Does exercise really help us lose weight?
Of course it does, but not nearly as much as fitness experts would have us believe. Especially if you are one of the unlucky ones (like I was) that stands to lose more than 20lbs to get back to a somewhat healthy looking body.
Think about your public gym for a moment.
You probably notice the same people, on the same treadmill….year after year, looking identical if not worse then they did before. Or maybe you have a friend that has rambles on about their intense kick boxing, or spin class, but their body still looks the same.
Is attending Boot Camp, or Yoga class going to produce a dramatic, life altering change on it’s own?
HELLS NO! But that doesn’t stop people from shelling out their hard earned cash.
Real Body Transformation
Think about the last person you know that dramatically altered their body composition. Next time you see this person, ask them how they did it.
Most people are more than willing to share their experience, especially something as exciting as a total body transformation. Plus it’s nice to be social at the gym!
My prediction is that the majority of people who have experienced a body transformation did so by altering their diet. Many would even tell you that they have not engaged in exercise above and beyond their normal daily activities. I can say this with confidence, because I was one of them. While I preach about the importance of exercise for overall fitness, it pales in comparison to finding a diet you can live with.
Psychology of Exercise
This is a personal issue. If you are an all or nothing person it might be best to try and tackle a new diet, and exercise program at once. Be warned that more often then not the outcome of this approach is failure.
Some might argue that if they put in the time to exercise then they will make sure they don’t cheat.
“I don’t want to spoil all my hard work”!
Great thought process, but people with a lot of weight to lose will find that exercise, especially cardio makes them hungry and ravenous for carbs!
The 20 Pound Blueprint!
If you have 20 or more lbs to lose then I would start with the following suggestions
- Keep grams of carbs below 100g’s per day (track it at fitday.com)
- Follow an eating plan (I am partial to Paleo/Primal because of my success). There is a 30 day challenge happening right now at Marks Daily Apple
- Get more sleep! 8-10hrs minimum (uninterrupted in complete darkness) Funny Robb Wolf Article here
- Take leisurely walks with friends or loved ones.
If you can do this for 30 days you’ll probably lose enough weight to get excited about tackling a new exercise program!
I am a firm believer that 90% of your body compostion goals can be accomplished with nutrition alone.
I you have any other tips or questions, please add them to the comments section. Would love to hear from you!