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Losing weight seems like a zero sum game. You put the work in, eat right and voila — the pounds melt away.

This is predominantly true in theory but like everything, balance is required. Over-doing it in the gym could potentially have negative benefits and doing you more harm than good. As a general rule, consistent weight loss requires action to be taken at least five days per week.

“If you really want to see results and continue to make progress, I would recommend that you work out around five days a week with one or two rest days,” personal trainer Rachael Attard said. She goes on to explain that a mixture of high and low intensity workouts are ideal, as low intensity activities like walking and swimming help you stay lean and toned while high intensity training like weight reps, sprints etc. can help you strengthen your core.

“One without the other leaves a huge gap in your fitness routine,” she says.

Speaking of, she recommends that you ease yourself into a new workout routine rather than go all-in immediately. Three or four days per week of exercise should be sufficient, with one or two rests days packed in between, allowing your muscles time to recover.

What are the best options for your body type?

Slim people, or ectomorphs, are efficient at burning fat so they should focus on two to three low intensity sessions, along with three sessions of resistance training per week.

Mesomorphs, or people of ‘average’ build, lose and gain weight effectively, and should follow roughly the same plan as ectomorphs.

Endomorphs have a naturally higher fat and muscle count compared to others, so low impact exercises like walking are important to help keep weight off. Some elements of weight training are not recommended — deadlifts for example — because they can cause unusually large muscle growth in the legs. One active day of recovery is also recommended.