Exercise! - Does exercise work in weight loss




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Optical Goddess
12-05-2008, 10:25 AM
I'm not sure if this should go into the 'does this work' forum, if that's the case, feel free to move it.

I have had absolutely _no_ motivation to work out. I put it on my list, but it gets cast aside in favor of finishing making Christmas gifts or work or whatever.

Anyway, I went online looking for something that would motivate me. I read about a theory that working out doesn't do anything for weight loss.

this puts everything I've learned on it's head.

I lost weight according to the scale, then gained some back ( over the span of 2.5 weeks ), but my pants are noticeably looser, even though my weight loss hasn't really changed all that much.

Does exercise really make that big of a difference in weight loss? If it doesn't, why should I put myself through it?

Has working out been the deal breaker for some of your weight loss? How important do you feel it is?

I am interested in what you have to say. I do not doubt it'll be motivating.


Thighs Be Gone
12-05-2008, 10:34 AM
Optical, we have similar stats. :) You have already been so successful. First, let me say that every person has to find her own path. It may differ for some. I started changing my habits in June with my eating. I lost 20 pounds during that time. When school started I began exercising. The remainder of my weight loss has happened since then. What I notice about exercising is that I feel better and move better. I also think I look better. My skin is nicer than it's been in years and my posture has improved. When you exercise it gives you a little more flexibility with what you are eating too. In addition, health wise every one should be moving.

I have countless friends that walk every day or whatever and never drop a pound. The problem is they don't change their eating habits. As we all know bad eating can WAY offset weightloss no matter how much you exercise.

Tomato
12-05-2008, 10:41 AM
Oh gosh, I don't even know where to start.
I had no desire to exercise myself - and that attitude is very easy if one is overweight, used to being sedentary for the most part of the day, etc. But, my brain realized that there are really only two options that lead to weight loss - either one eats less or one moves (i.e. exercises) more. I was not willing to give up food, therefore something else had to budge - I had to start exercising.

I went on a limb and purchased a treadmill and started exercising on it 3x a week. The pounds started to melt away, slowly but surely. I was lucky that I found 3FC at the very beginning of my weight loss journey (I was not looking for a weight loss forum but I had what I thought were shin splints from the treadmill and when I googled it, one of the links took me here). I learned so much here, among other things that I would be losing muscle if do only cardio. So after a few months, I joined the gym and I never looked back. Now, I HAVE to exercise because my day would not feel complete without it. Sure, there are days when I don't because I do need a break 1 day a week or when I overdo it and the muscles need a longer recovery time, but I got totally addicted to the endorphins. That's my new drug of choice.

Funny you should mention this - just the other day I was stopped by a colleague at work - we don't see each other often in spite of being on the same floor but we run into each other once in two weeks or so. She told me (again) that every time she sees me I am smaller and she wanted to know how much I exercise. When I told her that I am at the gym practically 6x times a week, she crunched up her nose and said she could not imagine having the motivation to do it. I explained to her that I did not have it (at the beginning) either, but somehow, my brain did a 180-degree turn and I crave exercise now. It was a gradual turn, I did not wake up one morning, spat into my palms and started bouncing happily to some DVD workout. I can't tell you how and when it happened, but it did and I am so grateful for it.

Not only I lost a small truckload of fat, I built quite some muscle, my blood pressure is completely normal and I am off the meds for high BP, and I have become such a happy person.
And as far as the lack of willingness to give up food - that changed, too. I am eating clean and exercise portion control, but I don't count calories. It is very easy to not give in to the temptation to eat junk - again, some pathways in my brain must have gotten rewired.
And I owe all this to exercise and to 3FC.

Sobbingly yours,
Tomato


KforKitty
12-05-2008, 10:43 AM
Well my answer might be somewhat different to the other replies you get here but for me the simple answer would be 'not really'. Most of my weightloss this time has been as a result of controlling my food intake, I am generally active but don't currently do any formal exercise. I do think exercise tones and can make you look better overall but for me I have found great difficulty in getting the calories in vs calories out equation in the correct balance for sustained weightloss and am currently keeping this out of the equation.

I have done regular exercise in the past whilst trying to lose weight. My problem is that I know my body needs an increased amount of fuel when I exercise but when I've tried adding in the extra calories the guides give for that activity my weightloss stalls. If I don't add the extra calories in I just feel hungry. In my case I think most calculators over-estimate the calories burned by exercise and I feel the effort needed for a few extra calories is not worth it. I am not saying though that I am sedentary. My normal activities mean I am on the go most days for around 14 hours a day.

Kitty

Thighs Be Gone
12-05-2008, 10:47 AM
KforKitty, you know for years I read how everyday living didn't count for anything as far as weightloss. I could fold clothes, mop floors and do dishes with zero results. Recently, that myth is being debunked. More studies are reporting that an "active" life DOES have results on weightloss much more so than formerly reported. This may be the boat you are in.

QuilterInVA
12-05-2008, 11:20 AM
If you don't exercise while losing weight, you will lose muscle along with the fat. Your heart is a muscle, need I say more. Exercise does burn more calories, but if you are doing it to lose weight you must do an hour a day 6 days a week. The same applies to maintaining weight loss. Studies have been done to see why people can be successful at weight loss but gain it back - one hour of exercise a day is the answer to that problem as well. It tones your body and keeps your bones strong. So my advice is to keep on exercising!

nelie
12-05-2008, 11:26 AM
I had a crisis not too long ago because of the realization that food is key to losing weight and exercise is a 'nice to have'. Yes calories are really key to losing weight but for me I found that if I don't exercise, then I don't feel as good, I don't feel as motivated to watch my eating and I just don't lose weight at all.

So basically for me, I NEED exercise in order to be healthy but also in order to help me lose weight.

bargoo
12-05-2008, 11:32 AM
Cutting calories and exercise equals weight loss.

PhotoChick
12-05-2008, 11:35 AM
There are a few reasons that exercise is important.

1 - The most important one is this: When you lose weight by diet only, you do lose fat, but you also lose a portion of lean muscle. And when you yo-yo diet (i.e. lose 10 lbs, gain it back, lose 5 lbs, gain it back, lose 15 lbs gain it back) you continue to lose lean muscle that you don't gain back. The only way to lose weight and NOT lose lean muscle is to do something that builds muscle while you're losing.

2 - The second thing is that YES exercise makes it easier to lose weight. It's a simple mathematical truth. Exercise burns calories. Burning calories causes you to lose weight. You will lose more weight if you eat less AND exercise than if you just eat less. It's an inescapable physical fact.

3 - The third thing is that when you exercise, you don't just burn additional calories immediately, you set your body up to burn more calories long term. Exercising, and especially exercises that build lean muscle create a situation where your body burns more calories "at rest".

From my personal experience, I can lose weight by eating less. It's slow, however, and as I lose weight, I become "jiggly". I've done it before and become what I've heard called "skinny fat". I'm thin, but I jiggle and I'm not in shape.

When I added exercise to my weight loss, I lost faster, I had more energy, and I have less "jiggle" this time. I feel better about the fat I've lost because I feel like I look better in my clothes.

The other thing that I like personally is that the more I exercise and work out, the more I can eat. I like that because I lift weights and make an effort to get in shape, I have a few more calories a day that I can eat and still lose weight. 200-300 calories a day makes a huge difference in my enjoyment of my foods. And for me, that's a very big deal and it keeps me motivated.

Do I think people can lose weight w/out exercising? Sure. Do I think it's the most healthy of options? Nope. We're meant to be physical creatures. We're meant to move and stretch and work. That's how we're built.

.

HMS
12-05-2008, 07:57 PM
I think food is the most important part. However, I am more motivated to eat healthier options when I do workout. As well it has the added benefits of food free stress relief for me.

kittycat40
12-05-2008, 09:22 PM
I don't know how old you are but I notice as I got older (39 this Feb), even if I cut calories the scale number was very reluctant to move down. That which made this journey successful was the addition of exercise to my lowered calories and healthier food choices.

Lately many people are asking me "how did you do it?" My answer is "eating a healthier diet as well as exercising. Consistently. Both."

LandonsBaby
12-05-2008, 09:44 PM
I've heard some trainers say nutrition is 80% of the equation and exercise is the other 20%. I think that depends on who you are, what you are eating and how much you exercise. I want to build muscle so I need strength training to do that. I will admit though, I don't do a lot of cardio (I've been looking for a treadmill or recumbent bike though). I'm at home doing a lot of stuff around the house too, so that helps. Sitting at a desk all day would be a different story.

grneyedmustang
12-05-2008, 09:48 PM
When I diet without exercise, I lose weight V-E-R-Y S-L-O-W-L-Y.

If I exercise consistently, then I lose weight consistently. And I think that exercise keeps my weight loss from stalling. Along with other added benefits, such as:
- more energy (once I get past the first week, I definitely have more energy)
- more stamina (hopefully this will benefit me in the bedroom one day) :yikes:
- muscle tone
- more motivation (I get motivated by being able to do things I wasn't able to do previously. For example, when I first started running on the treadmill, I started at 4.5. Now I can run at 5.7mph)

In short, my results are a lot better when I combine diet and exercise (heavy on the exercise).

PhotoChick
12-07-2008, 12:39 AM
I posted a thread about this in the Weight Loss News area, but I thought it was pretty pertinent here. A good reason why exercise is IMPORTANT as part of healthy weight loss.

http://munews.missouri.edu/news-releases/2008/0728-hinton-weight-loss.php

During weight loss through calorie-restricted diets, bones are being remodeled - breaking down old bone and forming new bone - at an accelerated rate. At the same time, bone density is decreasing, causing increased fragility. In a new study, a University of Missouri researcher and collaborators at the University of Kansas found that the potentially harmful effects of weight loss on bone persist during weight maintenance following moderate weight loss.

The study goes on to say that people losing significant amounts of weight should incorporate high-impact, weight bearing exercise into their routines and double check their calcium intake.

.

Nikaia
12-07-2008, 02:38 AM
I know that for me, I can diet all I want but nothing happens until I exercise. My body doesn't "take me seriously" about weight-loss until I start exercising. And also, when I don't see results, I quickly stop even trying to diet. So I can diet, see nothing happening, then give up within a couple weeks, or I can haul my happy butt to the gym as well as cutting calories, and actually see progress. It's just how my body works.

YMMV, of course.

kittycat40
12-07-2008, 10:06 AM
YMMV,.

Can anyone tell me what this means?

Nikaia
12-07-2008, 11:39 AM
It means "Your Mileage May Vary".

JulieJ08
12-07-2008, 12:44 PM
I lost about 10 pounds (all I needed to lose) about 10 years go with only exercise (weight training, not too much cardio), or at least, minimal attention to diet. It doesn't seem like it would have worked this time, but then again, this time I had much more to lose, had carried the weight a lot longer, was older, and not working out as intensely.

hush hush
12-07-2008, 01:15 PM
In my mind, the benefit of working out is twofold. First, I am building lean muscle, which will burn more calories for me throughout the day. Second, when I am working out regularly I am much more conscious about what I put in my body. I am better able to focus on choosing foods that nourish, rather than just what I am craving at the moment.

nakedmango
12-07-2008, 01:38 PM
It means "Your Mileage May Vary".

YMMV is a netspeak shorthand to say, "This is my experience/opinion, but it may not be yours."

Seriously, when I first starting trying to lose weight, I exercised most days around 300 calories a day (roughly, of course-YMMV ;). I'm 5'1", so my calorie intake to a pound a week would be around 1600 calories a day (roughly 1800 base and daily activity plus 300 exercise=2100, minus 500 per day deficit for a pound a week weight loss). Imagine if I weren't exercising: I would still need the same calorie deficit (around 500 calories deficit a day) but without exercise this would mean eating only 1300 calories a day. :o It can be done--people on 3FC can do that, and do it daily, and I've done it before, on days when I wasn't particularly hungry. But would I rather exercise and eat 1600 cals a day? Or would I rather not exercise and eat 1300 cals a day? 300 cals makes, for me, a big difference in enjoyment. And really, exercising has made me much more toned than I was before--I tried the 30-day Shred video after a couple months of doing other exercise instead and realized I had to step it up to level 2. Woot! but that wouldn't have happened without exercise. So in my experience, yes, exercise definitely makes a difference, and in my opinion it makes everyone healthier. But YMMV. :D

BlueToBlue
12-09-2008, 12:28 AM
In my experience, my diet is far more important than exercise when it comes to the number on the scale. I lose weight when I restrict my calories, whether I exercise or not.

BUT, exercise has still been critical to my weight loss:

1. There's that whole issue with losing fat vs. losing muscle. I don't want to lose muscle. By strength training, I actually increase my muscle mass. Even when you are just sitting on the sofa like a slug, muscle burns more calories than fat. A LOT more calories. So maintaining or increasing my muscle mass sets me up for maintaining my weight loss. Not all exercise is equal in terms of this benefit--you have to be strength training, you won't get this benefit from cardio.

2. Then there's the metabolism issue. Eat less and your metabolism slows. Exercise helps by increasing your metabolism. This is also critical for maintenance. I know so many people that lost weight only to gain most, all, or more of it back. I am not going to be one of them and that means exercising to keep my metabolism up.

3. Exercise is key in terms of controlling my diet. I seriously do not know how people diet without exercise. When my exercise is off, I have terrible cravings and it so much harder to stay on plan. I've had days where my eating was spinning out of control, I went into the gym to work out and left with my eating completely back on track. I don't know why it helps, but it does. I've read that exercise is an appetite suppressant.

MBN
12-09-2008, 07:02 AM
I HAVE to exercise for weight loss/maintenance. Partly it's because of the extra calorie burn, muscle maintenance, etc. But mostly it's for the psychological benefit that exercise brings. It makes me feel good about myself, energized, and somehow more in control. When I exercise regularly, my diet mostly falls in line too. When I fall off the exercise wagon, then I am much more inclined to eat badly too. Maybe that's not true for everyone, but it certainly is true for me.

TheTinGirl
12-14-2008, 12:42 PM
This is just my take on things...
I think you need to exercise to make your body capable of loosing weight. Working out builds muscle...you need muscle to burn fat. Not to mention all the energy you gain by working out. And counting calories isn't what strengthens your heart :D That's the difference between loosing weight and being healthy.