Exercising May Actually Hurt Your Weight Loss Efforts

So you’ve decided it is time to lose weight. You recognize the health benefits of losing weight and you also recognize the dangers of not losing weight. If you are overweight or obese, and have a significant amount of weight to lose, one of the worst decisions you can make it to mentally combine the two disciplines of weight loss AND exercise.

Forget the years of preaching from the experts who say… “In order to lose weight, all you have to do is eat sensibly and exercise.” This is a myth that has not been proven true. If it was true, we would not be so overweight. The truth is exercise will not help much when it comes to losing weight. Therefore, if you are not already in the habit of exercising, then don’t start it when you begin a weight loss program. There is a reason you don’t exercise and it is probably because you don’t really enjoy it. If you start both dieting and exercising at the same time and lose interest in exercising then the chances of you giving up on dieting are greater.

Concentrate on one thing at a time. First, concentrate on changing your diet so that you will lose weight. Any diet that allows you to eat fewer calories than you burn will cause you to lose weight. Here is another myth: losing weight slowly is better than losing weight quickly. The truth is there really is no scientific evidence that fast weight loss is bad for you and that slow is better. Actually, a study published in the International Journal of Behavioral Medicine suggests that, for obese patients in the initial stages of weight loss, shedding pounds quickly may actually be key to keeping them off. Their findings indicate both short- and long-term advantages to fast initial weight loss. Fast weight losers obtained greater weight reduction and long-term maintenance, and were not more susceptible to weight regain than gradual weight losers.

For fast weight loss I recommend cookie dieting. The reasons people give up on their dieting efforts is usually because of hunger and cravings or simply slow progress. The cookies are engineered to eliminate hunger and cravings so that it is easier to stay on your low-calorie diet. They also work well with low-carb dieting. Using the cookies you are able to reduce your calorie intake significantly so that you can lose weight quickly.

Let me dispel another myth here… there is absolutely no correlation between the type of diet you lose weight on and whether or not you will regain your lost weight. What this means is that you can lose weight slowly on Weight Watchers or quickly on a cookie diet but, if at any time you go back to the way you ate before you lost the weight, you will regain your lost weight just as easily regardless of the diet you were on. Basically, there is no correlation between losing weight and maintenance. They are two totally separate animals.

Back to the exercising myth: In order to lose weight you have to exercise. This is simply not true and the opposite is closer to the truth. Exercise may actually hinder your weight loss efforts. Here is why: your body likes to maintain a balance. When you exercise and exert yourself, your body tells you it needs more fuel (hunger). You have probably heard the phrase “work up an appetite”. Basically, when you exercise you get hungrier and you eat more so the benefits of the exercise are nullified.

Here is another reason exercise does not help with weight loss: to lose one pound of fat, you must burn approximately 3500 calories over and above what you already burn doing daily activities. That’s a lot of calories. For example, it would take 18 hours of non-stop jogging for a woman to lose 2 pounds.

Don’t misunderstand me. Exercise is good for you and you should start doing some form of it when you are able. Walking is good enough. You don’t have to jog or work out at the gym nor do you need any of those weird fitness gadgets on infomercials that promise instant success. Exercise does, however, make you healthier. It keeps lungs, heart and muscles in good shape. On top of that, it helps to regulate insulin secretion. I just don’t recommend starting an exercise program at the same time you start dieting. It confuses the main issue since it doesn’t really help with weight loss. So don’t feel bad for not including exercise in your weight loss program. It’s actually better not too!