Why Exercise Has Little Effect On Weight Loss

Estimated number of calories burned per hour for several types of measured physical activity:

Slow walking- 115 to 200
Hula Hooping with Weighted Hula Hoop – 115
Dancing-  275 to 350
Skating or swimming-  300 to 600
Tennis- 350 to 700
Gardening- 250 to 300
Golfing- (18 holes)- 150 to 225
Ashtanga Yoga (1 hour) – 351
Driving-    144
Cooking-    180
Housework-    198
Surfing-    207
Weight lifting – general-  234
Sex – 288
Ashtanga yoga- 351
Pilates Intermediate- 351
Hiking- 405
Aerobics – low impact- 414
Aerobics – high impact    477
Bicycling / cycling 12-14 mph    594
Canoeing 4 mph- 630
Rope jumping- 684
Running 6 mph=  684
Elliptical trainer- 774

What Effect Does Exercise have on Obesity and Weight Loss?

I had someone tell me today that he works out two hours a day, is incredibly strong (I guess so!) and cannot lose weight. He showed me the “healthy” snack he had with him; a granola crunch bar. I read the ingredients. Rice flour, oat flour, fructose. So far we are at all carbs. Next comes soy oil. Yuck. And about 20 more ingredients from there…So we talk, really talk. I explain to him what a great breakfast, nutritionally speaking, looks like; organic eggs for breakfast, cooked in coconut oil or butter. Three strips of turkey bacon, a handful of blueberries, some organic coffee. This is my breakfast most mornings. With a third of my calories for the day, RARING to go for 5-6 hours without even thinking about food. Enough fat, protein and nutrient packed carbs (fruits and veggies!) at every meal, 3 times a day. 2000 calories a day, every day. Healthy rapid weight loss occurs, energy quickly returns, you sleep better, feel wonderful upon awakening…and get in some play time each day. THAT is the way too lose weight. The ONLY healthy way there is. Period.

Let’s look at trying to exercise enough to lose weight;

  • It takes 35 miles of walking or jogging to burn the calories in one pound of fat. Losing weight requires optimum nutrition; a balance of healthy fats, protein, fruits, and vegetables. In addition, if a person exercises but doesn’t diet any actual pounds lost may be minimal because dense and heavier muscle mass replaces fat. Also bear in mind that vigorous exercise such as jogging or running on hard surfaces is essentially unnatural to the body and can lower the immune response. Human beings in virtually every culture have typically, throughout time, engaged in anaerobic functional exercise common to regular labor or work functions on the farm, at sea or while hunting wild game, punctuated by occasional bursts of intense activity. Getting on the treadmill, running, or jogging is not that affective for weight loss, is hard on the joints, and wears you out. Use that same energy for weight training, bursts of hard work such as gardening, surfing, dancing, yoga or sex! You will be in better shape, get toned faster…and save a lot of time that is wasted on the treadmill!
    While exercise has little impact on weight loss (that comes from eating enough calories that contain all the nutrients you need on a day to day basis) a fit body will look more toned and be healthier. And exercise even without dieting adds benefit. For example, one study found that overweight but fit people have half the death rate of overweight and unfit people. And, studies suggest that people who have trained for a long time develop more efficient mechanisms for burning fat and are able to stay leaner.
  • Exercise is vitally important, it helps us stay in shape, stimulates and improves cardiovascular health, helps make us happier and gets us into the sunshine we need so badly. This should include cardiovascular and resistance training. Every type of exercise that you do for resistance should be balanced with stretching exercises. This is called cross training. Most types of resistance training or repetitive movements cause some of our muscles to shorten. You need to balance this with stretching these muscles very well. I mean serious stretching, not what we usually do for five minutes before we run! I mean a true warm up. When we try to stretch without warming the muscles up, we can pull muscles or tendons. We only are able to stretch effectively when our muscles are truly warmed up.

I think yoga is the perfect cross training for almost every other form of exercise. Plus, it is also tones muscles, helps us detox, aids digestion and stills the mind. It is a perfect way to learn to meditate. If someone told me I had to choose just one type of exercise, then yoga would be my first choice. It is also important that find something that you love to do every day that will help you gain cardiovascular health. I mean something that will make you work up a serious sweat! Notice I say find something you love to do. Very few people really love aerobics classes. They are not that effective in toning muscles. You are better off riding a bike, running, rollerblading, surfing, dancing,playing soccer or tennis, . These things are so much fun that they tend to be things you love to do, instead of things you make yourself do in order to get in shape. You’re more likely to do them more often.

Weight training should be practiced 3 to 4 times a week in order to build bone and muscle mass. You may find it very effective to work with a personal trainer or find a workout buddy in the first few months. This will keep you motivated. The hardest part of getting on a regular schedule of exercising is getting started. In the beginning, it seems harder to fit it into our schedules. We get sore and tired. But after a few weeks you reach the point where you see results, you’re sleeping better, feeling energized. You notice that you don’t feel as good on the days you don’t exercise. You feel edgy. I love those endorphins!

But to lose 5 pounds a week AND meet out nutrient and energy needs you need 2000 calories a day. You won’t get weight lose by caloric restriction, that has been proven. At that rate of caloric intake your body is in starvation mode; So eat plenty of healthy fats, get plenty of high quality protein and eat ½ way down the glycemic index…including plenty of green leafy veggies each day. Did you know that green leafy vegetables have NO glycemic scale whatsoever and offer you a depth of nutrients that includes plenty of calcium? They must be cooked with saturated fats to assimilate the nutrients, so use butter or animal fats to cook with.

Yes, bacon and eggs cooked in butter is a great breakfast!



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