Step #6: Exercise for Weight Loss

Increase the intensity of your exercise.

Once you reach the maximum amount of exercise you’re willing and able to commit to, gradually increase the intensity, or how hard exercise.

To be specific:

Increase your exercise heart rate by no more than approximately 5 beats per minute (bpm) every sixth day of exercise.
How do I take my exercise heart rate?


If your exercise heart rate is currently around 130 bpm, exercise continuously at no more than 135 bpm on your sixth exercise session.

If it’s difficult to exercise at a higher intensity for your entire workout, you can increase your intensity in intervals.

  1. Exercise at 130 bpm for 5 minutes.
  2. Exercise at 135 bpm for 5 minutes.
  3. Repeat until you achieve your total exercise time.
ACSM’s Guidelines for Exercise Testing and Prescription, 7th edition (2006)
ACSM Position Stand: Appropriate Intervention Strategies for Weight Loss and Prevention of Weight Gain for Adults

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Stephanie Averkamp

About the Author was created by Stephanie Averkamp, a recognized health and fitness professional and sole-author of the content on this website. Stephanie's approach to weight loss emphasizes making small, realistic, and permanent lifestyle changes. Read more...

Stephanie Averkamp

Our Approach: Short-term solutions (like dieting) are unrealistic and ineffective because at some point they end. As soon as a diet or program ends, so do the results. Permanent weight loss is a journey; it's not a race or competition and there is no finish line. Read more...