While everyone might be telling you that if you want to lose weight, hit the gym, or count your steps. From the beginning of our weight loss journey, we have been keen to think that exercise is the key ingredient of the weight loss effort. No doubt that exercising and getting active are the scientifically proven methods to live a healthy life, increasing the overall mood and well-being. It does not result in rapid weight loss. There is a persistent myth that you can exercise your calories away. Experts believe that while thinking that working out burns off what we eat, we have missed out on the real problem; what we eat. There are certain tonic and drinks that aid in weight loss and are more effective than working out. For getting more information about such drinks, click here.
Here are five reasons to make you believe that exercise isn’t the key to lose weight:
- 1. Exercise accounts for only a small proportion of the calories burned
- 2. Exercise is of no use to you if you don’t control your dietary habits
- 3. Creating a significant calorie deficit through exercise is very hard
- 4. Exercise might even worsen your weight loss journey in other subtle ways
- 5. We must consider reframing how we think about exercise
1. Exercise accounts for only a small proportion of the calories burned
We think that the more we work out, the more fat we burn off our bodies. That is not true, and a much-underappreciated fact about exercising is that the calories we burn accounts for only a small portion of the body’s total energy expenditure. A more explanation about this fact lies in considering the three main components of energy expenditure: energy used in the catabolism of food particles, energy used in doing physical activities, and, most importantly, basal metabolic rate.
Yet another critical fact that most people don’t know is that the basal metabolic rate is our most giant energy hog, and it is that component of energy expenditure over which we have either little or no control at all. Basal metabolic rate accounts for a total of 60 to 80 per cent of the total energy expenditure of our body. Catabolism of food particles accounts for another 10.
That leaves us with only 10 to 30 per cent of the total energy utilized by physical activity. Another thing to remember here is that work out is a subset of physical activity, just like walking, jogging, etc.
What I am trying to say is that while the food we eat accounts for 100 per cent of the energy that goes into the body, exercising burns off 10 to 30 per cent of it only. If you think about it, it’s much less than the motivation given at the gym and rather much harder than the trainers at the gym makes it seem.
2. Exercise is of no use to you if you don’t control your dietary habits
Do you think you are going to lose weight by eating junk and saying afterwards that you will burn it off later at the gym? You’re mistaken. In light of the discussion mentioned above, it doesn’t matter how much time you spend on the treadmill or bikes; you cannot burn more than 30% of your calories. So how does work out help in losing weight? The answer is simple. Control your dietary habits. Stay away from fried and oily foods, and try to eat healthily. Include whole wheat grains, fruits, and green leafy vegetables in your diet if you want to lose weight. Or maybe try some negative calories foods?
3. Creating a significant calorie deficit through exercise is very hard
If one is overweight or obese and is planning to shed pounds through hitting the gym alone, it will cost him endless time, effort, and will to reach his goals and make a real impact on his weight loss journey. Consider a hypothetical man who weighs 200 pounds. He started adding a 60-minute medium intensity workout into his routine, keeping the calorie intake the same; he will only lose 5 pounds by the end of the month. And if the same man increases his food intake or decides to relax more after his hard work out, the exercise will do no benefits for him.
4. Exercise might even worsen your weight loss journey in other subtle ways
Our food intake is connected to our physical exertion. When we don’t move much, we don’t feel the need to eat much. However, if you exercise frequently, you must have noticed the hunger you get after an intense workout day at the gym. A study showed that people tend to increase their calorie intake after an hour of exercise either because they were hungrier or they overestimated the energy burned by the exercise and ate more on workout days. A single slice of pizza after an hour at the gym is enough to wipe out all of your efforts at the gym.
Another evidence suggests that people tend to slow down after an hour’s worth of exercise simply because they get tired and exhausted. This leads to using less energy on non-gym activities, which can be in the form of fidgeting less or resting more often. These compensatory behaviours offset the calories burned by making unconscious adjustments after the workout.
5. We must consider reframing how we think about exercise
Although exercise has incredible health benefits, it does not aid much in weight loss. By preventing cancer, lowering cholesterol and sugar, improving blood pressure, elevating the mood, fighting off depression, and promoting better sleep- exercise has proven to be the best drug for maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Yet it is not the best drug for losing weight. We need to shift our thinking frame and stop pushing exercise to prevent obesity and be aware of the general public about the realities of long-term weight management.
The reasons mentioned above contribute to the understanding of how exercise doesn’t make you lose weight. No doubt that exercise is excellent for overall health, yet you cannot expect to lose weight by increasing physical activities alone. On the other hand, adjusting the diet, together with increased physical activity, can!