So, came across an article in Time explaining why exercise won’t make you thin.
Can’t say I’m surprised, really. I know plenty of people (myself included) who have had the experience of exercising like crazy and seeing no weight loss.
On the other hand, Back In The Day when I was working out at The Firm studios down in Columbia, South Carolina, I was rail-thin and annoyingly energetic. I was also in my early 20s, which might explain at least part of that. And the rest could probably be put down to the fact I was working out intensely for an hour every day, six or seven days a week. (Yes, really. I was obsessed.)
That said, I think The Firm is great — they pretty much invented the idea of combining aerobics with weight training in a single workout. I’ve done their workouts recently (they have a whole line of DVDs and all now) and I have to say, while their newer ones are (frankly, IMO) uhm… not so good, the earlier, old-style workouts are still killer.
But I digress. Back to the Time article.
Turns out, when people exercise, they tend to “reward” themselves with a little extra food. Or maybe not-so-little extra, as the case may be. So you burn more calories, but you take in more, as well. And people apparently tend to overestimate how many calories they burned, and underestimate how many additional calories their “reward” is packing on.
It seems the old advice on how to lose weight: eat less, move more is still true, though. It’s just that it seems the “moving more” part doesn’t require an hour a day sweating at the gym. Rather, it can be satisfied through simply getting up off your butt and walking around the neighborhood a bit. Gardening. Cooking dinner instead of ordering takeout. Scrubbing down your own bathrooms instead of having a maid service come in.
As the article says, “Many obesity researchers now believe that very frequent, low-level physical activity the kind humans did for tens of thousands of years before the leaf blower was invented may actually work better for us than the occasional bouts of exercise you get as a gym rat.”
So, who wants to join me for a stroll around the neighborhood, maybe help me pull some weeds in the garden? :)