Weight Loss Support - Exercise alone to lose?

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01-25-2007, 06:45 PM
I'm just wondering if anyone has used exercise exclusively to lose weight. I am trying to make good food choices but they still leave much to be desired. I'm in the middle of a move and as soon as the boxes are unpacked I'm getting a treadmill. :D Has anyone else used exercise as the main force in their weight loss strategy with success? Also, how quickly does weight come off if a person focuses mainly on good food choices (dieting) vs. focusing mainly on exercise?
Thanks for your help!

01-25-2007, 06:49 PM
Losing weight with exercise alone is difficult. From my experience, you will lose a few lbs initially but really it is a mix of food choices and exercise.

01-25-2007, 06:52 PM
You can lose weight reducing calories without exercise but you can't necessarily lose weight exercising if you're not watching your calorie consumption.

You can exercise yourself into a tizzy every day, but if you're still taking in more calories than your body is burning, you're not going to lose anything.

You have to create a calorie deficit.

01-25-2007, 07:21 PM
I thought I remember reading its 80% food and 20% exercise; I could be wrong though.

I think you could just get by on eating less and losing, but I don't think you could the other way around. Best of luck though.

01-25-2007, 07:38 PM
I thought I remember reading its 80% food and 20% exercise; I could be wrong though.

I've heard that too. And I believe it.

I remember exercising my butt off years ago because I wanted to lose weight but I didn't want to give up how much I ate.

It didn't work.

Also, unless you discipline your food intake, exercising can make some of us believe that just because we work out, it gives us a green light to eat as much as we want. So even though I was exercising, I found myself actually eating MORE.

When I finally made the conscious effort to start counting my calories, that's when the weight started coming off. And I rarely exercise.

01-25-2007, 08:15 PM
Am I weird this way? I can't lose weight with exercise alone, but I've found that even if I eat healthily (yes, watching my calorie intake, too), without the exercise to kick it into gear, my body doesn't seem to budge. So the big part of it may be the calorie deficit created by eating well, but for me, exercise is pretty significant.

01-25-2007, 09:00 PM
I cant lose weight on exercise alone because my appetite will grow to support my energy expenditure.

I cant lose weight on dieting alone because without exercise I am a depressed, moody, miserable, beeyotch who cant help but stuff her face with comfort food just to get back at myself.

Plus, well, I cant cant cant live on teeny eeny bits of food. Below 1800 on a regular basis would drive me batty.

01-25-2007, 09:56 PM
Ennay, That is exactly how I feel. Back a few years ago, when I ran regularly, I remember being hungrier - so much so that I gained weight - and I was tired all the time. I function OK at 1500 calories for a while, but I do much better on about 1800. I guess I'll just have to try to find a balance. Thanks for all the info!

01-25-2007, 10:09 PM
For me, it is diet and exercise BOTH. If you diet only, you lose slower (because you are burning less calories) plus, you aren't "firm" and fit. You can be skinny and still have flabby thighs if you don't exercise...

I have the tendency to overeat if I don't pay attention, so I have to watch my diet as well.

01-26-2007, 12:15 AM

I can KEEP to a certain weight by exercising, but adjusting the food piece of the equation as I added some ADDITIONAL minutes of exercise helped me FINALLY break my plateau after EIGHT MONTHS!!!

I tried to lose weight without exercise MANY times. I was successful for awhile each time but eventually gained back every pound I lost.

I think each person's metabolism, food issues, stress levels, exercise needs, and overall persistence is very different. One size fits all doesn't work with pantyhose, and it doesn't work for weight loss either in my opinion!

I read that our bodies are MADE to retain weight as a life-saving mechanism left over from caveman/cavewoman times. Those who survived to reproduce were fat enough not to die even when food was scarce. (Too bad we can't rewire ourselves or send our bodies the memo that we can safely LOSE this "life-saving mechanism" without worrying about dying!)


01-26-2007, 12:35 AM
Too bad we can't rewire ourselves or send our bodies the memo that we can safely LOSE this "life-saving mechanism" without worrying about dying!


Which would be great...until overpopulation reaches critical mass, the world's food supply implodes under the strain, and we end up with massive famine the world over...Just cause we don't look to be dying of starvation anytime soon, doesn't mean it's not a valid evolutional measure!

01-26-2007, 03:19 PM
I just read this article:



Tests on overweight people show that a calorie is just a calorie, whether lost by dieting or by running.

01-26-2007, 03:27 PM
This is true-to a degree. A calorie is a calorie, but to create a really good calorie defecit, you have to exercise and burn more calories with your lifestyle than you take IN. A very sedentary person doesn't burn much...an active person does. The less you weigh, the less calories you burn...so while you may start out losing some weight with diet alone, to get to goal you are going to have to keep restricting your calorie level even further and further...or increase your exercise. Personally, I like to eat. :lol:

Plus-muscle and fat look different. If you are sedentary and have a high body fat percentage, you are going to look different than someone of the same weight who is fit, and has a lower body fat percentage and more muscle on their body. Not to mention the zillions of health benefits from exercise...

Beach Patrol
01-26-2007, 03:31 PM
I've read studies on this, and the general understanding is that it takes BOTH to be successful (that is, losing the weight AND NOT gaining it back...)


I know my own body. When I was younger with a faster metabolism, I could skip a meal here or there & eat yogurt for breakfast & lose 5 pounds in a minute. (not a LITERAL minute, LOL). The only exercise I got was P.E. class, but hey - that's about 45 minutes a day, 5 days a week... otherwise I was a lazy teen. ;) :D

Then in my 20's, out of college & into a SITTING DESK job, I gained a little here & there. I was pretty good about exercising. It was good for about 5 or so pounds gone. But that wasn't enough. So I tried dieting. That didn't really help too much. But when I did them TOGETHER - "wow wee, looky at me! skinny as can be & I feel free!" :D

Then in my 30's... lawd hep'me! - I could diet til the cows came home, but if I didn't exercise, I wouldn't lose ONE SINGLE POUND. So I just started exercising LIKE CRAZY. But NOT dieting. I still could not lose ONE single pound!

So in my 40's now... I have learned... FOR ME... it takes BOTH. However, recently - like about 3 weeks ago! - my doc told me that dieting will make you lose the weight; exercising will help keep it off. So yeah... I agree with the 80/20 deal. 80% food/calories, etc. & 20% movement.

01-26-2007, 05:13 PM

Tests on overweight people show that a calorie is just a calorie, whether lost by dieting or by running.

And when a Big Mac, fries, and a coke add up to more than 1000 calories, most people are going to find it easier to adjust their calories than to run off the same 1000 calorie lunch.

01-26-2007, 05:33 PM
I tried exercising alone and it worked, but only to a degree. The first year I got serious about improving my health, I exercised but ate the same as before. In total, I only lost 8 pounds.

The second year I began cleaning up my diet and watching portions/calories along with exercise. And I lost 24 pounds.

So for me dieting AND exercise is the most efficient method.

What works for me is to view exercise as a way to make my body stronger instead of just being a chore. One thing that I do is to track my fitness progress so that I have an motivator to keep plugging at it. Although after some time, having more energy and feeling great will be motivators as well.:D

01-27-2007, 03:25 PM
I see many people have to have both to lose. I'm making some progress in how I eat - I'm taking "baby steps", trying to make each new eating step a habit before adding the next one, instead of changing everything all at once. I guess I was hoping I could just exercise like mad and lose the weight, because I so like to eat! ;) Oh well. I'm moving in a week and when I move I will have the internet (right now I'm limited to the library or a friend's house). I will be able to visit the forum much more often for support as I start this next "baby step" of exercise. :D
Thanks for all of the info. I have learned so much about food and health just by lurking at 3FC. :)