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Why you shouldn't exercise to lose weight [Vox]


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Why you shouldn't exercise to lose weight, explained with 60+ studies

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The researchers behind the study found that people who have had success losing weight share a few things in common: They weigh themselves at least once a week. They restrict their calorie intake, stay away from high-fat foods, and watch their portion sizes. They also exercise regularly.

But note: These folks use physical activity in addition to calorie counting and other behavioral changes. Every reliable expert I've ever spoken to on weight loss says the most important thing a person can do is to limit calories in a way they like and can sustain, and focus on eating healthfully.

In general, diet with exercise can work better than calorie cutting alone, but with only marginal additional weight-loss benefits.

If you embark on a weight-loss journey that involves both adding exercise and cutting calories, Montclair's Diana Thomas warned not to count those calories burned in physical activity toward extra eating.

"Pretend you didn't exercise at all," she said. "You will most likely compensate anyway so think of exercising just for health improvement but not for weight loss."

Screen Shot 2017-11-01 at 5.04.09 PM.png

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Body weight is 90% + due to eating and < 10% due to exercise.

I am not surprised by this article.

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The old saying of you can't outtrain a bad diet.  I would say the title may be misleading, working out helps, but it's the not the be all end all of weight loss.  Plenty of people went old school Atkins/Keto diets and lost a ton of weight and workouts aren't always required for a keto diet to work depending on severity of obesity.

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Just my thoughts.  

I think the big issue is that people use exercise as a way to justify eating more. That isn't an exercise problem, that is still an eating problem.

There are far more benefits from exercising than not exercising. Just the fact that if you compare over weight people who do not exercise with those who do. The ones who exercise have a much lower risk of heart disease.

Also, exercising helps with moods. Exercise can help with repairing mitochondria damage caused by the obesity diet. It can improve cholesterol numbers.

I do believe that you can lose weight with diet alone. You can not lose weigh with exercise alone.

I like the benefits of exercising.

 

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I used to exercise for weight maintenance, now I do it more for clearing my head, feeling good, muscle tone (don't even have the golf swing in mind) and totally forget the calories burned equation. At the end of a bike ride last weekend at the burger place, instead of going full bore burger, fries and soda, just opted for a simpler burger and water. It's more for enjoyment now, as soon as it becomes a goal or some number to be hit, becomes a chore. Don't obsess with Stava stats either. Tossed the Halloween candy in the basement, it's sugar, should be good for awhile.

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I'm 285 myself, and have always found it amazing, that if one is trying to eat healthier in their daily lives, it's a lot more expensive to purchase healthy food, as opposed to junk food. Almost wish that companies would make junk food higher in cost in order to deter over-consumption, but as we know, that most likely will never happen, sadly. 

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13 hours ago, bear996 said:

The old saying of you can't outtrain a bad diet.  I would say the title may be misleading, working out helps, but it's the not the be all end all of weight loss.  Plenty of people went old school Atkins/Keto diets and lost a ton of weight and workouts aren't always required for a keto diet to work depending on severity of obesity.

Agreed.  Just because proper diet is crucial, it doesn’t mean exercise can’t play a major role.

However, I easily outtrained a bad diet... when I was in my teenage years to mid-20s haha

 

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38 minutes ago, Buckeyebowman said:

The fact is, if you exercise to tone or increase muscle mass and lose fat your weight will increase!

That’s not necessarily true.  It would depend on the composition to begin with

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I would add that many people who exercise on a regular basis are more apt to consider their food sources. I personally believe we put way to much emphasis on calories and eating too much than we do on nutrient density.

Lots of research has proven the chemicals and processing that is put in some foods can cause us to want to eat more. Why ? Because the body is not getting fed. If we think of our bodies as a high performance vehicle,  we may start making better food choices, after all food is fuel. Moving away from processed sugars, salt, and unhealthy fats, along with the chemicals that are put into foods to make them have a longer shelf life is a step in the right direction,in my opinion.

I have also found in my own life that as I have made better food choices, my taste buds have changed I find myself growing and or making most of my own food now and it is both pleasurable and rewarding in the sense that I know what is in it. For example  I found a recipe for great pizza that includes a crust that is made from cauliflower.   

Exercise to me is part of the same game in the respect it is called health. I see no value in losing weight just for the sake of losing weight. I have known a lot of sick, skinny people. To sum up, making exercise a co partner in diet choice will bring forth the long term results we are looking for. Just something to think about

On 11/2/2017 at 6:23 AM, pmack18 said:

I'm 285 myself, and have always found it amazing, that if one is trying to eat healthier in their daily lives, it's a lot more expensive to purchase healthy food, as opposed to junk food. Almost wish that companies would make junk food higher in cost in order to deter over-consumption, but as we know, that most likely will never happen, sadly. 

It will happen when people quit buying junk food LOL

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Even if exercise statistically doesn't show a huge difference in weight lost, it surely can't hurt most to exercise more. You don't necessarily get a healthy and functional body by having a lower fat percentage. If having to choose between unfit + low fat percentage and fit + low fat percentage, I'd always take the latter. Exercise is a good way to improve your general physical and mental health.

All of it are contributing factors. Sure, we can use statistics to say that this will probably be more effective than that, but you usually end up in a better spot with a bit of everything. All else considered, it's the intake that is easiest to overlook or miss at. It's easy to run half an hour a day, but keeping track of food intake and avoiding too many calories is a far more difficult task, and where most fail.

In extreme situations, exercise can hurt you. Extremely obese persons can end up with injuries by attempting certain exercises. I would probably not recommend an extremely obese woman to use running as an exercise. With that much body weight and often lack of muscle mass, joints can end up taking a big hit. Lower the weight primarily through focusing on diet, then ingrain more exercise as the weight drops. Those 30-60 minutes spent exercising can be better spent on making the diet work.

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   We burn calories while exercising, but also the o2 deficits caused from exercise create a continued calorie burn post exercise. Of course we need to eat properly and exercise to maintain a healthy weight, but this article is simply taking what is already known and stating it as though it is a new health breakthrough. The presentation would lead many to take the approach of "I'll simply watch my diet and forget the exercise". 

   For cardiac rehab the single most important factor for a positive outcome is exercise. The same can be said for a healthy adult to stay healthy. I know diet is an important factor for both groups, as it is for loosing weight, but not the most important. Most people will take writings like this to suggest that exercise has little impact on weight loss and overall heath. That has always been my findings with patients and healthy adults, and I have never seen that attitude turn out well. In addition; they did not properly interpret the NIH findings that was cited. Last; A VO2 max stress test is the only universally excepted way to measure energy expenditure. 

M.S. Exercise Physiology, certified American college of Sports Medicine, certified Prevention and Rehabilitation Cardio Pulmonary Health.

Please forgive if I come off pretentious 

   

 

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On 11/2/2017 at 5:40 AM, saevel25 said:

Just my thoughts.  

I think the big issue is that people use exercise as a way to justify eating more. That isn't an exercise problem, that is still an eating problem.

There are far more benefits from exercising than not exercising. Just the fact that if you compare over weight people who do not exercise with those who do. The ones who exercise have a much lower risk of heart disease.

Also, exercising helps with moods. Exercise can help with repairing mitochondria damage caused by the obesity diet. It can improve cholesterol numbers.

I do believe that you can lose weight with diet alone. You can not lose weigh with exercise alone.

I like the benefits of exercising.

 

Completely agree. As I was reading the article, I pictured a few lethargic individuals sitting in lounge chairs eating finger sandwiches and tea espousing the evils of being “much too active”. :-D

 

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Nutrition really is the end all here.

BUT

When I work out regularly a few things happen in that arena

1 - I crave heathier food

2 - my appetitie is mitigated and I tend to not overeat

3 - I LIKE how I look and that also results in me making smarter eating choices

 

Exercise => fitness

Nutrition => health

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1 hour ago, rehmwa said:

Nutrition really is the end all here.

BUT

When I work out regularly a few things happen in that arena

1 - I crave heathier food

2 - my appetitie is mitigated and I tend to not overeat

3 - I LIKE how I look and that also results in me making smarter eating choices

 

Exercise => fitness

Nutrition => health

I gave you a thumbs up for the middle part of your post... the remainder I disagree with.  Nutrition is very important, but it is not the end all.

Exercise results in an increase of mitochondria.  Mitochondria produce energy (e.g. burn fat)... not to mention all the other benefits of exercise that help one to be healthier.

Exercise & Nutrition => health      (I’ve never heard of anyone completely sedentary who is considered healthy)

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On 11/2/2017 at 9:23 AM, pmack18 said:

I'm 285 myself, and have always found it amazing, that if one is trying to eat healthier in their daily lives, it's a lot more expensive to purchase healthy food, as opposed to junk food. Almost wish that companies would make junk food higher in cost in order to deter over-consumption, but as we know, that most likely will never happen, sadly. 

That simply isnt true. From my local grocery store, Kroger.

Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast $1.99/lb

Bag of long grain brown rice           $0.89/lb

Asparagus                                      $2.49/lb

Bananas                                         $0.49/lb

Add in some hot sauce and/or some sodium free spices/rub for the chicken.

You could eat for an entire day for around $6-7, maybe add an extra dollar or two if you want to consume a protein shake with your banana for breakfast.

You can have the banana and a protein shake for breakfast, 8 oz of chicken, rice, and asparagus for lunch and the same for dinner and be under $10 total for the entire day. (Which is less than some people spend on eating out for lunch or dinner alone)

Eating healthy is NOT expensive.

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2 hours ago, Denny Bang Bang said:

Exercise & Nutrition => health      (I’ve never heard of anyone completely sedentary who is considered healthy)

no conflicts here - remember, the discussion is which is primary, not that they are single factor contributors

 

and I didn't explicitly put forth the 4th item on the list, exercise tends to encourage a higher metabolism....

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2 hours ago, klineka said:

That simply isnt true. From my local grocery store, Kroger.

Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast $1.99/lb

Bag of long grain brown rice           $0.89/lb

Asparagus                                      $2.49/lb

Bananas                                         $0.49/lb

Add in some hot sauce and/or some sodium free spices/rub for the chicken.

You could eat for an entire day for around $6-7, maybe add an extra dollar or two if you want to consume a protein shake with your banana for breakfast.

You can have the banana and a protein shake for breakfast, 8 oz of chicken, rice, and asparagus for lunch and the same for dinner and be under $10 total for the entire day. (Which is less than some people spend on eating out for lunch or dinner alone)

Eating healthy is NOT expensive.

This may be anecdotal, but I think when you cook for yourself, less chance of getting sick from food poisoning too. 

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