What is the most recommended physical activity which is effective to lose weight and no more than 60mins every day?
You can perform high-intensity style workouts that take less time and are efficient, and I will go into the reasons why below. Before we get to that however, it is important to understand food's role in weight loss. If you are simply going to add physical activity and not change how you are eating, you will not get to your target. While physical activity is incredibly important, food is somewhere between 80–90% of the equation, and can therefore not go ignored. Now, moving on:
Traditional theories on weight loss and health are still based around training in the "aerobic," or low intensity zone. However, this narrow-minded approach is slowly changing and broadening in recent years. A calorie-based model of metabolism is not the most useful way to look at exercise.
If one were to examine track athletes, we can compare elite sprinters and marathoners. Each have extremely low percentages of body fat, but the sprinters tend to have even less body fat and, additionally, higher percentages of lean muscle mass. How can this be? Sprinters engage in activities in the "anaerobic" window- short bursts of intense activity lasting only seconds, while marathoners generally train in the "aerobic" window for hours at a time using large amounts of caloric energy. So, if the aerobic exercise regimen is truly the best for fat loss, why is there a discrepancy between these two groups of athletes?
The common misconception today among many people is exercise in the aerobic window, defined as activity 65-80% of the maximum heart rate (MHR), is the best way to burn fat per unit time, when this is simply not the case. Exercise at lower intensities burns a higher percentage of fat with sugar (carbohydrates) relatively, which is true.
However, exercise beyond the aerobic training zone burns more total energy (and fat) because it is at a higher intensity. On top of high-intensity exercise being more efficient, there are other metabolic benefits that make this form of exercise more appealing for fat loss.
In 2009, a systematic review conducted by Melanson et al. investigated the effects of exercise on metabolic activity. The study focused mainly on moderate-intensity aerobic activities, including swimming, jogging and biking, but also included a small amount of anaerobic exercises.
The results of this study showed no discernible difference when comparing it to moderate-intensity exercise. The study also showed aerobic exercise did not provide a significant advantage to weight loss over diet alone. The study did show moderate exercise was helpful in maintaining weight loss, but not as effective when used at a tool to evoke fat loss on its own.
More promising studies highlighting the effects of anaerobic, high-intensity exercise regimens have begun to appear. In his book, A Primer for Exercise and Nutritional Sciences: Thermodynamics, Bioenergetics, and Metabolism, Dr. Christopher Scott of the University of Southern Maine pointed out the benefits of anaerobic, high-intensity exercise benefits metabolism and the ability of the body to use calories as energy.
Before we get into his findings, it is important to understand how to account for total number of Calories burned overall, which is broken up into three categories. They are 1) Calories burned aerobically during exercise, 2) Calories burned aerobically after exercise (defined as excess post-exercise oxygen consumption, or EPOC), and 3) anaerobic Calories burned from exercise. EPOC is defined as the amount of energy needed to recover following exercise, regardless of the type (anaerobic or aerobic exercise). Its effects, however, vary based on the intensity of the exercises performed.