The Best Exercise for Weight Loss

People often ask me, “Al, what’s the best exercise for weight loss?” The problem with that question is it assumes exercise is the best way to lose weight.

While things like running and cross training are great ways to burn calories, the fact of the matter is that your diet has more to do with your body fat percentage than any other factor.

It doesn’t matter if you run every morning, lift weights in the afternoon and go to yoga at night. If you can’t keep your diet in check, you’ll likely have a tough time staying lean for the long haul.

Sure, exercise plays a part in weight loss – after all, exercise builds muscle, and having more lean muscle mass will increase your resting metabolism. Plus exercise burns plenty of calories. In spite of these factors, I maintain that the best way to get lean is simply to eat foods that are as close to their original state as possible. Go to your local farmers’ market and load up on fresh fruits and veggies (or grow your own). Check out my list of Al approved foods for more details.

Of course big corporations don’t want you to do that – it means less money for them. They want you as fat as possible and they will do anything they can to fool you into buying their lies. Speaking of which,Vitamin Water is being sued for the outrageous claims that they make on their packaging about increased energy and brain power. Seeing them get called out on their bullshit is (pardon my pun) quite refreshing.

So what should you eat? How about trying one of my delicious smoothie recipes!

Today I bring you “Al’s Old School PB&J.” I discovered this recipe by accident a few years ago and it became a cult sensation at my old gym. Here it is:

Al’s Old School PB&J

4 oz. Milk
1 heaping cup of berries (a mix of your choosing)
3 tablespoons of natural peanut butter
Honey (optional)
1/2 banana (optional)
3-5 ice cubes

Watch the video below for more:

45 thoughts on “The Best Exercise for Weight Loss

  • By John Danforth -

    You're absolutely right Al. At this time 1 year ago I was doing much more cardio(along with weight training) in order to lose weight. I was eating healthy meals but did a lot of munching on candy/ice cream at night and for my efforts I kept gaining weight. This past January I got serious about my diet and with probably less cardio I have lost almost 20lbs and look much leaner. I've had many smoothies similiar to the one above and it tastes great!

  • By Al Kavadlo -

    Thanks for sharing, John!

  • By dannykavadlo -

    Lookin diesel Al!

  • By Al Kavadlo -

    Thanks – must be all the smoothies!

  • By Ajcurly -

    Like John, I was also doing a ton of cardio (road bike 140 miles a week) last year while eating “healthy” food. Now, eating paleo I don't even need to exercise to keep fat off. It's a pretty amazing feeling. I do exercise of coarse because I like to, not because I HAVE to.

  • By Al Kavadlo -

    I hear you, AJ! I often say that I am lucky because I “get to” work out every day. It never feels like a chore because I enjoy the process.

  • By brettnord -

    Hey Al, I know you are a frequent poster @ Mark's Daily Apple…wouldn't you recommend Almond butter (and no honey) for this smoothie? 😉

    thanks for the great info you provide on your site.

  • By Al Kavadlo -

    Hey Brett – Feel free to vary this recipe up any way that you'd like to. My dietary beliefs are not 100% in accordance with Mark's but that's why I have my own blog!

  • By Fmte -

    I tried this smoothie this morning…sooooo good!! In the (extremely unlikely) event that I end up on death row and have to choose a final meal I will give this smoothie serious consideration!!!

    • By Alex Good -

      In the unlikely event that I end up on death row I’ll be asking for the heart of the judge who sentenced me.

  • By Al Kavadlo -

    Wow that's quite an endorsement!

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  • By AppalachianMatt -

    Damn good smoothie Al. We switched out the Peanut butter for Almond butter and besides mixing it a little longer its pretty damn awesome.

    • By Al Kavadlo -

      Glad you liked it, Matt! More smoothie recipes to come!

  • By Diet Plan for Weight Loss -

    nice… This article is interesting… enjoyed reading… doing proper exercise are also helpful to lose weight.

  • By way to lose weight -

    special diet not only satisfy your appetite but also provide the essential nutrients and the chemicals necessary for the proper functioning of the body…

  • By David -


    New to your blog. Like it a lot! Learning new ideas for body weight workouts.
    Diet. I eat Paleo and stopped eating starchy foods like sweet potato to reduce unwanted BF. Hit a serious BF plateau and can’t seem to lose the last 5%. Rats! 55 to 62% good fats, around 25 to 28% good protein (meat, fish), and rest is carbs. Nothing has changed in the past month with this diet. Also, been eating Paleo for 2 years. Care to share ideas how to break through this BF plateau. (I lift heavy 3x a week and crossfit too).

    • By Al Kavadlo -

      Thanks, David! As far as your weight loss plateau, just stay the course – keep eating good, clean food and training hard. The leaner you get, the harder it is to keep dropping fat. Also, you might need to eat less total calories to lose the last few pounds.

      • By David -

        Thanks Al! Good suggestions. Maybe you can give me one more lead. I don’t need to lose weight, just rid of the last 5 to 8% BF. Granted losing weight may mean the same with losing BF. Have tried to lose this for a year or more while eating Paleo and following Mark Sisson’s PB workouts. With my workouts and eating habits thought I’d lean out but no such luck.Keep up the good work. Maybe I should try more body weight exercises!

        • By Al Kavadlo -

          It’s hard to give specific workout suggestions to people I haven’t actually met face to face but I like your idea to try more bodyweight exercise. And of course if you need one more lead, I recommend that you get a copy of my book!

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  • By Georgia Melnick -

    hi there

  • By Jimsdoodles -

    My big hangup with dieting is that I’m constantly hungry. I try controlling portion sizes and eating more veggies/legumes, but it feels like I can’t get full without overeating. am I supposed to just be hungrier if I want to cut body fat?

    • By Al Kavadlo -

      Either that or learn to accept your current level of bodyfat.  The leaner you get, the harder it gets to keep getting leaner.  It’s a case of diminishing returns.

  • By Barry Martindale -

    Was doing paleo for several months and just slowly veared off the trail and started munching potato chips, snickers, white bread, ….amazing how bloated and lethargic I feel..gonna get back on the paleo.  I have also given up supplements.  Went through a weird withdrawal for about 5 days.  The human body was designed to take care of itself as long as we feed it what it needs.

    • By Al Kavadlo -

      I like this quote: “The human body was designed to take care of itself as long as we feed it what it needs.”  Get back on the horse and start giving your body what it needs!

      • By herbal tea -

        Great quotes. Your article truly gives me fruitful information. I honestly say that i am tired from my exercise and diets, but till not get slim as proper body what i want.

  • By Breunor -

    Good call on peanut butter and jelly ingredients, I’m so used to using a protein powder and this is a healthier option. Something I’d suggest is that people can freeze their berries (or buy them frozen like the 5 pound bags at Costco), and then can skip the ice cubes. My vitamix than chew up anything, but not all blenders will survive ice cubes over time. Just add a little more milk or water for the ice cube volume and you’d be set.

    • By Al Kavadlo -

      Glad you like this recipe, Breunor!  Good idea on the frozen berries – feel free to modify this recipe as you see fit.

  • By Anonymous -

    made it this morning and it WAS delicious! added a couple of prunes and a sprinkle of nuts and seeds but only used two teaspoons of peanut butter 🙂 I know you dont believe in counting calories but I have an underactive thyroid and HAVE to control my calorie intake…so my question is how many calories are in this thing?

    • By Al Kavadlo -

      Glad you like the recipe!  The way I wrote it out will yield about 500 calories, but the calorie count will vary depending on the ingredients used, so just add up the calories of each of your ingredients to find the total.  

  • By Patrick Kevin -

    Yeah, diet is really important. However many people tend to look MOSTLY on their diet and not on their physical activity and general lifestyle. An intense workout of 2hrs doesn’t mean nothing if you spend the rest of the day on the pc! Walk, run, do the upstairs (elevators are for pussies!!), avoid car, whenever you can!

    Anyway, the major weight loss exercise I’ve experimented is rope jumping: more effective, in terms of calories burnt, than any other exercise!

    • By Al Kavadlo -

      Jumping rope can burn lots of calories, but if your diet is a mess you’ll never lose weight.

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  • By Craig Riches -

    Hey Al – First and foremost I wanted to compliment you on such a well thought out and informative blog/site. A real treasure find for me today and I just downloaded your e-book too! 
    My question to you is what is your take on the Paleo Diet approach? I was looking at the ingredients for your Smoothie and was thinking if I had that every morning I’d end up with serious weight gain. Plus it doesnt seem to reflect a Paleo approach. A healthy 2012 to you and keep up the great blog.

    • By Al Kavadlo -

      Thanks, Craig!  I think the Paleo diet is great in theory, but overly restrictive in practice.  I’ve done several other posts where I outline my diet philosophy.  In fact, a few of them are linked in the text of the above post.

      As for gaining weight from this smoothie, that would depend on your activity level and what else you ate the rest of the day.  The smoothie itself is barely 500 calories and it’s quite filling.

  • By Cyx -

    Now, I appreciate the value of a good and balanced diet, and I may not be the best example being as I have the metabolism of a 17-year old(guess why that is).  That being said, however, I think that anyone who says it’s impractical to lose weight only by exercising has never tried wrestling competitively.  I lost 14 pounds in the first four weeks of practice, without dieting, and I was already only about 15% body fat to begin with.

    • By Al Kavadlo -

      Thanks for sharing your experience, Cyx.

  • By Dirk -

    Love the blog and your highlight video is just incredible!  A quick smoothie suggestion – peel a bunch of bananas, stick them in a zip-lock bag, then plop them in the freezer.  When you make a smoothie just stick a frozen banana in the blender and there’s no need for ice!  Keep up the great work!

    • By Al Kavadlo -

      Thanks, Dirk!

  • By Rob White -
    • By Al Kavadlo -

      I’m kinda surprised it took this long for someone to post a video of Peanut Butter and Jelly Time!

  • By Branl -

    al you look ripped to shreds in that pic above!

    • By Al Kavadlo -

      Thanks! That’s why I chose it for this blog post!

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