Have you been trying to lose weight for weeks, months, even years?
But for some reason, the results you seek never come, and you’re left wondering what on earth you’re doing wrong.
There are many misconceptions surrounding weight loss. From diet pills to skinny teas and harmful starvation diets — some people believe these methods will help burn fat and cut cravings. But these short-term ‘fixes’ are not valid solutions.
They are unsustainable practices that can harm your body and ruin your chance of creating a healthy relationship with diet and exercise.
Therefore, if you wish to learn how to melt off those pounds, use the best gym equipment for weight loss, and create a healthy body you’re proud of, continue reading.
How Weight Loss Works
Weight loss, when done correctly, should consist of the following — a proper diet and a rigorous exercise program.
Yes, that’s it. The process doesn’t have to be overly complicated.
The human body gains an excessive amount of fat when you consume more calories than you burn in a day. Think about filling a glass with water. The more you add, the more likely it is to overflow and lead to undesirable results.
The body does not know what to do with additional calories if you’re not using them for energy; therefore, they’re stored as fat in the legs, arms, and stomach region. To counteract this, you need to focus on creating a negative energy balance by going into a caloric deficit.
Emptying the cup, metaphorically speaking, takes work — as does weight loss.
Calories In Versus Calories Out
So, how can you make reaching this negative energy balance more manageable?
Track your food consumption with a popular app like Lifesum or MyFitnessPal. Scan barcodes and weigh your food over a couple of weeks. You should then get an idea of how much food you need to stay satiated and energised. After some trial and error, you won’t need to be as diligent, but tracking to make sure you don’t overeat is a great way to eat foods you love, while still making progress. You’ll often hear health professionals argue that the body gains and loses weight on a ‘calories in versus calories out’ basis.
What this means is that you can lose weight eating nearly anything, as long as you’re sticking to a negative calorie range. Inversely, you can gain weight eating ‘healthy’ foods too.
This may shake your preconceived notions of dieting. However, it can help you erase the stigma of what constitutes ‘good’ or ‘bad’ food.
The Importance of Finding Your TDEE
Now, you’re probably wondering how to calculate this negative energy balance. You’ll need to find your total daily energy expenditure (a combination of your basal metabolic rate and your activity level) to adjust your macronutrients for the day accordingly.
Use this calculator to plug in your height, weight, and activity level. Keep in mind, these numbers are usually a rough estimate. Feel free to adjust accordingly if you find you’re always low on energy and ravenously hungry.
While it can take a while to see results, keep in mind that you’re also embarking on a journey, sure to teach you healthy habits for many years to come.
Dieting can get overwhelming, after all, there are so many of them from keto to low fat and low sugar.
So how are you to decipher what’s the best and most effective diet plan for your body? Aim for hitting your TDEE as closely as possible, using the calculator above. Also, ensure that you’re eating a serving of fruits or vegetables with every meal to get the necessary vitamins and minerals your body needs to thrive. Drink eight to ten cups of water a day to stay hydrated, especially if you workout.
One of the most common mistakes newcomers make is they become slaves to the treadmill — they believe running kilometres upon kilometres is the answer. While running is indeed a healthy way to burn calories quickly, don’t neglect strength training.
Many people complain that they are ‘skinny-fat’ after doing cardio excessively— a body type that is not necessarily overweight but still has low muscle tone.
Weight lifting can do something that cardio alone cannot. Unlike cardio, lifting improves your fat distribution by building the muscles in your arms, legs, and abdomen. If you decide to implement this style of training, make sure to use high repetition ranges to increase your heart rate and boost the amount of calories you’re burning per workout session. Eventually, switch to a lower rep range and heavier weight if you wish to gain strength.
However, this doesn’t mean you should forgo cardio altogether. It should be supplemental to your program since you can keep your body in a negative energy balance by incorporating high-intensity interval training or HIIT.
HIIT can be done in a variety of ways. You can swim, run, use battle ropes, or a weighted sleigh.
Overall, this method requires you to cycle through short periods of high intensity followed by moderate recovery periods. For example, you can sprint on a treadmill or field for 20 seconds, and then immediately switch to a light jog for thirty to sixty seconds to recuperate before you start the high intensity portion again.
HIIT only takes twenty minutes or less, making it a convenient way to end your training session. This method also forces your metabolism to enter an excessive post-exercise oxygen consumption state, so you’ll be burning calories even after your workout has ended.
Low-intensity steady-state cardio or LISS is another way you can hit your weight loss goals. For this method, focus on keeping the intensity moderate, and make sure to stay active for forty to sixty minutes.
This form of cardio is an excellent choice for anyone who struggles with getting their heart rate up. It’s also optimal for anyone who suffers from excessive joint pain in the knees. Perform this on the cross trainer or on a stationary bike.
Some Great Equipment Choices
These pieces of equipment can help you strengthen your body, as well as burn a sufficient amount of calories so you may reach that negative energy balance, without under eating.
The treadmill is one of the most customisable cardio machines due to its versatile nature. You can adjust the speed and incline to create a challenging, but still manageable workout.
- Perform HIIT or LISS cardio
- Great for jogging and warming up
- Change the incline for a tough glute and leg workout
- Burn calories fast on this machine
- Use it to warm up before a lifting workout
- Can be tough on your knees if you’re prone to knee pain due to arthritis
Cross Trainer / Elliptical
The cross trainer is another full-body cardio machine. It’s preferable over the treadmill for anyone with knee pain since the movement is less jerky and impactful.
- Low impact machine
- Change the speed
- Perfect for LISS
- Lack of movement in the feet can lead to numbness/low circulation
- Does not improve your athletic ability compared to a treadmill or stair climber
Additionally, a great cardio machine that is optimal for losing weight is the rowing machine. While the last two offer leg-strengthening benefits, this machine can also help define your arms and allow your core to receive a great workout as well.
- Gets your heart rate elevated
- Challenging but adjustable
- Sculpts the back and biceps
- Works out your core
- Great machine for beginners
- Easy on the knees
- This machine doesn’t work the lower body and may burn less calories
Join a spin class, hop on a single bike at the gym or get a good spin bike for your home and craft your own workout.
- Functional fitness
- Works out the legs and gluteus maximus
- Burns hundreds of calories in a session
- Low-impact exercise
- Can be used in a group setting like spin class
- You may experience uncomfortable chafing
- Achy feet if you’re using the bike too long
Resistance bands are excellent if you can’t make it to the gym. They are also versatile and can be used for upper and lower body exercises. For weight loss, use these bands in a fast-paced circuit.
- Excellent for working out at your home gym
- Easy to take anywhere like a hotel when travelling
- Take up no space
- Can be used for a variety of exercises
- Made for the upper and lower body
- Difficult to progress after a certain point
If you ever feel tired of running on a treadmill, hop onto a vertical climber instead for a more challenging workout.
- Works the quadriceps and gluteus maximus
- Burns more calories faster than walking on a treadmill
- Perform HIIT or LISS on this machine
- Speed is adjustable
- Can be tough on the knees
- Quite challenging to a newcomer to fitness
- Requires a decent amount of balance
Leg Press Machine
The legs contain the largest muscles in the human body, so train them often to lose weight and build a sculpted body. Use high repetitions and lower weight to spike up your heart rate. The leg press machine works out all major lower body muscles and is found at most commercial centres.
- Adjustable resistance
- Works out the quadriceps, gluteus maximus, and calves
- May place too much pressure on the lower back
- Does not burn an impressive amount of calories in the short term
Try kettlebell swings the next time you’re working out your legs or at home. These get your heart rate up and are perfect for supersets and circuits.
- They work the hamstrings and improve your stamina
- Can be used for squats and lunges as well
- Easy to progress due to the large selection of weight ranges
- Handles make these easy to grab onto
- May place pressure on the lower back when performing kettlebell swings
Like a spin bike, a fan bike is a stationary piece of equipment that can jack up your heart rate. However, this machine is also excellent for working out your arms as well.
- Works the upper body and lower body
- The fan keeps you cool while you’re working out
- Burn hundred of calories in a session
- Use for HIIT and LISS
- Harder to find at some commercial gym centres
- Often on the pricier end of the spectrum if you want to buy one for home use
Battle ropes are a great way to strengthen your entire body and lose weight simultaneously. Squat down and widen your stance when using these to work your legs out too.
- Weighted ropes help strengthen your shoulders, arms and back
- Excellent for all levels of fitness
- Versatile and useful for quick full body circuits
- Can be incorporated into various workouts
- Slight learning curve when first starting out
A medicine ball is an incredible tool that can target your midsection. Incorporate exercises like Russian twists, weighted sit ups, or medicine ball slams.
- Great for the core muscles
- They can help you complete a variety of exercises
- They come in a variety of sizes and weights
- You’ll need to develop a strong core with your body weight before incorporating this modality
Athletes usually use sleds to build their speed and stamina, however, some commercial or crossfit gyms may have this piece of equipment for you to try out.
- You can perform HIIT
- You can add weighted plates for more difficulty
You must possess an existing amount of impressive strength to use this device
Shoulder Press Machine
Lastly, perform shoulder presses to strengthen your upper body — specifically your shoulders and biceps. Aim for a high repetition range, and a moderate to low weight.
- The machine helps keep your form in check
- Strengthens the arms, shoulders, and traps
- Adjustable resistance
- May not burn as many many calories in the short term
Common Mistakes To Avoid When Losing Weight
Losing weight can be quite challenging when you don’t know how to approach it. You may find yourself feeling overwhelmed and ready to give in; however, accept that you’ll make mistakes. If you wish to expedite the process and skip these common errors.
Overly Snacking or Mindless Snacking
Avoid mindless snacking, especially when consuming high calorie foods like nuts, seeds, or dried fruits. While a handful is good for you, multiple snacking sessions, especially in between every meal, will add up without you even realising it.
When one is exercising too intensely for a prolonged amount of time, they risk the dreaded burnout. You can overwhelm your body with too much exercise, so pace yourself. Especially if you’re new to the gym. Take at least one active rest day a week, where you attend a yoga class or go for a nice walk to stretch your legs.
Pick Good Habits Over Motivation
The truth of the matter is, you’re not always going to feel motivated to work out and eat well. But since staying consistent is essential,
forgo motivation and focus on building good habits instead. Accept that there will be hard days — sometimes staying home will sound more appealing than driving to the gym; however, if you adapt to your set schedule, you’re more likely to go anyway, just out of habit.
There is a right way to lose weight and a wrong way. Taking shortcuts and falling victim to quick-fix products and unsustainable exercise regimes will not give you the results you want in the long-term. These bad habits may even damage your body and relationship with fitness.
However, if you wish to lose weight the right way, take all of these tips and machine suggestions into consideration.
Out of everything listed, the battle ropes are the clear winner. They provide a significant amount of resistance, but also increase your heart rate drastically. You can also burn hundreds of calories in a single session. They also aren’t likely to cause joint issues, even when used often.
While it will take some time to reach your desired goal weight, going on a fitness journey is also a stimulating mental challenge that deserves your devotion and patience. As long as you use the right equipment, nourish your body, and stay consistent, you’ll see the results you’ve been longing to achieve.