a proper strength training program, you may even slow down your metabolism instead of accelerating it due to the lean muscle loss.

Add strength training to your fitness program:

Pushups

One-Arm Kettlebell Swings

Bench or Triceps Dips

Side Lateral Raise

Dumbbell Lunges

Pistol Squat

Compound movements such as squats, pull-ups, and deadlifts that employ large muscle groups and demand extra levels of oxygen increase growth hormone which is partly responsible for youthful appearance and the body’s ability to burn fat.

Strengthen your heart with HIIT

Although not a major contributor to fat loss, high intensity interval training (HIIT) is critical for properly strengthening and conditioning the heart and assisting in weight loss.

HIIT increases your endurance and metabolism with short sessions of hard work that increase your heart rate. Plus, if you incorporate medicine balls, free weights, or kettlebells, you’re also building muscle.

Integrate cardio that increases your heart rate and strength training to reap the fat loss benefits from both plans. If you have strong glutes you’ll be able to run faster and burn more calories; if you have a healthy heart from cardio, you’ll be able to endure more strength training and increase muscle mass.

Increase lean muscle, energy level, metabolism, and hormone production with a customized exercise program. Cenegenics Denver’s nutrition and exercise counselor will create a plan for your body and health goals. Learn more about Cenegenics Denver’s Exercise Program.