There are often attempts to improve lifestyle habits with a specific weight loss goal for many people, but will exercise help me lose weight?
Too often, people realize, sometimes quickly, that their brave and sweaty efforts have not led to as much weight loss.
Exercise provides many health benefits and is one of the essential countermeasures you can rely on to prevent chronic disease and reduce the overall risk of mortality. However, sometimes the effectiveness of weight loss training is oversold, and people may overestimate how effective it will be against losing weight. Therefore, people need to understand how to include exercise in their weight control plan that does not lead to one step forward or two steps back.
Overestimated calorie deficit
A calorie deficit – is necessary for sustained weight loss over time. Being regularly active and participating in structured exercise activities are ways to burn more calories. However, exercise may not lead to such a large deficit as you might think.
Activity meters and exercise watches often overestimate the number of calories burned during exercise. Instead of 1,200 calories burned, it can be more like 400 to 700 calories, depending on your intensity levels. Then, this can cause you to miscalculate your target calories for the day and ultimately mislead you into how many calories you can consume throughout the rest of the day.
One of the reasons why exercise can not reduce body weight meaningfully is because people often engage in other behaviors that offset this action when they are not exercising, thus sabotaging the goal of weight loss.
Some people eat more after exercise, either driven by increased hunger or as part of a behavioral reward construct. For example, a person may add a snack or eat a dessert, probably preceded by the inner monologue “I have earned this.” This type of action essentially negates any extra calories consumed during their arduous earned trip to the gym.
Research has also found that people are often less active all day after activity. They burn fewer calories in total than if they had not exercised at all. Again, this type of behavior can reduce the potential for a daily calorie deficit, as a person may use less energy throughout the remaining hours of the day.
Researchers have found that diet change is a more effective and time-efficient strategy for promoting significant weight loss and maintenance over time. Let’s face it, getting time to work out during the week is difficult. It takes time and discipline to change clothes, go to the gym, work out for an hour, shower, and go back to work or home for the day. It can be challenging to do once, and following this routine four to six days a week over several weeks and months is even more difficult.
The type of exercise you do is also essential. Strength training is a form of exercise for building lean body mass, improving weight loss and overall appearance. This improved body composition is often a common goal for many people who want to lose weight.
Yes, it can be essential to lose weight, especially if you are overweight or obese, but you also have to focus on the type of weight you are losing. You should focus on maintaining lean body mass with strength training rather than just losing weight. Strength training also helps maintain functionality as you age by preserving muscle tissue, strengthening bones, improving balance, and preventing injuries – if done correctly.
So is weight loss exercise meaningless?
Exercise can be an effective lifestyle change for weight loss, mainly when supplements ensure a consistent calorie deficit over time.