The belief that doing exercises helps you lose weight is the one of most common misconceptions. Some people believe that exercising is crucial for losing weight.
Now, let me ask you a question. Do you know what exercises the naturally skinny people do? Do they exercise at all? A little thinking can take you a long way. The answer is that the naturally skinny people exercise very little.
I personally was a loyal follower of the media guides and their advice’s for a long time. I did a lot of exercising and when I say a lot I mean it.
I practically exercised myself to death. I ran 5-7 times a week, I went to the gym 4 times a week minimum and I did home exercises. See what I mean? And the results were… There were no results! I was still the chubby girl everyone knew from before. I did exercises of all kinds and still years later I was the same person with the same problem- Losing weight!
I was angry and frustrated because of many things. Still, nothing could make me flip out like when some skinny moron would tell me that I am fat or that I should lose weight.
Chubby, you need to do some exercises, burn that fat! Hahah, know what I mean?
When I would hear this I would fell so angry, so frustrated and so ashamed that I would want to punch him in the face! Want to know why? Because I was already doing a lot of exercises!
I was exercising more than anyone I knew! In the same time, whenever I went to the doctor, the first thing they would tell me was that I needed to lose weight.
Naturally, that made me flip out even more, that I practically started to hate hospitals. I had been doing exercises with countless repetitions, exercises of all kinds, for years and this skinny doctor who looked like he had never done an exercise in his life told me to lose weight by exercising?
Then, I discovered the truth about exercising…
I started to read different books and scientific studies about exercising and weight loss and I came upon some shocking information.
I found out that there had been some scientific studies linking weight loss and exercising which proved a connection that was totally different form the one written in the magazines and offered in the media. The main and most important facts were:
- We spend very few additional calories by exercising;
- Exercising increases most of the peoples’ appetite and daily needs;
- It has been scientifically proven that exercising doesn’t help people lose weight in long-terms.
What does this mean in practice?
For example, if you take an average girl, who exercise for 1 hour in the gym, the calculators will show that she will most likely spend 300 calories exercising. Furthermore, if the same girl decides to do aerobic exercises, the calculators will show that she will spend 320 calories doing aerobic.
The catch is that this girl has a daily metabolism equal to 1600 calories, which means that she will spend 1600 calories no matter the exercising, just sitting and doing nothing, watching TV, having a normal day at home. Now, if you divide that with 24 hours, you will get that this girl spends 70 calories/hour.
The calculators don’t show you that the 300 calories she spends exercising are total spend calories. That means that the 300 calories she spends exercising aren’t in fact additional 300 calories to the regular 70 calories she spends in an hour. It’s because the girl spends 70 calories regularly, by doing nothing. The total result is 300-70=230 additional calories for an hour exercising at the gym.
Only 230 calories?! This result is pitiful! A small sized candy bar has 230 calories!!! 230 calories are a few bites of pizza!!! An hour of exercises and sweat for few bites of pizza or a small candy bar?!
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Unfortunately, many people don’t get this and still believe that exercising is some magical tool that can help you lose weight!
So basically you’re telling me that exercising doesn’t work at all?!
The problem is that exercising doesn’t work for most of the people in long terms.
However, if you eat normally and start to exercise, you will lose weight in the first few days or weeks because you’ll be spending more.
Eventually, you will also want to eat more as a reaction. Without noticing you will start eating more, consuming few extra bites of food and in that way you’ll automatically start to negate the exercising as well, whose effects will stop to function shortly after.
Sure, there are people who are a rare exception, outside this rule of natural equation. In fact, when some people start to exercise their appetite doesn’t necessarily increase. You might be one of these people, which means that you should try exercising and check for yourself.
However, one thing is certain- You must understand that exercising isn’t the magical, fat-burning, weight-losing method that will solve all your extra-weight problems. It all comes down to the number of calories entered and calories spend. Count calories while you exercise. Track your results.
If you react to the exercising with an increased appetite and you only end up eating more, then stop exercising. For example, if you spend additional 200 calories by running but eat twice that at home and enter extra 400 calories, then you should stop practicing it!
To conclude, exercising is great because it improves your health. However, do not start exercising with illusions that by exercising you will automatically or somehow magically burn fat and lose the extra weight. At the end of the day, it all comes down to finding the right balance between the calories you enter and spend. Doing exercises that help you spend 200 calories but enter 400 calories later won’t do you any good.
Don’t you recommend doing exercises with weights and stuff?
Yes, I do. Doing exercises with weights can help you form a beautiful body. This includes weightlifting, practicing intensive yoga, rope exercising and body-weight exercises like crunches and push-ups ant other.
These exercises are used to increase muscle potency and tonus. Doing exercises with weights can help you to develop the muscles and achieve a sculpted, defined look. This refers to men and women alike.
Therefore, my advice is to practice exercising, with or without weights but practice it illusion free. Meaning that doing exercises won’t make you magically lose weight.
As I said earlier, test it and see for yourself. If doing exercises doesn’t increase you appetite, it’s great and you should continue doing it. However, in most people’s cases the exercising is automatically negated with increased appetite. In this case you should stop exercising.
Are all the pro-exercising experts and media wrong?
I will not say they are completely wrong. I will not negate the benefits of exercising. On the contrary, exercising is healthy and I recommend it constantly to everyone who knows how it works. It’s the people who don’t know how exercising works that have a big problem.
The problem is that exercising may seem like a magical, safe solution to lose weight, but that’s only in short terms. Exercising won’t solve your weight problems permanently. Basically, there are 4 major reasons why the media and the exercise experts put so much focus on doing exercises.
1) The food industry forces exercising importance in the media.
Why does the food industry do this? It’s simple. The food industry forces the exercising importance in the media because they want to sell more food. They are all aware that there are people that want to lose weight. But if you are aware that you can lose weight on the easiest way by just eating less, then the food industry will lose money.
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Therefore, the food industry invests and sponsors exercising studies. The goal of these studies is to help you lose the body fat, which is the extra food consumed. Like it’s not easier to eat less and not bother with the extra food later. No, no, the food companies want you to constantly over-eat yourself, buy food as often and as much as possible and deal with the extra weight later. Go jogging for 3 hours and do exercises so you could burn the extra body fat.
Isn’t it simpler and easier to not over-eat in the first place? In that way you will not have to exercise and sweat so you could burn the extra food and you will save some money for food anyways.
2) The fitness trainers and experts must do something, right?
Many people don’t know this but if people knew how to easily lose weight without any help, the fitness trainers and fitness experts would be out of work. Therefore, they must complicate things up so they can have something to sell.
So, these trainers and experts will tell you how to exercise properly will talk about and will describe special fat-burning zones, special exercises in special days with special techniques and special exercise machines….and many other things special.
The truth is there is nothing special about the trivial stuff they keep on talking about since the trivia only makes 2% of the difference in the total weight loss.
The best fat-burning exercise on the planet might make additional 10% difference form the worst one. And how can you measure those 10%? It’s a half a bite of your favorite food. All that complicating for half a bite?!
3) It’s logical to connect the aerobic exercises with a controlled diet, isn’t it?
For example, during preparations time, a bodybuilder or a kick-boxer practices strict diet. He/she eats an exact predetermined number of calories, has equal meals every day in the same time and every bite of food he puts in his mouth is planned. If then, this same person applies aerobic exercises to the strict diet, he/she will spend an additional 200 calories.
The increased appetite as a result of the exercises doesn’t mean anything in this case since this person is already following a strict pre planned diet.
In this case, it’s logical to practice aerobic exercises combined with a controlled diet because it speeds up the weight loss.
However, in your case, adding aerobic exercises to your program will most likely result in eating more food for lunch or dinner. In our case, we, I mean the normal people who have busy life, the social events; parties, family gatherings, lunches and etc. prevent aerobic exercises to work for us since we practice a more flexible, non-limiting diet and lead a normal life.
Nevertheless, if you try to escape the family lunches, parties, dates and other effects and exercise every day for two consecutive weeks but attend you fiends birthday party on which you over-eat and drink yourself that you’ll ruin the two weeks of effort exercising and the next two weeks that come as well.
4) Doing exercises affects the health
Most scientists agree that a certain controlled level of aerobic exercises improves the human health in general. The problem occurs when people mix health and losing weight. That means that going for a run or the occasional exercises will help you improve your health, but not magically lose the extra weight.