I'm not convinced that your mother's experience indicates that intense exercise doesn't work long term. It is entirely normal for weight loss to slow down as you approach your goal weight. It's easy to lose weight quickly when you have 80 lbs to lose, harder when you have just 20 lbs to go. This applies pretty much regardless of exercise program design.
The best thing you can do in terms of exercise is making it a long term habit, and part of your lifestyle. After all, the form of exercise that burns the most calories is the one you stick to. So pick something you actually enjoy.
But in terms of intensity, I very much believe you should start out gently, and ramp things up from there. This has nothing to do with weight loss stalling out later, but rather:
* establishing a new habit of regular exercise is hard. But it is easier if you are confident that your workout is within your (current) limits. Intense workouts can be intimidating, and you are more likely then to invent excuses not to do them. As you get fitter and able to do more demanding exercise, then you can increase the intensity at that stage.
* Doing intense exercise cold turkey increases your risk of injury. Over time, your body adapts to the demands you make of it, and gets fitter and stronger, and more capable of doing more. After a few weeks of regular exercise, you can likely comfortably do what would have been (dangerously?) challenging earlier?
I am a fan of intense exercise as being far more effective than just 'cruising along', but I also believe that this is something you should work up to gradually.
Tabata workouts are great, but the poster who suggested an exercise beginner do them 3 times per week is way off beam.
One thing that should be part of your exercise routine from the start though is strength training. Without ST, up to 25% of your weight loss can come from lost muscle, rather than fat. Muscle burns calories even at rest, and over time, this lost muscle can slow your metabolism, and mark your ongoing weight loss efforts harder. And it is a lot easier to maintain your existing muscle by doing ST now, than it is to add it back later.
Edited by: MOTIVATED@LAST at: 9/15/2013 (03:58)
The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.
| current weight: 178.0