One of the BIGGEST misunderstandings when it comes to weight loss is that it will not happen unless you exercise. This is false, yes you read that correctly, weight loss cannot be done with strictly exercise ALONE. Exercise has many beneficial factors to it so please do not read this article and think that exercise is not healthy. It still is very important to overall health, it is just not the key role in weight loss.
There are 3 main components to where our energy is spent.
1. Basal metabolic rate: energy used for metabolic activities and biochemical activities.
2. Energy used to break down food
3. Energy used in physical activity: this includes all physical activities throughout the day such as walking around, fidgeting, and exercising
The basal metabolic rate accounts for 60-80% of our total energy expenditure, 10% is used for food digestion, and about 10-30% is left for ALL physical activity. This means that exercise is only a subcategory of that 10-30%! That’s a lot less than the typical stereotype that comes with exercise.
This makes it difficult to cut calories by exercising and it makes it easier to increase calories if you plan on exercising off those bad meals! It would take a lot more time and exercise than you’ve estimated. On top of exercise only being a small portion of burning calories it also affects other activities throughout the day.
How much we eat is parallel to how much we move; meaning that if we exercise more frequently our body will crave more food and we might eat more than we should. Most people tend to increase their food intake while exercising daily… or they tend to cheat on diets more if they’re exercising.
Another common habit is slowing down after a work out. People tend to use less energy in non-gym activities. They tend to take more naps after gym trips, use the elevators instead of the stairs, or fidget less throughout the day. This also slows down the metabolic rate daily.
This makes “not being able to work out” an excuse that can’t be used to push off weight loss or dieting. It’s so common that obesity is directly correlated to no exercise when it should be correlated to overeating low-quality foods. This emphasized the importance of healthy decisions based on nutrition and developing an overall healthy lifestyle.
This pyramid puts the relationship of weight loss and exercise into a better perspective. It is simply not a vital part of the weight loss regimen but it is important to overall health and maintenance.