Exercise is useless for weight loss. What?! Most people who embark on weight loss start hitting the gym and doing rigorous exercise. Unfortunately, at the root of it, we have companies like Coke and McDonald’s promoting exercise for weight loss because they don’t want you to focus on cutting out their unhealthy food and drinks. Many companies want to distract you by having you focus your attention on exercise. Eat whatever you want so long as you exercise to burn it off. But a 200-pound man who runs for 1 hour, 4 times a week an entire month can only lose 5 lbs if all other factors remain constant. And some of us eat more with increased physical activity so other factors do NOT remain constant. Consequently, if the focus is not on exercise, then what should we focus on for weight loss?
Why Exercise for Weight Loss?
Exercise is important for all aspect of health including physical health, mental health, longevity, and even living happier lives so please continue to strengthen your exercise regimen. I also find that when I do exercise, I crave less junk food. If you, however, are under the impression that as long as you exercise, you can eat anything, then we have a problem.
As a nation, we need to move more in general. Sadly, when people increase their exercise though, some people tend to slow down after workouts and even eat more. What most of us forget is that we have to run an hour to burn off burger and fries, 3 glasses of wine, and 2 donuts. An hour of running is a lot and is quickly eliminated from a few minutes of eating, like in 2 minutes of eating a cookie. Apparently, food far supersedes exercise for weight loss.
When Do We Lose Weight?
We burn only 10 – 30% of our calories during physical activity. 10% is also burned during food breakdown. Ironically, we burn the most amount of calories when our body is completely at rest. Our resting metabolism is when we burn 70% yet we only have 30% control of this function. This is when the body supports breathing, organ functions, neurological functions, and blood circulation. Unfortunately, when we do slim down, this resting metabolic rate also slows down. Exercise is useless for weight loss if it only contributes 10-30% of the equation. The key still goes back to how much we eat and what we eat.
Focus on Food for Weight Loss
To this day, I still live by some basic principles such as “eat mostly plants and don’t eat too much.” Studies show an African tribe who don’t move any more than we do but they are slim because they don’t overeat like Americans. Also remember “everything in moderation including moderation.” Learn how to cook and enjoy delicious food, set up your environment for success, and create lasting habits. Maintenance is key!
Support is the Key to Success.
Making lifestyle changes all at once can feel overwhelming. Humans are hardwired to need support; seek it both personally and professionally. Get a free 30-minute phone consultation. See if this is the right match for you by addressing natural weight loss, cravings, emotional eating, balanced diet, disease prevention, nutrition, and getting to the root cause of what’s keeping you stuck. Demystify all the internet noise and get clarity. See what others are saying on Google and Yelp.
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~ Samantha Hua, Nutrition Coach & Holistic Health Coach, San Diego, CA