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There's an interesting article in TIME that says exercise doesn't do much for weight loss.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/time/20090806/hl_time/08599191485700


I've been a member of the same health club for over 15 years, so I've observed lots of regulars and how their bodies change. One thing I rarely see is people losing weight, no matter how often they go to the gym. Personally, I've never heard of anyone losing significant weight by eating the same as they always did and exercising more. But I know plenty of people who have lost weight by eating less, regardless of how much they exercised.

Today's question: Did you already know that exercise is nearly useless for weight loss? And if not, what kept you from noticing the obvious?

(Note: Experts still agree that exercise is vital for good health, but not because of weight loss.)

 
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Aug 11, 2009
Hmm, I still eat like a horse, but I run 40 !$%*! a week, approx 6,000 calories, and have dropped from 18st top 14st 11. Never had results like that from anything else.
 
 
Aug 11, 2009
Dropped 8kg after changing from cycling to running -- it just wasn't possible to be a running gut bucket, so I guess my body adjusted.

Feels nice so far and the brownies taste better than ever.
 
 
Aug 11, 2009
People who go to the gym are lazier during the day. I live in South Africa and a few times a year we go camping. I walk for about 2 hours every morning and two hours every evening, while watching the wildlife. You don't even notice you are walking. I lose around 2-3kgs every trip and my clothes seem baggier - despite the toasted marshmellows and holiday treats (however there are no restaurants or takeaways).

The rest of the year, even 20 minutes exercise on my cycling machine seems endless, and I eat few luxuries, minimal grains and breads, limited sweet fruits and lots of vegetables. It's very boring. I never lose any weight, and everything I do merely maintains my weight. I'm not overweight but no-one would call me skinny either.

I think most people overestimate how much they are exercising, while underestimating the massive number of calories they are taking in with every bite.
 
 
Aug 11, 2009
OPPS
 
 
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Aug 11, 2009
I have two examples:

1. When I trained for a half marathon, I developed a huge appetite and the weight fell off me.
2. I'm currently on a diet and have increased the amount of exercise I do. Since the weather has taken a turn for the worse here in the UK, I have been walking considerably less and have started to put on weight again.

I have noticed that long walks are considerably better for weight loss then the much more energetic regular squash I play and that it takes a full day after exercise before I see any fat burned off (which I have found out to be to do with the body replenishing carbohydrate supplies).
 
 
Aug 11, 2009
YOUR BODY EATS UP muscle FIRST NOT FAT. dieting alone makes you lose muscle.
 
 
Aug 11, 2009
YOUR BODY EATS UP muscle FIRST NOT FAT. dieting alone makes you lose muscle.
 
 
Aug 11, 2009
YOUR BODY EATS UP muscle FIRST NOT FAT. dieting alone makes you lose muscle.
 
 
Aug 11, 2009
As someone who's participated in an endurance sport (cycling) for many years, I've always known that exercise doesn't shift weight. If anything, it adds weight as lean mass replaces fat in the fit individual. Muscle weighs more than fat, so you weigh more.

Racing cyclists are notoriously fastidious about their weight and their food intake. Lance famously weighs his food before chowing down. This fascination with weight *can* cause problems with anorexia and other body image conditions. For this reason I stopped weighing myself when I stopping racing competitively. I've no idea what I weigh, but I do know if I'm heavier than I should or would like to be. The body knows its fighting weight better than any bathroom scale. This "feel" method also allows one to gently fluctuate one's weight according to the seasons and one's biorhythms.

I think we all know the answer to controlling our weight: eat less. It's a simple equation. If you eat one less cookie a day, you will lose weight. It will take a while, but unless you're in your late nineties, what's your hurry?
 
 
Aug 11, 2009
WHEN I WAS  AND SOMETHING BODY FAT at 255 to 265 lb
 
 
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Aug 11, 2009
Scott failed to mention an important conclusion in the referenced article:

When people exercise, they often eat more - either because the exercise has made them hungry, or because they feel they have "earned" a food/drink treat, a reward for all that hard work. One such treat, including so-called exercise or sports drinks (that are stuffed with sugary calories) instantly puts back all the calories you've burned off.

So, the implication is, you CAN lose weight through exercise - but refresh yourself with water, not Lucozade, and don't con yourself into thinking you're allowed an extra chocolate bar because of all your hard exercise.
 
 
Aug 11, 2009
jeez, you may gain weight but you lose fat. muscles sit there and eat sugar all the time. when i was  and something body fat at 255 to 265 lb. i had low blood suger, 80/ 130 blood pres i could eat anything at any time. i got sick and had to stop. now i am a wreck. and the numbers are out of it.
 
 
+1 Rank Up Rank Down
Aug 11, 2009
A little exercise makes not much difference - what most of us call exercising will burn off maybe half a chocolate bar's worth of calories.

An hour's strenuous circuit training will burn off maybe 800 calories. That is significant. I usually wake up 2lb lighter the day after circuit training. A week later, of course, I've put it back on again, but if I did that every day rather than once per week it'd be almost impossible for me not to lose weight consistently.

Conversely, when I was at school I did 1.5 hours of rowing 6 times a week, plus weights or circuits 3 times per week, and I stayed scrawny however much I ate. When I left school, I started putting on weight, but I wasn't eating any more. I didn't gain weight fast, maybe 12lb over the next couple of years, but I was still reasonably active (a lot of cycling around university). I'm sure it was the rowing that kept me skinny.

Most of us don't exercise enough for it to make a difference, but it is possible. After all, serious atheletes eat 5000-6000 calories per day and don't get fat!
 
 
+1 Rank Up Rank Down
Aug 11, 2009
[Hey, while is the word M-I-L-E-S rendered using the comic-swearing symbols? Is Scott's webmaster some kind of Metric Militant?]
 
 
0 Rank Up Rank Down
Aug 11, 2009
Yeah, those guys on the Bataan Death March were real porkers by the end.

If you burn more calories than you eat, you lose weight.

The problem is, Americans don't realize that it takes 8 !$%*! of running to burn off a single Big Mac ...
 
 
+1 Rank Up Rank Down
Aug 10, 2009
I think I'm one of the rare few who actually worked out to GAIN weight!

I played hockey in college. I got tired of the big defensemen mauling me all over the ice, so I embarked upon a weightlifting - exercise - weight gain program.

I was in the gym every day. Worked out the legs one day, upper body the next. I took the protein and weight-gain shakes, all that nonsense. Thismixed in with the usual 2-hour practices, and 10-mile roller blading I did on the off time.

End result: I think I put on 10 pounds of muscle. The rest went lean. And I was still getting manhandled on the ice. But I had great endurance.

Finally, I went to my coach, a former NHL'er who played with the Buffalo Sabres back in the early 70s, and asked him what I was doing wrong. His answer: "Son, it's in the genes. You're either programmed to be big, or not." (RIP Coach. He died in 2003.)

To answer Scott's question, I've never seen anyone lose weight at the gym. I've seen people lose weight by eating the correct portions of the right foods, cutting out the chips and soda, and being active -- such as walking or riding a bike.

You wanna lose weight? Eat right and exercise. (Or just drink lots of coffee like Wally.)

 
 
+1 Rank Up Rank Down
Aug 10, 2009
Did it occur to you how large those people in your gym would be if they =weren't= exercising?
 
 
Aug 10, 2009
Well the article only said that the exercise is ineffective for weightloss if the exercise is rewarded by food that outweighs the benefit of the exercise, of if the exercipent is caused to be much less active during the rest of the day/week because they worked so hard during exercise.
It seems like a problem that created itself; dietitians/doctors, whomever, recommended active exercise as a Very Good thing, people rewarded themselves afterwards by eating Very Bad things, when exercise should have just be a Normal thing and a everyday part of people's lives.
It shouldn't/isn't be thought of as hard or addictive or good or bad, but as necessary as sleeping.
That said, I only work out maybe two hours a week.
 
 
Aug 10, 2009
I love how we all take Scotts random magazine postings seriously. This one didnt carry the disclaim Scott usually does so its whatevs
 
 
Aug 10, 2009
Here's an interesting thought I just had.

I was just wondering why some people cant lose weight, and they all seem to be the ones that constantly obcess about their weight, always trying the newest diets or chopping and changing there exercise or diets instead of just concentrating on being happy and healthy. Being the right weight will happen naturally BOCTAOE.

All regular readers have been hypnotised by Scott Adams into believing that your mind can control things in ways that cant be understood.

Now if your constantly thinking and stressing about foods and dieting etc.

Although your mind is thinking lose weight your causing your body to "think" about food. And since your body cant "think" all it knows is that your stressing and concentrating about food. So it tries to not lose weight. Im sure it’s a response to stressing about food which probably was a sign of an oncoming famine or lack of food. I doubt theres been a perido in human history where we haven't had an overabundance of food like we have today.

If your struggling to lose weight and your constantly obcessing over it, try just not thinking about it so much? Take up a sport because you enjoy it not because you want to lose weight. If you want to eat a burger go ahead, but just think of the chemicals etc in it, probably not the best thing to be eating non stop if you want to be healthy. Im sure the weight will lose itself.



Oh and Scott why did you put that Exercise is nearly useless for weight loss? Its been in a single article in a magazine?
 
 
 
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