Our cloth sizes are not increasing because people are not exercising intelligently or vigorously enough. You don’t need a new personal trainer, another Insanity workout video or a more aggressive CrossFit program. What you need is the truth, and here it is: Exercise alone— no matter how many gym memberships you buy, how often you work out or how many calorie counter gadgets you own — won’t make you lose weight.
The fitness industry is one of the fastest growing industries worldwide. Health clubs and fitness centers have generated a profit of more than $78 billion dollars by the end of 2013, a value that is 200% bigger than it was 10 years ago. The industry of fitness trackers- that measure your calorie burning, your blood oxygen level and daily steps) had a worth already of $2.4 billion dollar, and it is expected to reach $5.9 billion by the end of 2019. In the other hand, Google’s app store was on fire by downloads of fitness and health related apps. Still, obesity has continued to emerge around the world. Nearly one in three people alive today is overweight or obese and no country has lowered its obesity rate since 1980.
The explanation that our obesity epidemic is caused by inactive lifestyles has spread widely over the past few decades, creating a multi-billion-dollar industry that has developed gadgets and strict work-out regimes that promise you to, run and “powerlift” you to a thin figure. But those explanations are based on misconceptions. Physical activity has many of health benefits — it reduces the risk of heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and the possibly to have cancer— but weight loss is something that can’t be achieved just by hard work-out.
How can this be true?
When people exercise, they stimulate their appetites, spurring them to eat more than they would have without working out. People also assume that expending more energy necessitates higher calorie intake, but they often overestimate how much. In reality, if you exercise for the purpose of burning calories, you get a very low return on investment: You would have to run for more than 45 minutes to burn off the 400 calories from eating just three tasty cookies.
On the other hand, the idea that physical activity speeds up our metabolism so our bodies consume more calories more quickly is exaggerated. Wouldn’t it nice to burn down all those chocolate, coke and fries? In a study published in 2012, a group of anthropologists measured the daily physical activity, metabolic rates and energy expenditure of people in a hunter-gatherer tribe in Tanzania, and compared the results to the average Western citizen. The study have proven that increased calorie intake, no matter if the individual has a relatively active lifestyle, might still get to obesity. It’s calorie intake that is really fueling the obesity epidemic. In the other words if your buddy burns in total 2500 calories a day, 300-400 you burn with a one hour workout but you eat 3000, that additional 500-600 calories will be stored in fat cells.
But it’s not just the number of calories we’re eating, as in which form are we getting them. The sugar calories are the worst. Stanford University researcher Sanjay Basu recently led an analysis of 175 countries that evaluated the amount of sugar in each nation’s food supply. As sugar availability increased by 150 calories per person per day (the equivalent of a glass of cola), there was a 1.1 percent rise in the prevalence of Type 2 diabetes in the population — an increase that was 11 times larger than if people consumed 150 more calories from non-sugar sources — independent of average body mass index and physical activity levels.
Another thing is, that if you don’t choose the exercise that is good for you and you enjoy, it will never lead you to weight loss. Due to the changes in work-out trends, we sometimes choose programs that we don’t like, just because we have heard that it’s more effective. The result: we hate it, and we hate ourselves for not liking it. That creates, Tension in the brain, that leads to tense habits. Eating for reward, emotional eating, and over-eating to “get through the tough workout” all come from tension in our minds and bodies, rather than ease. When you practice tense, you reinforce tense. If you love your form of exercise, whether it’s spinning, running, yoga, hiking, dancing, whatever, that enjoyment is causing a different cocktail of chemicals in your brain, that lead you in the direction of treating yourself well.
None of the information above means that you should stop exercising!
I, myself wake up every morning at 6 a.m. to get to my CrossFit training. Physical activity is good for you. It can be fantastic for your mood, energy, mobility, shape and tone of your body, fitness, strength, breathing capabilities and fighting disease. Keep exercising! Just understand that – despite a large volume of false information – exercise on its own has very little to do with weight loss. How you live has to do with weight loss. What you eat has to do with weight loss. How much you sleep has to do with weight loss. Your stress has to do with weight loss. but…
Mainly, you are what you eat. When it comes to weight loss, basically 70% has to do with what you eat and just 30% with exercise. Now we come down to what you are actually putting in your body. Food rules. Food is fuel, it shapes our body, it determines our health, our energy levels, and our liveliness. Your exercise alone isn’t helping, set your eating habits to fresh, simple, natural, inspired, colorful foods, lots of water lean protein, not so much on the booze, and easy on the caffeine, you might want to take a second look at how you feel about your exercise routine and how your results will be, after keeping your nutrition on track. But just stop dreaming about eating 3000-4000 calories a day and burning them off with exercise, unless you are a professional athlete. Just think twice, next time when you by a new Fit tracker or subscribe for an expensive gym, right after eating a full meal at KFC.