Friday, 28 August 2009

Exercise won't make you thin


I thought it was a done deal! I exercise more therefore I burn more calories and stand a better chance of fighting the flab. Ah, but that it were that easy.... After reading a recent article in Time magazine I can see my efforts are futile.

So my exercising might make me feel good-of that there's no doubt but what I really need to do is knock off the post work out muffins.

"In general, for weight loss, exercise is pretty useless," says Eric Ravussin, chair in diabetes and metabolism at Louisiana State University and a prominent exercise researcher.

The regular exercise I do *may* reduce my risk of developing some of those really nasty diseases so that's coolio, but not help me lose weight. This thinking had baffled me but I read on and was enlightened: your metabolism is regulated by the exercise you do. If you do more exercise you are likely to get more hungry. It's that simple, plus you might be more likely to indulge yourself in an aforementioned post-workout 'treat', piling back more than the colories you burned off.

The important thing about exercise for me, though, isn't the weight loss it's about that great feeling you get from it. Feedback from my body during and after exercise makes me feel great! It could be the endorphins that are released that do this but I'm talking about the real communication with my body-aches, lactic build-up, the feeling of my skin tightening, muscles contracting. Massive.

But exercise as health insurance isn't guaranteed either. The boffins reckon that we are designed more for low energy activity spent very frequently throughout the day (gathering nuts, hunting, checking on the cave guttering-that sort of thing) and it's this sort of exercise which proves very beneficial. Binge exercising is not as healthy as it seems.

Lose weight: eat less and ensure low level activity often.

I'm peckish now.


bird said...

Similar article appeared in The Sunday Telegraph last week, debunked here:

Sue C said...

Hi Chris,
I decided long ago that fatness and fitness were mutually exclusive events! I was finally convinced of this when I had an incredibly fat yoga teacher once who turned out to be extremely fit and flexible. I've also known several naturally thin people who couldn't run for a bus without gasping and spluttering. I've also noticed in myself that increasing the exercise doesn't make the pounds fall away! Seem's there's no way round it - exercise for fitness and dieting for thinness - can't have one without the other!

Unknown said...

I actually loose weight when I don't exercise. I seem to experience a loss of muscle. My metabolism is high anyway, so I don't worry too much about the weight side of things. As you said, the biggest benefit to exercise is the way it makes you feel. It burns up all the access adrenalin we gather up each day and releases it so it doesn't poison us. That's the main benefit for me.

Littlefair said...

Thanks for link and comments fellas!

Anyone for fat-free, healthy carob chocolate bar?

Charles Hobby said...

Hah! I may be the only person who's DEFINITELY experienced significant weight loss via exercise alone. I began training again in the martial arts -- at age fifty-two -- this past July and have not changed my eating habits. The pounds are gradually melting away.

I think it all depends on changing up what one's doing often enough to keep the body from adapting and re-entering its training comfort zone.

Anyway I am gradually looking like an athlete again and it's NOT from dieting.

Littlefair said...

Howdy Charleyhorse and welcome!

Good point regarding changing your routine one way or another..
Off to check out your blog now!

Littlefair said...

More on eating habits...

"How or why a person gains weight is very complicated, but it is clearly not just calories in and calories out," said Fred Turek, from the Northwestern's Center for Sleep and Circadian Biology, US, where the research took place.
"Better timing of meals could be a critical element in slowing the ever-increasing incidence of obesity."