“Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.” – Jim Rohn
We are working on making a transition to a healthier you. I’ve been talking a lot about food and eating correctly. Many of you wonder why I haven’t talked about exercise. To put it frankly – Exercise is for fitness not for losing weight. What do I mean by this? Will exercise help you lose weight – yes, of course it will. What? This is so confusing. You just said that exercise was for fitness not losing weight, now you are saying you can lose weight with exercise? Let me clarify. This is an argument that will continue to rage on and on depending on who you talk to, what their issues are or what they are trying to sell you. I will try to be very clear and give you some examples.
I call exercise the “E” word. It has a bad wrap sometimes. A lot of people don’t like exercising; some people love it. Some think it is the ONLY way to lose weight and some don’t. It means many things to many people so lets start with a definition we can agree on.
Exercise is activity requiring physical effort, carried out especially to sustain or improve health and fitness.
Remember our formula: Calories In – Calories Out = Weight Gain/Loss. There are two ways to lose weight – take in less or use more. Put simply to Eat Less Food or Exercise More. Both will help you lose weight, but which is easier for you to lose weight? Eating less is a lot easier path to weigh loss than exercise.
Because 3,500 calories equals about 1 pound (0.45 kilogram) of fat, you need to burn 3,500 calories more than you take in to lose 1 pound. So if you cut 500 calories from your typical diet each day, you’d lose about 1 pound a week (500 calories x 7 days = 3,500 calories).
See our graphic – to burn 250 calories you have to do a LOT of exercise. How much is 250 calories – a snickers bar. You can also eat just over a slice of pizza, ½ a piece of birthday cake, some potato chips, 12 jelly babies…you get the picture. It’s not a lot of food. A large cup of Coke in a restaurant is approx. 275 calories.
If you don’t eat it, you won’t have to exercise it off. There are not enough hours in the day to exercise off the amount of additional calories that you are probably consuming to significantly contribute to weight loss. If you weight 250lbs and are exercising on a treadmill at 3mph each minute you burn 6 calories. 10 minutes = 60 calories. 100 minutes = 600 calories.
To exercise off 3500 calories (1 pound) you would have to do 579 minutes of exercise on that treadmil. That’s almost 10hrs of exercise. Your body would wear out before you would see substantial results.
If you are obese, strenuous exercise can actually hurt you more than help you. Please talk to your doctor before beginning any exercise program. I’ve been to the gym and seen some seriously obese people working with a personal trainer and they have those people doing the wrong stuff. They will finish with hurt knees, strained backs or worse, they won’t continue at all. They should send them home to clean out their pantry – that would be best for them.
Eat less. Loss weight. Then, when you are closer to your goal and you want to improve your health even further, let’s add some exercise.
I love “E”…just at the right time and with moderation.