This is a loaded question. Most people still believe that you must exercise to lose weight – burn more calories and eat less and the weight will drop off!!
There is a lot of misinformation about whether exercise alone, diet alone, or combining exercise with a calorie-controlled eating plan is best for losing weight.
Then people second guess by saying “It’s 80% diet and 20% exercise.”
Even though there are millions of people all around the world joining gyms to weight train and do exercise classes or choosing to run, cycle or walk the streets to drop some weight, the evidence is clear that exercise alone does not lead to weight loss.
To be clear, exercise without EFFECTIVE dietary intervention does not cause weight loss.
Gyms are full of people doing endless cardio work on bikes, ellipticals and treadmills – but their bodies never seem to change – and in some cases they even appear to put on weight.
Too much cardio can increase your body’s production of cortisol (your stress hormone) which can raise your blood sugar levels and trigger the release of insulin, your fat-storing hormone.
Also, many exercisers unknowingly undo any weight loss benefit by compensatory eating. Exercise makes them hungrier, and they end up consuming more calories, which results in weight gain.
We burn calories through metabolism as well as any physical activity. For most people it would take 3 to 4 hours of exercise every day 7 days a week (without eating anymore calories) to get into calorie deficit required for weight loss. Who could be bothered!!!!
Some people who wish to lose weight, actually do not have the energy for exercise or they simply have never found it enjoyable. Many have biomechanical problems such as sore back or knee(s) which may be exacerbated by their weight which prevents them from exercising.
The good news is you can lose weight without exercise if you find the eating plan that works for your body and one that you can follow for life.
What does that eating plan look like you ask? As our bodies are all different and what works for one may not work for another: look for an eating plan that keeps hunger at bay, reduces inflammation, stabilises blood sugar levels, reduces or eliminates cravings, tastes great and uses fresh un-processed high-nutrient foods with recipes that are easy to prepare.
Once you have found this eating plan, and starting to enjoy weight loss, your energy levels will increase, and joint pain may decrease as well. At this stage you may increase your exercise level or become interested in adding some exercise in your day.
What exercise works best once you’re ready to start? Resistance exercise to improve lean tissue (muscle) combined with some walking (or cardio work) will give you the health, wellness and aesthetic benefits and help avoid weight regain.
Resistance (strength) exercise could include some pushing and pulling exercises like push-ups, squats, lunges, step-ups or stairs.
Circuit training also combines alternating upper and lower body exercises with some jogging or large muscle group exercises. You only need 30 minutes a day 2 to 3 days a week.
On the alternate days go for a walk, find some stairs, or do a walk/jog combination. Getting outdoors also helps with sun exposure supplying vitamin D and helps your circadian rhythm which may improve your sleep which helps your weight loss efforts.
If you lost some weight and added 30 minutes of daily exercise to your day, can you imagine how much better you would look and feel?
There is no better preventative medicine than regular exercise (especially resistance exercise) and it is also helpful for life-long weight control.
If you’re looking for some help with finding the right eating plan for your body, we can help with that. That’s what we do. Just add your details to the form below and we’ll be in touch.