10 Exercise Tips for Weight Loss

Losing weight can seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be! It actually comes down to a very simple equation: calories in vs. calories out. What does that mean, exactly? ‘Calories in’ is everything you consume – food, drinks, etc. ‘Calories out’ is the energy you expend, from working out, brushing your teeth, walking the dog, etc. To lose weight, calories in must be less than calories out.

Just because what you eat is the most important factor for weight loss, this doesn’t mean you can forget about exercise. It’s vital for that ‘calories out’ part of the equation.

10 Exercise Tips for Weight Loss

1. The first rule is to just get out there and do something. Whether it’s walking, swimming, cycling, a fitness class or even going for a run – whatever you can do, do it. Just make sure you get clearance from your doctor first.

2. You might think you’re too overweight or out of shape to exercise, but you have an advantage: generally, overweight people burn more calories than thinner people. That’s because their hearts have to work harder and beat faster – and the higher your heart rate, the more calories you’ll burn. So don’t be afraid of breaking a sweat. Sweat is your friend!

3. If you can, exercise in the morning  – not only will you have your workout done and dusted before other things get in the way, but it helps you make better food choices afterwards and will put you in a great mood for the rest of the day. And you don’t even have to leave the house – you can easily work out at home.

4. Have a daily exercise goal. For example, make a pact with yourself that you’ll exercise for at least 30 minutes, or you’ll swim 20 laps, or you’ll burn 300 calories.

5. Mix up your exercise routine. If you only ever go swimming, try learning to run. If you hate the idea of exercising in public, try working out at home. It’s all about discovering things you might never have known you liked, moving as much as you can and keeping your mind and body stimulated.

6. For the best results, combine aerobic exercise with resistance training (otherwise known as weight training). That way you’ll get super-fit at the same time as building more lean muscle, which will really ramp up your metabolism and keep you burning fat for longer.

7. Find a training buddy to exercise with – they’ll keep you accountable and you’ll help each other stay focused on reaching your goals. If you can’t find someone who lives nearby, get online to find people you can share your journey with in the virtual world.

8. Join a group fitness class – all you have to do is show up at the right time and let your instructor do all the planning for you.

9. Add in as much incidental exercise as you can. Take the stairs instead of the lift, walk to work (or part of the way) and do anything that gets you moving more in your daily life. It all adds up, and every little helps.

10. No matter what you do, give each workout your best effort. The more exercise you do – even if you hate it at first and it all seems too hard – the easier and more enjoyable it will become.

As with 12WBT’s Meal Plans, our Exercise Plans do all the thinking for you. They’re designed for every fitness level, including those who’ve not moved for years, mums-to-be, new mums or even those who want to run a marathon!

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11 thoughts on “10 Exercise Tips for Weight Loss

  1. Sorry and I meant to say – do this in conjunction with 12wbt – the diet and program will help if you want it to!

  2. I have MS and get tired quickly, especially in the mornings. I have a pedometer and try to get between 4500-6500 steps a day, and try to eat a maximum of 1200-1400 cals each day, but have not lost any weight. Would this diet help me, as I am worried about the amount of exercise required each day. I do gym 2-3 times a week and try to use an exercise bike each day for 15 minutes ons other days. I want to loose weight and slim down, especially the stomach area. I weigh 70kg and would like to get down to 60kgs. Can this diet honestly help me..

    1. Hi Pam,

      Thanks or contacting us. It sounds like you are doing a terrific job of exercising as much as you can given your tiredness from MS.

      In regards to weight loss, as weight loss is 80% nutrition and 20% exercise, the nutrition side of things is what’s going to be post important for your weight loss specific goals. For women with weight loss goals with a BMI >30, we recommend 1200 calories per day however you might like to seek clearance from your health care providers before committing to a 1200 calorie per day Meal Plan. As not all calories are created equal, our Meal Plans are designed to include 3 nutritious meals and 3 healthy snacks each day. Even if you have to modify the Exercise Plans somewhat, by following the Meal Plans as prescribed, you can still achieve a great result.

      When it comes to your exercise, what we’d suggest is to pretty much continue on with what you are doing with your 2-3 gym sessions and if you can add any extra sessions during the week, then add in a 12WBT workout. You can choose to use a 12WBT Workout Plan during your gym sessions if you find them doable or continue with the program you are already using.

      We also have a Fitness Program called the Move program which is the entry level program for 12WBT and this is something you might like to consider in consultation with your health care providers. You could complete these sessions at home on your non-gym days. The exercises in its Exercise Plans are all low impact and low intensity, and the Fitness Program itself is comprised of 4-5 days of exercise rather than 6. The Move program is the perfect program for those people who have never exercised before, haven’t exercised in a long time or who have injuries and/or health concerns that requires them to introduce a fitness routine more gently.

      While the recommended Calorie Levels are higher for the Move program (as they are designed to be achievable for 12WBTers with a BMI >30) you are welcome to switch to a lower calorie level of 1200 calories per day for example, if you don’t have as much weight to lose.

      Pre-Season for the September Round has just started and the Round kicks off on 14th September. If you’d like to join us, please head to:

      I hope that this assists with making an informed decision about signing up and I wish you all the very best with your health and fitness goals. We’d love to have you on board if you feel that the Program is right for you!

      Kind regards

      12WBT Support Crew

    2. Hi Pam
      I too have MS and I struggle so much to find energy to exercise. I commend you for being able to do that many steps and gym classes every week! I have been told that Pilates is really good for MS – it helps tone and works on core strength which targets the areas we tend to carry excess weight (like around the stomach). I’m trying to work myself up to do a Pilates class but might just start with a DVD at home. Unfortunately one of the side effects of the MS medication I am on is weight gain.. so I’m just trying to keep the gain under 5kg.
      Good luck to you!

  3. I exercise 5 days a week and go for a walk on another I have been unable to give myself the super Saturday workout. I did it once after a fitness class and it really worked well. I have come down with a virus in the mouth which I think as taken a bit of my energy. Today yoga maybe I could try today to go into gym for an extra half an hour

    1. Hi Mary,

      Sorry to hear you’re feeling unwell at the moment. Listen to your body and rest if you need to rest. Although you haven’t been able to do your Super Saturday Session, you’ve still be exercising 6 days a week… and that’s fantastic!! Keep up the great work. 🙂

      12WBT Support Crew

  4. Hi team

    i have two questions for you !

    i like to get into the gym and burn as many calories as i can in a short amount of time e.g. 25 minutes of uphill power walking/jogging on 6.5-8.5 and it burns around 400 calories. In the 12WBT program i know it says to do an hour of exercise a day, i can only afford to do 30 mins for 3-4 times a week – what calories should i aim to get to – to be aligned with the program, if i am short for time? in other words the quickest work out for weight loss in the least amount of time.

    Also if you are on 1,200 calories a day and you exercise 400 calories off – does that mean you should eat more than 1,200 or not?

    thanks team !

    1. Hi there!

      If an hour of exercise each day is not realistic for you, doing a hard 30 minutes, 3-4 times per week is great! It’s got to work for you. Everyone burns a different number of calories so it’s hard to give a blanket recommendation. If you’re burning 400 calories walking for 25 minutes, that is AWESOME! The 12WBT Express Workouts will also be great for you, to add some variety to your training. These are 10-30 minute workouts, perfect for those who don’t have time to train for a full hour.

      For weight loss, we do not recommend eating back the calories you burn during exercise. Sticking to our recommended calorie levels per day will create a calorie deficit, which is essential for weight loss. If you were to then eat back the extra calories you burned during your training session, you would be reducing the calorie deficit to a point where, often, weight loss will not occur…especially if you are burning big calories (400-1000) during your exercise each day.

      Eating back your exercise calories can also lead to thoughts and views on nutrition an exercise that aren’t exactly healthy. For example “I have burnt 600 calories so I can treat myself to xyz” or “Because I have eaten xyz over my calorie allowance, I better get to the gym for an extra session.” These thoughts don’t serve anyone trying to lose weight or improve their health. So follow the Meal Plans as they have been prescribed and trust that you are receiving all the nutrition and energy you need to get through the day and hammer your exercise, while losing weight!

  5. Hello i have only just started the 12wbt. Im on day 2. I have tried posting a few times but no one seems to write back to me.
    I was wondering if im eating 1200 cal a day and burning 2000 the whole day will i lose weight? Or do you have to burn 1200 cal in the exercise hour then the other is extra?

    Im also struggling with snack ideas. I looked at the recipe. But i find they require a fair bit of prep. I just like to grab some fruit. Is that ok?

    1. Hi Em,

      I am sorry to hear that you haven’t received any responses to your posts. If you require assistance from our Support Crew, make sure you flag a Trainer in your post and this will be highlighted by our Trainer team. You can always post a question too.

      Keep in mind, weight loss is 80% nutrition, 20% exercise so as long as you follow the 1200 calorie Meal Plans and do your best to keep active each day, you will lose weight. You don’t need to focus on how many daily calories you burn, just stick to the program, trust Mish and the results will come!


    2. I originally struggled with the snacks too, but now have that worked out so I still enjoy my baked goods, and get envious looks from my work collegues when I insist I’m still within my 1,200 per day. The best pre-packed idea is from Michelle’s menu plans for breakfast muffins. The recipes for the muffins are approx 300 cal per serve, and serve 2. So I triple the recipe, then use my standard muffin tray to make 12 for approx 150 cal per serve. Perfect to be wrapped & thrown into the freezer and grabbed before heading out the door for work – sometimes adding some low-fat ricotta & drizzle of honey which I can fit into a dressing container. My other standard default, is 2 sao biscuits, 1 slice low-fat cheese, sliced tomato & fresh basil – perfect ! 🙂 My advise is stick to the meal plan, regardless of whether you get the exercise in or not for the day. The food not only meets all of our nutritional requirements – which you don’t want to scrimp on, and also tastes great! Follow the plan, and the weight will look after itself.

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