First, I don’t want to devalue the importance of exercise. Whether it’s lifting weights to get stronger, doing a spin class for cardio health, running on the treadmill, walking outside, taking a core strength, hiit style or tabata class. If done correctly for the right outcome, all exercise is great for overall health and wellness.
Let’s look at this a little deeper. If you are just trying to get the scale to go down, then do cardio and deprive yourself of calories. Not only will you lose scale weight but you will lose muscle also. When you undereat and do a catabolic type of workout such as cardio, your body will turn to muscle for energy. At the end of the day, when we want to lose scale weight, it’s safe to say that we all want to get leaner. Leaner means having more muscle than fat on our bodies. This is ultimately the way to premium health.
In my opinion, if you want to lose 20 lbs., the cleanest, most efficient way would be to eat the proper number of calories at the right time (nutritional timing) in the proper ratios. Then I would move your body for 30-min, 2-3 times a week in some sort of HIIT (Core) style Strength training. This will burn more fat than doing Cardio.
We must reinforce that you can lose fat simply by eating correctly even if you didn’t do any exercise. That’s the power and importance of nutrition, e.g. your diet. Not a diet but your diet. Try to lose fat and scale weight by eating poorly and hitting the treadmill every day for an hour and you will lose your mind. In fact, with proper nutrition, you can lose 1-3 lbs. in a week safely. “A recent study suggests that the average obese person loses approximately five pounds of fat over the course of eight months through cardio or resistance training alone.”
That’s a great deal of work for very minimal results, so don’t forget the “calories in” side of the equation. Be sure to follow a healthy diet that delivers the calories you need to consume in order to lose weight.