Is nutrition really that important? Absolutely.
In the total package of weight loss, nutrition is easily 60% while exercise holds 20% and sleep, being rest and recovery, the other 20%.
For at-home workouts, there is a multitude of ways to trigger weight loss. Any activity that raises your heart rate above your normal resting heart rate for an extended period of time will burn calories. Calorie loss equals fat loss.
Jumping jacks, jump-rope, jogging-in-place, burpees, are some aerobic-style exercises that you can easily combine with body-weight strength training exercises to create a complete at-home workout. Here are some really good body-weight exercise options that would pair fantastically with the aforementioned aerobic-style exercises: push-ups, squats, sit-ups, crunches, or planks.
A HIIT workout, or high-intensity interval training, should only take you about 10 – 15 minutes. However, it requires you to be able to perform exercises at your full potential for short bursts of time while resting between those short bursts. For example, you could do jumping jacks as fast as you can for 30 seconds straight and then rest standing-up for 30 seconds. After the rest period, you repeat the set. You can mix and match exercises as well, 30 seconds of intense jump-rope followed by 30 seconds of resting standing up. The benefit to HIIT is that you do not have to workout for long periods of time. HIIT will burn a lot of calories in a shorter time frame. However, it does require you to perform the exercises with 100% of your ability, which will cause you to breathe very hard and will be difficult to maintain.
The widely popular alternative is LISS, low-intensity steady-state cardio. This type of exercise also requires you to raise your heart-rate above normal, but not as intensely as HIIT. The idea behind LISS is longevity. Walking is a fantastic example. While walking may seem to “easy,” this exercise can increase your heart-rate and when performed for an extended period of time triggers fat loss. The time-frame could range between 45 minutes to 90 minutes. This really depends on your body and your goals. The benefit with LIIS is that the exercises that work well are low-intensity, not requiring your body to perform at peak levels. Yet in order to reap the benefit of LIIS, the exercise you choose needs to be continued for a much longer time than HIIT.
However, in order to lose weight, you must put your body in a calorie deficit. This means having consumed fewer calories than your body needs to sustain itself throughout the day. For example, if your body needs 2,000 calories to live life and perform your daily routine, you should aim to consume around 1,500 calories. In this calorie deprived state, your body turns to fat for energy to make up the deficit, thus reducing fat inside your body equaling weight loss.
A great way to support a calorie deficit diet while maintaining nutritional integrity is by using supplements. While it may be difficult to fit in the nutrition your body needs during a busy day from a good meal, you can improve your workout with a quick pre-workout shake before your exercise will provide your body with much-needed energy and protein. There are many reputable sources for supplements and a good nutrition plan should include them.
Pairing exercise, good nutrition, and supplementation within a calorie deficit will drastically increase your bodies ability to loses weight and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Good luck out there!