Why Exercise Won't Make You Thin

April 15, 2011

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Photo: Courtesy of AKARAKINGDOMS

A recent article published by TIME Magazine has sparked controversy nationwide. Author John Cloud writes on the touchy subject of exercise and weight loss. Cloud proclaims that exercise won’t make you thin. There is always the conceived idea that if you want to lose weight all you need to do is exercise. But how many of you exercise relentlessly everyday, yet the scale never seems to budge, and your pants still seem to feel a little too tight? With more than 45 million Americans with gym memberships, it is interesting that obesity is still on the rise, and the average weight of both men and women has increased significantly. Cloud states “people who regularly exercise are at significantly lower risk for all manner of diseases — those of the heart in particular. They less often develop cancer, diabetes and many other illnesses. But the past few years of obesity research show that the role of exercise in weight loss has been wildly overstated.” While exercise does increase calorie burn, which is essential for weight loss, exercise also stimulates hunger. More often than not this leads to over-eating and over-indulgence. One is more likely to overestimate the number of calories burned in a workout, which then leads to over eating. Exercise has also been shown to increase cravings for sugary foods.

So what do you think? Stop exercising with the hopes of seeing weight loss? While that result is even more unlikely, read Cloud’s entire article for a more in-depth discussion. His article examines the exercise to lose weight obsession and looks at multiple weight loss studies. I feel exercise has far too many health benefits aside from just maintaining or reaching a healthy weight, but read on and decide for yourself. Will you turn from the treadmill to the couch or choose to lace up?

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