Is Exercise Really That Important for Your Weight Loss Journey?
This is a very common question that crosses most people when they think of losing weight. Do I really need to exercise?
The reason they wish to skip exercising is because of all the effort, perspiring, panting and other challenging movements that they need to do. To some degree, it’s a fear of discomfort.
Which brings us to the next point – is it important?
The truth of the matter is that even if you do not exercise, as long as you’re eating at a caloric deficit where the body expends more calories than you consume, you WILL lose weight.
The body will slowly burn off the excess fat stores and you can reach your ideal weight. It’s a much slower process but it can be done.
However, the ‘quality’ of weight loss for someone who does it through diet alone will be very different from someone who does it with exercise included. For starters, when you exercise often, you’ll see an increase in your metabolic rate.
What this means is that you’ll be burning more calories at any given point in time. That translates to you keeping off the fat you’ve lost. Someone who lost weight only through dieting will see the weight quickly return if they go off their diet. There is very little leeway for error.
Over and above that, regular exercise will improve your muscle tone. You may even gain lean muscle. The more muscle you have in your body, the more calories you’ll burn even when you’re at rest. Muscle is calorically expensive, and you need to burn more calories just to maintain your muscles.
Dieters who don’t exercise usually lose muscle in the weight loss process. This creates a situation known in the industry as “skinny fat”. They’re slim but they have more fat than muscle. Their entire appearance doesn’t look fit or healthy.
Exercise also has many other benefits besides weight loss. It improves your mood. When you’re trying to lose weight, it is normal to feel irritable or sluggish or just not in a good mood.
Dietary changes have caused your body to be in a situation where it needs to adapt. So, your hormones and cravings may be playing tricks with your mood. Exercise will boost your endorphins and make you feel better during this trying process.
On an interesting note, exercise increases your energy levels. You’d think that since exercise is exhausting, it should leave you drained throughout the day, but the reverse holds true.
People who exercise more usually feel more energetic. This is the polar opposite of someone who cuts calories to lose weight. When you’re only dieting, it’s normal to feel tired and have less energy. You may be losing weight, but you do not feel energetic.
In fact, you’ll probably feel that you were happier and had more energy when you were overweight and eating whatever you wanted. You’d be absolutely right to think this. Your body was getting it’s feel good experience from your eating.
To solve this problem, you need to exercise so that your energy levels are high while you lose weight. A sensible restricted diet that’s combined with a good exercise program is the best way to lose weight.
Start exercising, watch your calories and track your progress. Within a few weeks, not only will you feel better, but you’ll look better too. Nothing tastes as good as being fit feels.
Yours Truly Lisa