The Fastest and Most Surprisingly Simple Way to Lose Weight – According to Exercise Scientists
Our minds have been conditioned to believe that working out is key if one wants to lose weight. Therefore, we get the best gym outfits, join the coolest gym in the block in January and think this is all that is needed to fulfill our New Year’s weight loss resolution.
However, the reality is not so straight cut. For years, countless studies have shown that exercise isn’t the only ingredient for successful weight loss. This doesn’t mean exercise isn’t good for you. Exercise offers a plethora of health benefits – but it may not be the most important tool for weight loss.
Exercise requires consistent effort, patience and time to produce results. It doesn’t burn many calories and takes more time to create a weight loss result than most people think.
On the other hand, switching from a diet consisting of high-fat, high-sugar and high calorie foods to a diet with wholesome, clean ingredients can have a massive impact on your waistline – in a much shorter timeframe.
Think of it like this. A McDonald’s large fries contain 510 calories. A 155 pound individual will have to walk 4 miles per hour for 90 minutes to burn 500 calories. If you’re running, you’d have to run on a treadmill at 10 minutes per mile for 45 minutes to burn approximately 500 calories. It’s a lot easier to not order fries with your meal than do 45-90 minutes of continuous exercise.
A large review of 20 studies, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, which included over 3000 participants showed that meal replacements with low calorie substitutes for high calorie meals and high protein intake had more positive results, compared to just exercising.
However, exercise does play an important role in maintaining your weight loss after you make your diet modifications. Studies show that people who lose weight and keep it off are the ones that not only maintain proper diets, but also exercise regularly.
The Benefits of Exercise
Although exercise may not play a critical role in helping you lose significant weight, it has other benefits that may contribute to continued weight loss further on. For example, it helps boost mood by releasing dopamine in the body and protects the body from oxidative damage and the effects of aging.
In addition, exercise helps you cope better with stress, anxiety and depression.
Another important factor that comes into play is the role of exercise in building muscle. Resistance workouts are key for building and maintaining muscles. Having more muscles means that your body will burn more calories, even when you’re not working out.
Exercise also strengthens your lungs and heart muscle. It reduces risk of type-2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome, which is a class of symptoms that includes high blood sugar, hypertension, excess fat around the midsection and high triglyceride and cholesterol levels.
The bottom line is that you need exercise for improved health and well being. But can you depend on it solely for your weight loss? Probably not. It’s much faster, easier and more effective, to simply make smarter, healthier and more wholesome dietary choices than to spend hours in the gym trying to reverse the damage. Choose exercise to maintain your weight and for its other benefits – not for weight loss.
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