Dr Amanda’s answer:
The short answer: Pay equal attention to cardio and weight training!
Traditionally, cardio exercise (long hours slogging away) was thought to be the main focus for weight loss. We now know that a combo of cardio and resistance training provide the best results. Resistance training (2-3 sessions per week) helps to build muscle mass and more muscle means more fat burning capacity.
But there’s also a new (and better way) of doing your cardio sessions:
The latest research indicates that we don’t necessarily need hours of low-intensity cardio exercise to burn fat (or build fitness). You can get the same, if not better, fat burning results if you push the intensity of your cardio session higher while reducing the duration of the session. Better yet, take your cardio session and do it in the form of a high-intensity interval-training session.
You do this by doing an interval of high-intensity exercise (e.g. 1-2 min. of running) followed by a rest period. The rest period can be complete rest or “active rest” doing low-intensity exercise (e.g. 1 min. of walking). By doing a couple of these “reps” (e.g. 10 x intervals) you not only make your exercise routine less boring, but it really boosts your metabolism during and after the exercise session to maximise your fat-burning capacity. It is also time-efficient for people who don’t have a lot of time to spend on exercise. You can build the intensity and duration of your intervals as you get fitter to lose more excess body fat. You can do interval training on a treadmill, bike, rowing machine, or the super-circuit which is ideal for interval training. You don’t need more than 2-3 high-intensity interval sessions per week (and it’s not recommended).
Remember if you’ve had a hard training session (interval or weight training session) on one day, then the next day should be easy or a rest day.