exercise for weight loss fact or fiction

Exercise For Weight Loss – Fact Or Fiction

How many times have you heard that exercising is key to weight loss? But is it really true? Can exercise alone help you lose pounds? Here I’ll explore whether the generally recommended concept of exercise for weight loss is indeed a fact or is it a fiction.

Many people have been mistakenly led to believe that weight loss is all about exercise. Just watch The Biggest Loser show and the grueling exercise routines the contestants are subjected to in order to lose weight. I know that the show is not your typical lifestyle, but just the same…

It is true that exercise and an active life are essential to your well being and staying in shape,  but when it comes to weight loss, exercising alone is not the magic pill.

Exercise For Weight Loss Dilemma

A while back, a Time Magazine article explained why exercise for weight loss is not effective for most people. They gave several possible reasons for their findings. Some of them were:

  • Moderately intense exercises makes people hungry. As a result they eat more and often reward themselves with a high calorie post-exercise snack
  • Exercising heavily seems to deplete your self control for the next challenge. So when choosing a snack , instead of choosing healthy fruit you opt out for calorie filled food like a muffin
  • After working out most people get overtired. As a result they will become inactive and their energy consumption over a period of 24 hours is the same whether they exercise or not

So the bottom line from the article was that working out should not be looked at as the sole method for losing weight.

Most weight loss experts now agree that 80 % of our weight is determined by the foods we eat and only 20 % depends on our activity level. This is not surprising when you think about it.

Exercise and diet compete for weight loss

You already know that to shed pounds; you need to achieve a net loss of calories. In other words, you need to intake less calories than your body normally requires. Isn’t it easier to shed 500 calories by skipping your favorite frappuccino than running for one hour?

But, don’t take me wrong. I am all for healthy exercise and an active lifestyle. I really believe that a healthy diet plan needs to include healthy food and exercise in order for you to achieve weight loss. And here is why:

Dieting often causes your metabolism to slow down. It also causes muscle loss.

Regular exercises, particularly cardio ones, will boost your metabolism. (A good cardio exercise, if you don’t have time to go to the gym or follow an at home cardio workout, is walking).

Strength building exercise routine (at home or at the gym) will help you build your muscles. Building your muscles will help to keep your metabolism revved for about a day (24 hours).

As well, cardio workout when combined with strength training will reduce your appetite because the combination of these activities will result in the production of appetite suppressing hormones.

Some exercise, particularly intervals, promote fat loss from your belly area and you definitely should aim at getting rid of this fat as it is the most dangerous fat for your health.

Exercise reduces stress and anxiety. Both of these states are the biggest culprits when it comes to overeating.

Many people do lose weight when they exercise on regular basis. Likely their exercise habits boost their mental attitude about self-worth and a desire to look after their bodies. This translates into a desire to improve their health and adopt an overall healthy lifestyle including healthy eating.

In summary, exercise for weight loss alone is a waste of time. However, when exercise is combined with healthful eating, “miracles” will happen and you will find yourself healthy, fit and trim.


In the next couple of articles I’ll give you a run down on weight loss exercise for beginners in a form of a couple of guides for exercising beginners. The first one is a general beginner’s guide and the second is exercises for women beginners. From there on we’ll concentrate on improving and toning specific areas of your body.

I’d be interested to hear about your routine to lose weight. Share your story in the comment below or on our Facebook page.


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One Response to Exercise For Weight Loss – Fact Or Fiction

  1. Karl January 23, 2014 at 9:04 pm #

    Being healthy requires exercise absolutely, our bodies are just not built for the couch potato lifestyle. But it’s true, exercise alone won’t mean anything if you constantly stuff your face with unhealthy foods.

    I’m glad you mentioned the advantages of weight training Dita. Some people seem unaware of how it can affect your metabolism. High intensity interval training is another great way to kick up your metabolism by the way.

    Thanks for the article 🙂
    Karl recently posted…10 Foods Thin Women EatMy Profile

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