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What Exercise Doesn't Do

Exercise is good for you in a lot of different ways and by no means do I want to discourage you from being active.  But there is one thing exercise has never been shown to help with.  What I’m going to tell you is what science and research has shown to be true.  Exercise has NOT been shown to help with weight loss.  What exercise does do is make you hungrier.  Big workout = big appetite.

 

If you really consider how few calories you burn exercising compared to how many calories are in a pound, you might intuitively make that connection.  Consider that it would take a 250 pound man climbing 20 flights of stairs to burn the calories in a single piece of white bread.  Why not skip the bread?  The reason exercise doesn’t really help is because our bodies don’t work like machines.  Gaining or losing weight is not simply an energy in / energy out deal.  Overweight people eat roughly 300 calories less than lean people.  Explain that!

 

Photo courtesy of ario_

Photo courtesy of ario_

 

The reason I think it’s important to tell you this is that overweight people carry a really unfair burden of being thought of as having poor self control and being lazy.  We think they eat too much and aren’t active enough.  It’s simply not true.  It is true that they aren’t as active as lean people but that has nothing to do with the cause of their obesity.  The inactivity is, in fact, a co-symptom with obesity of the real underlying cause, which is hormonal control problem related to fat metabolism.  Address that correctly and weight will fall off and energy levels will increase.  When energy goes up, activity and exercise will naturally follow.

 

For sure it’s good to be active, but don’t imagine it will help you lose weight.

 

What do you think would happen to the exercise industry if this truth were widely known and believed?

 

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