Exercise & Weight Loss - What is your view/experience?

Hi everyone.

I have been reading both on here and elsewhere that exercising does not aid weight loss and I am not sure I agree and I wonder what your own experiences are.

Surely if you need say 1500 calories a day and you eat those calories and also work off 500 calories you will lose weight - yes/no?

This week I have done a lot of exercise but eaten much more than I have been for the last couple of months. I gained 1/4 lb. I can't believe that if I didn't do all that exercise I wouldn't have gained more.

Ok, I can see that if you eat those 500 calories you have burnt off (especially if you are eating junk) you aren't going to lose weight but if you burn more calories than you need isn't it simple maths and therefore you lose weight?

I think that it is unhelpful saying exercise doesn't aid weight loss as many people like to combine cutting down and exercising - it certainly seems to be working for many people on this site.

I would love to hear about other people's experiences and their view on this:)

12 Replies

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  • Hi Sueper,

    I agree with you that exercise along with a healthy eating plan must be the best way for all of us.

    I believe that neither just Dieting or only exercising is going to make us healthy people. We need to look at all parts of our lives both physical and mental to get us to where we want to be. For myself over the last year I have slowly included some exercise into my life, the first time in forty plus years.

    I know that some recent research has showing, over a short period of time, that exercising doesn't greatly increase weight loss. But we are not here for a short term fix, we are here for the long haul. We need to become fit and for those of us with a lot of weight to lose if we are able to exercise, initial however little, it will give us a feeling of wellbeing and achievement.

    Sueper, as you said it has to be logical that if you are expending more energy then you take in it must help you lose weight. We must have all done it the other way for a long time, if not we would not be having to try and lose so many stones!

    Ros xx

  • You are generalising about the able bodied population. Some people don't have those choices but can still benefit from losing weight and eating better.

  • I think most people can benefit from losing weight and eating better. My question was though if exercise can help. Of course, sadly, there will always be those who cannot exercise, but for those of us who can, does it help with weight loss?

  • If the article is read, and we don't rely on the headlines that are tainted with interpretation and/or spin, it can be found the scientists agree that exercise is vital for health. What they then go on to say is that the food industry is manipulating people's view; overstating how effective exercise is towards losing weight, masking the detriment of processed food.

  • Hey i think exercise alongside healthy eating is the best way to get healthy and lose weight, obviously it is not essential to weight loss but i think its a great way to help people get healthier and fitter. I think its not good to put out the message that people dont need to do exercise especially in a society where being active has become a thing of the past.

  • He still says - "Exercise can help move things along quicker and re-balance your biochemical health, but it is important to know that you can’t out exercise a bad diet." though.

  • As usual with these discussions on weight loss things get turned around. Originally discussions started from the point of view that if you couldn't exercise you could still lose weight.

    The industry of weight loss is worth so much money now that marketing and Internet mythology had made a lot of people believe that exercise was an essential part of weight loss.

    This meant lots of people like myself felt helpless because we couldn't exercise. It also strangely led to more abuse towards overweight people.

    The discussion about could you lose weight without exercise then turned into whether exercise was helpful.

    Obviously if you can move about more and be more active then not only will you get healthier and be busy so you eat less, but you will burn a few more calories. You may well feel happier too and then eat less comfort food.

    It must be remembered though that even a paraplegic or quadrat legit can lose weight if they reduce their food intake enough. Again unfortunately lots of rubbish is talked on the Internet about the body going into fast mode and advocating people eating more to lose more. Again this condemns people with disabilities to being unable to diet. The truth ofcourse is that if we only need say 1400 calories a day to maintain our weight then to lose weight and create a defecit we have to eat less than most and it's harder rather than impossible.

    It's also worth noting what most slimming club leaders know, and that is that people who exercise obsessively often don't lose weight very quickly. It's hard to tell whether this because they eat too much because they get over tired and hungry or because their body is accustomed to the exercise and doesn't need many more calories than anyone else because it's their normal.

    Saying all that, if you can exercise it's good for you. No one needs a gym but to be active is good for your heart and bones and mental health. It can help you lose weight.

    If you can't exercise then you can still lose weight. You might be able to start being more active after you have lost a bit of weight you might never be more active but it is possible to lose weight.

    I am a wheelchair user who can't exercise and I've lost 3 stone this year.

  • Using 500 calories in exercise is not something a lot of people can do but It is still good to exercise as much as possible. I like to walk at least 3 miles a day Though that is currently painful due to knee pain (see my most recent post.)

    WHAT you eat is as relevant as how much.

    "All Calories Are Equal." Is the most stupid dogma ever because It is only true in terms of heat generated in a laboratory test burn and not of what happens when the item is eaten.

    Coal dust has a calorific value but I would want to watch a dietician who would eat that, rather than the equivalent calorific value of say, carrots.

  • Something else I found - some research has found that (and this usually happens in older people) excessive amounts of activity burned during exercise causes people to move around less later in the day. For example, say you put yourself through 500 calories of hard activity but, due to fatigue, you sit on the couch more later that night, burning 300 calories less than you expended before training. The supposed 500 calorie deficit you’re creating is really only 200 calories because your SPA/NEAT has adjusted itself. You might expect one pound per week fat loss but the deficit is actually less than half of that (200 cal/day * 7 days = 1,400 calories = 0.4 pounds fat per week).

    I don't think I am doing this but I will now make sure I don't!

  • The key point that is often overlooked about the energy equation is how efficient we are(n't). When doctors prescribe drugs that stop absorption of fat for some, that is an acknowledgement that we don't always convert every calorie that goes in.

    When we eat high-glycaemic carbohydrates, we produce more insulin which pre-disposes us to store more body-fat, making us unable to burn body-fat for fuel.

    Fructose and alcohol cause fatty-liver and insulin-resistance, causing insulin levels to rise even higher. Thus people with type-2 diabetes or PCOS for instance are more susceptible to gaining body-fat, and have a harder time using it for fuel.

  • I exercise because it makes me feel good, keeps my joints, muscles, heart and lungs happy and makes me smile. It does not help my weight.

  • I think that we are all different, some people definately benefit from exercise to help with weight loss, but for some people it is a diet thing. Obviously if you sit on the couch all day, but eat a low calorie (or carbohydrate) diet, you will still not be healthy as your body needs movement to create and work out your muscle. I saw a really good article on this website healthy.co.nz/ailment/1163-... I found it very informative without being biased.

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