To Exercise, or Not to Exercise? That is The Question.

October 8, 2010

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Photo: Courtesy of Graur Razvan Ionut

For as long as I can remember I have always heard, “to lose weight- diet and exercise”, but a recent article written in TIME Magazine reports on some contraindicating news. Some of you may have heard the recent buzz surrounding exercise and weight loss, where researchers and weight loss gurus are claiming there is not always a positive correlation. Yes, exercise may not be helping you lose weight, it may in fact be causing you to gain weight!

We know that to lose weight you have to burn more calories than you consume, so obviously exercise would seem like the easiest way to go about achieving weight loss but there is some evidence going against that. The peer reviewed journal PLoS ONE (non-profit Public Library of Science) conducted a study in which four groups of overweight women were asked to workout, and one group to continue with their normal physical activity routine. While all women lost weight, those who exercised the most did not lose any more weight than those who exercised on a lower scale or not at all. When you exercise you are burning a greater number of calories but that in turn makes you more hungry and more likely to eat more later to compensate. Many people without proper education may think they are burning more than they actually are and let themselves splurge later by eating extra. This over times adds up.

I am in no way trying to down play the importance of physical activity. It plays a major role in health and wellness and is an important factor in living a healthy life. Losing 5 pounds of fat and replacing it with 5 pounds of muscle is a great accomplishment, not to mention muscle burns almost twice as many calories as fat! So keep up the good work and don’t stray from the treadmill in fear of gaining a few pounds, just be mindful of how many calories you are burning and what you are putting into your mouth when you are exercising.

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