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Does exercise make weight loss harder?

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Does exercise make weight loss harder?

Postby EvilWombatQueen » Sat Aug 08, 2009 12:41 pm

There was a very interesting article in Time magazine this week. It argues that the positive effect of exercise on weight loss has been greatly overstated over the past 30 years. Although exercise has many positive health benefits, its impact on weight loss can actually be negative because while it burns calories it also stimulates greater hunger and weakens our will-power.

It's a thought provoking article, so I thought I'd post it here to get other people's opinions. In a way I think it's not aimed at people like us at this forum. Although many people here incorporate exercise into their weight loss plans, they also focus on healthy eating. So we're less likely to reward ourselves with a doughnut after a gym session. It's probably aimed at people who think that exercise is the only thing they need to lose weight. But I notice that there's an assumption here that exercise has to be a part of weight loss. What do you think? Has exercise significantly improved your weight loss? Or do you do it for the other health benefits? Do you think exercise is an essential part of weight loss?

Time: Why Exercise Won't Make You Thin via Jezebel
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Re: Does exercise make weight loss harder?

Postby onthedecrease » Sat Aug 08, 2009 12:46 pm

I think exercise is an essential part of weight loss- it may not always get the best results as drastically cutting back on cals in but the positives of being active for me at least are much more of an incentive to lose weight. From exercising reguarly you get a release of endorphins that makes you happier and for me this means im less likely to binge on junk, and if i do have something that is not exactly ideal i know that my hard work throughout the week will always compensate me for it, im also much more positive and proud in myself because of the exercise. As a newly formed gym junkie i cant say enough about exercise!
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Re: Does exercise make weight loss harder?

Postby starr22 » Sat Aug 08, 2009 1:03 pm

Very intersting article EWQ, thanx for posting it.

Personally for me, I don't think exercise has had a huge impact on my weight loss. I find I get the best results when my diet is under control. I do think exercise is important, of course we all need to exercise, but I think it's the small things that count, like taking the stairs instead of the lift, hanging the washing out insead of using the dryer etc, etc and just moving more throughout the day. These days it is hard to do though, with lots people having office jobs, and most people owning all of the new fandangle time saving appliences availiable, and most of us drive everywhere. When I think back 50 or 60 years to when my grandparents were my age, they never had 'exercise time' like I do after work. They just moved more in their day to day life and ate less procesed foods, and they never had weight issues.

Interesting subject though :D
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Re: Does exercise make weight loss harder?

Postby EvilWombatQueen » Sat Aug 08, 2009 1:36 pm

Yeah, one of the reasons why the article struck home to me is because I've finally busted my plateau and started losing weight again. Not through exercise, but by being very strict with my calorie intake. I tend to have a very enthusiastic appetite at the best of times, so I'm probably a prime candidate for increased appetite when I do more exercise. And I know that I tend to justify treat food (and alcohol) if I've exercised that day. I do a hell of a lot of walking, but I don't really count that as exercise because I've been so programmed to think of only intense cardio exercise and muscle building exercise as being worthwhile in a weight loss plan.

I definitely agree with OTD that exercise is great for self-esteem and general health, though. The days when I was running I felt absolutely great!

If you'll pardon the pun, I found the article was great food for thought. :lol:
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Re: Does exercise make weight loss harder?

Postby glam1 » Sat Aug 08, 2009 2:57 pm

personally i have always been an active person- exercising 3 times week 30-45mins however still had issues with weight.

However when i first started trying to lose weight this year i included more exercise , but without great results. when in february i was working full time and uni fulltime i just didnt have time to exercise apart from my daily 20 min walk. So i watched my intake alot closer and lost weight. After my wedding i eased off put 3 kg back on and freaked out , so i had so personal training but it just made me so hungry i was starving, i couldnt control my hunger pains . So i ditched the intense workouts and now watch my intake more still do my workouts but now they include pole dancing 2-3 days a week and i'm losing weight without the huge binges and hunger pains.

makes you think.
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Re: Does exercise make weight loss harder?

Postby Karnak » Sat Aug 08, 2009 4:44 pm

Great article, thanks for posting that Ali. I must admit I've always been surprised at peoples knowledge of how little exercise burns. Wearing a HRM for most workouts I'm fully aware of how much it takes to burn off 100cals yet I constantly hear workmates and friends treat themselves with a muffin (400+cals some of them) when they would of burnt 300cals max in their 30minute walk.

For me exercise is used to give me the energy and the motivation to diet as it's the energy gained that makes it easier to get up that bit early to have a good breakfast or gets me motivated to pre-make myself a salad etc but for the most part its the food that gets off the kilos...

Where I think exercise really helps out thought will be the maintenance side of things. I look at the total at the end of the week from my HRM and the calories sit around 3500cals burnt for the week. Weightloss wise thats not even half a kilo... but for a maintenance diet - thats the naughty indian takeaway combined with a small chocolate bar twice during the week. Exercise is for me a tool I use to fight the regain.

thanks again for your - as usual :) - wonderful insightful sharing EVQ
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Re: Does exercise make weight loss harder?

Postby Shalimar » Sat Aug 08, 2009 9:15 pm

To be completely honest I have often wondered whether exercise really makes that much difference. Dont get me wrong I love the feeling after I am done exercising and I know its great for mind, body and soul but as I said I do often wonder.
That said Im too scared to stop and find out :lol: .
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Re: Does exercise make weight loss harder?

Postby liza.hyden » Sun Aug 09, 2009 4:55 am

According to my experience both are important our diet as well as exercise, its my personal experience. I do have control on my diet and I do exercise daily. I believe exercise is equally important
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Re: Does exercise make weight loss harder?

Postby mr happy » Sun Aug 09, 2009 6:38 am

Im no exercise guru, but my best mate is a triathlete and this is how he explained it to me. This is his take on it, not mine.
Exercise is great for weightloss, but only if you dont overdo it. The best of the lot is walking. Not too quickly. You need to keep your heartrate below a certain zone (cant remember the name of it). As long as your body is below this zone, you will burn fat while you exercise. Once your heartrate picks up past this zone (start feeling puffed) your body starts building up lactic acid in the blood cells, which prevents the transfer of stored fat cells as energy. This in turn makes you feel hungry as your body can no longer burn stored fat, so you end up eating more. So, your getting fitter, but not losing weight.
The positives from slow walking is that you actually lose weight while you walk.
The positives from more high energy exercise, where you get puffed out a lot, is that your body will burn calories faster while you are asleep and your heart rate has returned to normal.
So the trick for weightloss is to walk a lot, but walk slowly.

I could be wrong, im really digging deep into my memory here, but im ptetty sure my mate called that heart rate zone the anaerobic threshold, or something similiar. Which is a point that you can push you body to before you start becoming puffed out and begin tiring.
It makes sense, and knowing how much my mate knows about this kind of stuff i beleive what he says. He competed in the port mcquarie iron man comp last year!!!
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Re: Does exercise make weight loss harder?

Postby fi_112 » Sun Aug 09, 2009 12:22 pm

Exercise for me has been a central part of my weight loss journey - mostly for the sake of my emotional well being. The rush of endorphins you get from a good work out is like nothing else! It keeps me happy and allows me to aim higher and higher each time. I've done a triathlon and a 7km run, and I used to hate exercise! It has also given me a toned body, whereas if I'd just eaten healthily I might have still lost weight but I think I'd be more jiggly.

Having said that, I am not the best at sticking to healthy diets so it is good 4 me 2 have a fallback!!!
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Re: Does exercise make weight loss harder?

Postby glam1 » Sun Aug 09, 2009 5:37 pm

fi_112 wrote:Exercise for me has been a central part of my weight loss journey - mostly for the sake of my emotional well being. !!!

:D well said
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Re: Does exercise make weight loss harder?

Postby Princess_Lissa » Sun Aug 09, 2009 6:14 pm

Nice article, good enough to allow others raise an eyebrow, and good enough to let others see a different POV to working out.

I'm such a sucker for the exercise+balanced diet tandem because of the great benefits, including weight loss, it gives me. That article pretty much spoke to me as it made me wonder, "what if... just what if this article was right..."

One way to find out, I guess. I gotta stop the exercise and keep the health meal principle. I'm going to check how this'll hit on my weight loss journey.
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Re: Does exercise make weight loss harder?

Postby Mogget » Sat Aug 22, 2009 2:25 pm

For me exercise is essential to weight loss - I don't get much appetite stimulus from it but I DO get an endorphin rush that can't be beat, confidence, energy, vibrancy, strength and health that all MASSIVELY support my weight loss endevors. Exercise makes the weight you have look better and it is recent studies have found that excess weight is not as much of a health concern as the lack of physical activity that comes with excess weight - so whether it is for vanity or health exercise is GOOD. The numbers on the scale are completely arbitrary, health is not.
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