If you’ve followed my blog for any amount of time, you know my position on exercise. I do not endorse it and do not think people should spend their hard earned money joining clubs or the like. You can get perfectly good exercise walking, cleaning your house and doing chores in the yard. Call me old-fashioned, I just think of it as commonsense.
When I read about another study or research that points to my long-held beliefs about diet and exercise, I do get a little satisfaction in knowing I have been right all along. Sometimes it takes numerous studies, a great deal of time and money, to point out the most obvious. Seems silly to me. But I applaud the media in getting the message out and letting the public know the truth.
For longer than I can remember, I have believed (and still do to this day) that diet and not exercise is the key factor in people obtaining a healthy weight and maintaining a healthy weight.
If your diet is not balanced and healthy, then how can you really lose weight or maintain weight? You can exercise all day long, but if you keep eating and increase your caloric intake then you will gain weight!
It is rather straightforward…calories in versus calories out. If you eat more calories than you burn, then you will gain weight. There’s no special trick, pill or exercise that will change it.
Recently, I read one of the articles touting how diet and not exercise is the key to weight loss and I smiled. It went on to say that basically one would need to roughly run a marathon (that’s 26.2 miles people) every week, as the calories burned would be around that of a pound’s worth. In addition, people would not “eat because you exercised” as a reward, as many people do and end up gaining and not losing weight.
Then take the not so impressive study from 2007 that was published in the journal Obesity. It had the nearly 200 people exercise for an hour a day, six days a week for a year. It was supervised exercise, with the researchers telling them what to do. The results? Only seven people dropped out, however men averaged 6.16 hours of weekly exercise and women 4.9 hours (totaling 320 for men and 254 for women for the year). They lost on average 3.5 pounds for men and 2.6 pounds for women. That equals 91.5 hours of exercise per pound lost!
I’m not saying exercise is bad. In fact, it is very good for your overall health including for disease prevention. I’m just saying that it’s role in weight loss has been over blown and the continual misconception is unnerving when it all comes down to the all mighty calorie!