Why Exercise is Not Essential for Weight Loss

If you really want to lose weight, should you concentrate on your diet or on exercise? One limits the intake of calories, the other burns off excess calories, so can we choose one or the other and still lose weight?

Dieting Without Exercise
If you want to lose weight and cannot or do not wish to participate in an exercise program, the good news is that managing your diet alone will allow most people to lose weight. Exercise is actually not always necessary to shed pounds, so for those who are limited in what physical activity they can do, this is very good news.

Weight loss must start first with the diet. If you choose a healthy diet packed with low calorie natural foods you will not be as hungry and your body will continue to maintain its metabolic rate, using your body fat to make up the shortfall in calories and you should experience some weight loss!

However, exercise is a great way to maintain your metabolic rate rather than allowing it to slow down. If your body senses "starvation mode" , it starts to slow down in order to conserve fat levels as a survival technique. Skipping meals is a sure way to kickstart this negative process, so be sure to eat regular small meals each day starting with breakfast, to maintain your metabolism.

Exercise Without Dieting
The generally accepted answer is that exercise will not compensate for a poor, unhealthy, calorie-laden diet. The reason is that if you eat exactly what you like calorie-wise, you can consume 4000-5000 calories per day. That is 3000 calories more than most people need to maintain their weight. Even dedicating your non-eating time of say 6 hours per day to some form of exercise, it will not burn off such a huge amount of calories.

In short, you cannot out-train a bad diet or offset a large amount of excess calories. Running on a treadmill is a great fat-burning exercise, but spending 30 minutes' hard physical activity will not burn off the calories even in half a pizza. It may be better not to eat the pizza if you are trying to lose weight.

However, exercise is vital for your fitness. You can be at your target weight, but your heart health may be lacking if you do not introduce some exercise into your life. Being healthier should include aiming for a healthy weight and including 30 minutes of aerobic and anaerobic exercise every day to ensure your cardiovascular system is as healthy as possible.

Dieting and Exercise
The great thing about combining both diet and exercise when losing weight is that you lose weight faster and are more toned than just dieting alone. Once you have lost a lot of weight, you will find your skin is flabby and unattractive. It needs to be toned, and exercise is a great way to do it.

Most people underestimate what calories they eat, and overestimate what calories they burn. However, by being careful what you eat and adding regular exercise you will lose weight faster. During exercise, our body naturally demands more energy and our metabolism increases to supply it. The energy expended on the workout means that not only have calories (fat) been used up during exercise, the higher metabolic rate continues following the exercise. As you make exercise part of your daily routine, muscle mass is developed and this also means that your body burns more calories even at rest.

Any successful dieter is likely to tell you that when it comes to managing weight, exercise is an important factor, but diet is king. Therefore, even though exercise is not always essential for weight loss, it is vital if you want a fit, toned and healthy body.


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