Pet peeve time!
I've recently seen a lot of articles stating that exercise doesn't help with weight loss, and they're written in a way that makes it sound like exercise is futile in the weight loss world.
Of course exercise can help with weight loss!
But it won’t help by itself.
Weight loss and weight gain is a matter of calories in and calories out. I don’t care how you get that calorie deficit, but it’s a calorie deficit that’s going to help you lose weight. If that’s what you want to do.
And exercise helps with creating that calorie deficit.
So let’s say that you’re that “average” 2000 Cal a day maintenance person. You could drop your calories to 1500 a day and do nothing else. You’ll lose weight. That’s a pretty big deficit, so you’ll probably lose weight fairly quickly.
Or you could drop your calories to 1800 a day and add activities that add up to 200 Cal a day. You’ll still be at a 500 Cal a day deficit, without having to decrease your eating so much.
What’s the main thing here?
It’s knowing what your baseline food needs are.
I’ve been watching my food intake for so long it’s totally second nature to tally up my food. Sometimes I use a tracker like MyFitnessPal, sometimes I’m just making mental notes about my habits. But working at a gym I’ve realized that most people aren’t so acutely aware of portions, snacks, and caloric beverages.
So when you read article that say exercise won’t help you lose weight, what they’re saying is, and quite rightly, nothing will help you lose weight if you don’t start from a position of food awareness.
Most of us will naturally eat more when we exert energy. Our bodies like homeostasis. And if you’re not on top of your portions, regardless of quality and activity, your weight isn’t going to change.
But think about it. I know I’d rather create my caloric deficit through eating a little bit less and moving a little bit more rather than eating significantly less.
But that’s me.
How do you keep aware of your eating habits?