100 lb. Club - WHy Exercise Won't Make You Thin: (A TIME article)




lottie63
08-08-2009, 01:34 AM
http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1914857-1,00.html

this make some good points, but, I find I don't have any of the bad habits expressed in this article that people who exercise tend to have. (eating more after exercising, being less active days you exercise, etc...might be because I PLAN everything and am ridiculously anal retentive about my meal structure, calories and movement.)

it's long, but a very interesting read, a few times I was like "MALARKY!" and wanted to stop reading, but I kept on, and it was very informative.

What about you guys?


HVEECK
08-08-2009, 02:28 AM
Thats a funny article! Of course exercise isn't going to help you lose weight if you go eat a pizza or french fries or down a gallon of gatorade after word! Yes, exercise does seem to make me hungry, but thats why I up my protein during my work out days and count my calories to make sure I dont go over. Its scary to me that article's like this are being written. Can you imagine how many people are going to read this and take it as an excuse not to exercise! (not on this forum, im sure) but just in general. thats sad :(

jewelweed
08-08-2009, 06:45 AM
Yes, I can't believe articles like that are being written!! The amount of generalisation in there. Arrgh did they think their readers are stupidos?


jewelweed
08-08-2009, 06:49 AM
And from TIME no less!PFfffffft!!

TraceyElaine
08-08-2009, 06:57 AM
The person writing that article obviously hasn't visited our lil site here. That article kind of made me angry. It was like one long excuse not to exercise. I am a little saddened that there WILL be people who will read that and decide not to exercise because of it. It just felt like it was one sided and that facts were twisted to fit a point.

JayEll
08-08-2009, 07:20 AM
Some years ago, I remember reading something a woman wrote--she decided she was fat and not fit, so she embarked on a gym program. After a year, she was physically very fit by all the measures--only she was still fat.

I think the article is correct that exercise will do someone no good if they eat more as a result. The most I have ever burned in a single session at the gym is about 300 calories, and I wouldn't want to bet on that number because those machine estimates can be way off. As the article points out, you can eat back those calories with a treat from Starbucks.

OTOH, the author has clearly never had a serious weight problem, so no real experience. Also, when he does those punishing sessions he describes, I would say he's OVERexercising. It's not necessary.

I exercise to support my weight loss and weight maintenance efforts, and to increase my cardiovascular and muscular fitness. But the main thing is restricting food, IMO.

Jay

Madison
08-08-2009, 07:26 AM
I am a little saddened that there WILL be people who will read that and decide not to exercise because of it.
Thats what bugged me about it too.

dragonwoman64
08-08-2009, 09:00 AM
I think the article is correct that exercise will do someone no good if they eat more as a result. The most I have ever burned in a single session at the gym is about 300 calories, and I wouldn't want to bet on that number because those machine estimates can be way off. As the article points out, you can eat back those calories with a treat from Starbucks.

OTOH, the author has clearly never had a serious weight problem, so no real experience. Also, when he does those punishing sessions he describes, I would say he's OVERexercising. It's not necessary.

I exercise to support my weight loss and weight maintenance efforts, and to increase my cardiovascular and muscular fitness. But the main thing is restricting food, IMO.

Jay

I had these same thoughts.

I don't run on the treadmill, I do a fast walk at a slight incline. I do other exercises and resistance machines. I'm tired when I come home, but not wiped out. I also don't do it occasionally, I do it regularly three times a week (I try to make it 4, but haven't gotten to that point yet).

I have felt hungrier after a workout but I don't crave junky stuff, sometimes I'll eat more dinner, that's true. I don't have that feeling after every work out at all.

as for it allowing me to feel I can have more treats, for me when I see a goodie I think how much work at the gym it would take to eliminate those calories, and so it has the effect of helping me keep that treat out of my mouth.

you'll never convince me that exercise doesn't have many more benefits than otherwise (flexibility, muscle tone, cardiovascular, skeletal structure, mental, psychological, energy levels, stamina; the general overall functioning of your body, it's shape and look). I don't think you need to be a gym goer, any regular exercise at a good intensity, and free weights are fantastic. it has an added benefit, imho, of giving me a better sense of self discipline.

exercise can play a social function too; I see people at my gym I'm friendly with.

that said, if I don't keep track of my calories, I don't lose weight even if I exercise more. can you lose weight and not exercise? of course, I've done it (100 lbs once). I do think developing my exercise program and sticking to it has been key for me in losing weight that I have so far and in keeping it off. I feel healthier now than maybe ever before in my life. I'm excited thinking about getting more of this fat tissue gone!

these articles can twist around what scientific studies show, sometimes it really is better to go with what your common sense, gut and experience tells you.

Pita09
08-08-2009, 10:03 AM
I do agree with the article that exercise is not a magical weight-loss key. We on 3FC know that it's about calories in vs. calories out that get the pounds off.

For the last two months I've been going to the gym and exercising 6 days a week for 90 minutes. I do cardio at the gym and I go first thing in the morning on an empty stomach. You bet I'm hungry when I get back home! However, I don't think because I've just worked my butt off that I can now make myself some pancakes and bacon. NO! I get my bowl of carefully measured Kashi Go Lean, soy milk, and fresh berries and sit and savor every wonderful bite.

I do cardio and free-weights at home not to lose weight but because of all the overwhelming evidence to the health benefits that exercise gives us. It also makes us strong and fit. In these last two months I've seen a 90% reduction in my lower back pain. I can walk up two flights of stairs without the need to huff and puff about it. My body is changing, toning, strengthening, and I love it!! :carrot:

The article said we should get back to the way people used to move. Well that isn't really practical in today's world. We are a convenience culture and most of us do spend a great amount of our working and leisure time sitting on our butts. We need the exercise to balance our lives in a way our ancestors didn't have to. I think the article was full of holes, impractical, and even a little irresponsible in its reporting. My mother doesn't need another excuse not to get up and exercise. Just saying! :rolleyes:

nelie
08-08-2009, 10:08 AM
In my experience and many others here, I have found that if you exercise without watching what you eat that you won't lose weight and you may even gain weight. I think we've seen it said before that weight loss is 80% diet, 20% exercise or something like that.

The article may be generalizing but I think the overall point should be that if you want to lose weight, you should exercise AND watch what you eat.

rockinrobin
08-08-2009, 10:15 AM
I get it all the time. So often the first thing people say to me, when commenting on my weight loss, is something to the affect of, "I bet you exercise a lot". In other words they believe that the MAIN reason that I've lost the weight is due to exercise. And therefore the reason that they HAVEN'T is due to lack of it. They don't want to face the reality that their food consumption is where the problem lies. They'd much rather believe it's their failure to exercise.

Nelie summed up my feelings on the article.

TraceyElaine
08-08-2009, 10:57 AM
I don't so much think that the facts in the article were wrong. i just think they were presented in a biased light. We ALL konw you need extra calories to workout. But where is it written you have to have a doughnut instead of a handfull of almonds after that workout. Also I am a person that works out alot and I genuinely have to say that for ME it is the exercise that is keeping me going. I wish I could stay on plan and eat well and i do eat better than I have in the past but if i skimp on my workouts i don't loose. The main reason that I (personally) have lost weight is due exercise.

I think there needs to be a balance and that balance is different for everyone. I know of people who have lost tremendous #'s and kept it off without exercising realy at all. And the other way around. Wether it's 50%-50% 80%-20% or whatever everyone is different.

I think the article is one sided.

dcapulet
08-08-2009, 11:19 AM
After all, doesn't exercise turn fat to muscle, and doesn't muscle process excess calories more efficiently than fat does?

Yes, although the muscle-fat relationship is often misunderstood. According to calculations published in the journal Obesity Research by a Columbia University team in 2001, a pound of muscle burns approximately six calories a day in a resting body, compared with the two calories that a pound of fat burns. Which means that after you work out hard enough to convert, say, 10 lb. of fat to muscle — a major achievement — you would be able to eat only an extra 40 calories per day, about the amount in a teaspoon of butter, before beginning to gain weight. Good luck with that.

I can't believe i just read this in TIME.

Fat does not turn into muscle. Muscles get bigger, and helps burn fat. I have heard so many people say the same thing over and over... it's simple anatomy. There is fat tissue and muscle tissue.

Sorry to rant a little, it's just things like this that keep perpetuating the same misinformation.

I agree with you, lottie. MALARKY.

Lori Bell
08-08-2009, 11:20 AM
I agree with many points in the article.

I don't exercise at a gym, or DVD's or anything structured, and I've lost around 180 pounds. I however became much more active naturally as the pounds melted off. I now get tons of physical activities in that I had abandoned in my obesity and enjoy push mowing, hoeing the garden, pulling weeks, landscaping projects, cleaning the house etc..because it is SO much easier. I also tend to stay on plan better when I get in lots of activities because I don't have time to be bored or lazy. I also have a sence of accomplishment and pride in how things look when I'm done...so I feel good. I haven't noticed an increase in weight loss despite eating the same calories when I'm more active, actually it seems weight loss slows down the more I move, but there are all kinds of theories behind that I won't touch! ;) The times I tend to "blow it" are days when I get lazy and spend to much time on the computer...which reminds me, I better get going do do SOMETHING....like clean the gutters.

macky
08-08-2009, 11:26 AM
I know I can easily get in the mindset of "I worked out today, I can eat this!" and I think that's the main gist of the article.

I had a personal trainer for a year and a half, 3-4 times per week, and during that time GAINED 20lbs to hit my all time high and also lost that same 20lbs to end up right back where I started. I was doing cardio too. For me, my calories have, have, have to be in line regardless of if I'm exercising. If I'm exercising, I will feel better and will lose faster, but if my calories aren't being watched, it doesn't matter if I'm exercising. I think that would have been important to mention in the article!

What really bothered me was to mention the bit about kids. Do they suggest that kids who play video games all day will eat less and subsequently childhood obesity rates will decline? Hmmm. 50 years ago, when there were no video games, this was not true. My 11 year old sister, who is the most active child I know, has 0% body fat and eats as much as she needs.

Frustrating article. I can see the point, but not written well at ALL.

thistoo
08-08-2009, 11:59 AM
I think there needs to be a balance and that balance is different for everyone. I know of people who have lost tremendous #'s and kept it off without exercising realy at all. And the other way around. Wether it's 50%-50% 80%-20% or whatever everyone is different.

As usual, TraceyElaine has voiced my thoughts pretty succinctly. It's different for everyone, as we all know. Food is 80% plus for me, but if I don't work out *hard*, I will plateau. I have to do both, but not everyone does.



I can't believe i just read this in TIME.

Fat does not turn into muscle. Muscles get bigger, and helps burn fat. I have heard so many people say the same thing over and over... it's simple anatomy. There is fat tissue and muscle tissue.

I read this article (yesterday? The day before?) at work and I couldn't believe what I was reading either. The fact that they are perpetuating that myth is embarrassing and also irresponsible. If it were true I certainly wouldn't have giant bat wings hanging down from my the solid muscle of my biceps. :(

WhitePicketFences
08-08-2009, 12:26 PM
Well, I don't have any experience or knowledge of exercise actually making people move less for the rest of the day -- has the opposite effect on me -- so I don't completely agree with this piece.

But frankly, I'm actually glad to see this get attention. I have long thought that exercise has been overemphasized as a cure-all.

One woman recently told me that she knows her weight will all come off when she starts doing her "exercises." She is unable to do cardio and was referring to back flexibility stuff that her chiropractor recommended. Just the word "exercise" makes people think they will lose weight. I feel like there is widespread misconception about this.

YES of course I agree that exercise has so many health benefits, etc., and YES, at this point it is actually a not-insignificant part of my caloric deficit.

I think exercise (whether structured or unstructured) is significantly helpful in maintaining health/weight in normal-weight people (as well as some other people, as many of us here will attest). But these facts have somehow translated into everyone thinking that the morbidly obese person should just hit the gym every week or take a walk after dinner every night.

The benefits of a 30 minute walk, for example are promoted all over the place. I think that's great for the shrinking minority who want to help maintain their normal weight, or keep their cardiac health at the level it should be, or stay active at a certain age, or have alone/family time, etc etc.

And that's great, but a 30 minute walk after dinner a few times a week? Is not going to take off 100-200 lbs. So many people think that's what is needed for the person who needs to lose big, including the person who needs to lose. Including, sometimes, the drs of those people. I have known really large people to get discouraged when the after-dinner walk didn't result in weight loss. Because if the ultimate, "common knowledge" panacea didn't work, then what would? And try telling someone that exercise is not the be-all and end-all. They will look at you in horror. "Everyone knows" all you need to do is hit a workout!

Again, don't get me wrong -- I really value my own exercise, just like many of us who are in a serious, thoughtful stage of weight loss/health/maintenance. But for those who are starting out with a lot to lose, or do not have a lot of experience/knowledge in the area, I do think that it might be a good to introduce exercise as a legit helpmate after one has already successfully embarked on food restriction resulting in some loss.

HotWings
08-08-2009, 12:30 PM
After all, doesn't exercise turn fat to muscle, and doesn't muscle process excess calories more efficiently than fat does?

Yes, although the muscle-fat relationship is often misunderstood. According to calculations published in the journal Obesity Research by a Columbia University team in 2001, a pound of muscle burns approximately six calories a day in a resting body, compared with the two calories that a pound of fat burns. Which means that after you work out hard enough to convert, say, 10 lb. of fat to muscle a major achievement you would be able to eat only an extra 40 calories per day, about the amount in a teaspoon of butter, before beginning to gain weight. Good luck with that.

I can't believe i just read this in TIME.

Fat does not turn into muscle. Muscles get bigger, and helps burn fat. I have heard so many people say the same thing over and over... it's simple anatomy. There is fat tissue and muscle tissue.

Sorry to rant a little, it's just things like this that keep perpetuating the same misinformation.

I agree with you, lottie. MALARKY.

I agree! I almost laughed outloud after reading that in the article. And after reading that part, the rest of the article completely lost its credibility. Fat cannot magically "turn into" muscle... and vice versa. When people stop lifting weights, or being active, and they don't look as fit.. a lot still say their muscle turned to fat!

What I *DO* agree with in this article, is that you must watch what you eat - almost like a hawk (for me) - to lose weight. That's the main factor. However, even though exercise might not play a huge roll in weight loss itself, the benefits far outweigh not doing it - including the energy it provides which in turn is motivating to keep up the weight loss. Even if it just gave you the "feeling" that you are blasting the fat while you are doing it - highly motivational. Not to mention, overall health includes not just your weight, but also your fitness level.

lottie63
08-08-2009, 12:32 PM
whitepiketfences, here here! :D

Pita09
08-08-2009, 01:24 PM
Just the word "exercise" makes people think they will lose weight. I feel like there is widespread misconception about this.




I totally agree with you on this fact. Last year when I was working as a convenience store manager, I worked out at the gym about 3 or 4 days a week for about an hour of cardio. That is more than the experts will say I needed. However, because I was eating loads of junk food while at work my exercise didn't do a darn thing for me. I gained 50 lbs in that year because of excess calories and no amount of exercise was going to fix that problem.

Somni
08-08-2009, 06:09 PM
The author does make some (!) good points, and people all too often minimize the importance of diet in weight loss.

Though article's last line is a little unfortunate -- to skip both the workout and the workout reward. How about skipping using food as a reward, and mixing in some "fun" exercise (or physical activity in general) so you don't feel compelled to give yourself a reward just for getting through it?

I find that I'm less inclined to do irresponsible eating when I'm following an exercise plan though. Because now suddenly those calories are something that I put effort into. Even though I try to enjoy myself, I still work hard! I don't want to run out and negate that right afterwards.

lottie63
08-08-2009, 06:23 PM
I think that WE (the people in the club) don't do the things he said in that article because we are not 'average' we are usually morbidly obese, and if we are going to go through all the trouble of exercising, we are hyper aware that we WILL undo all of our hard work if we go for a muffin at starbucks after our walk.

People our size know far more about nutrition than the 'average' person I think. I ALWAYS find myself shocking my thin friends with nutrition info they had no idea about. They don't have to know, they are thin, they eat, sleep, live, drink, like a 'thin person.' I always say, "Fat people know more about heath, fitness and nutrition than anyone" I don't think this is an exaggeration. I mean, how many of us have spent the better part of our lives learning about health and fitness, trying desperately to stay on the wagon and put all we've learned into practice?

Probably most of us.

WE KNOW these things, it's just putting into action....that is a different story altogether.

So, I think we are the exception, and not the rule, to the people who go out for muffins after exercising!

also, when people ask me how I"m losing weight, I say, "I'm living like a thin person."

;)

giselley
08-08-2009, 06:37 PM
If you want to bulk up your muscle mass, you actually will need to eat but not sugar doughnuts-- I know some male body builders who could not even begin to get proper muscle mass without eating a lot more calories than they would normally. Just exersising is going to make you strong and lean, but not necessarily "muscular." If you want to eat after, you should eat something good, or time your exersise so that it is just before a meal that you would eat anyway. anyway, that's what i feel about it.

lottie63
08-08-2009, 06:43 PM
That's what I Do, I usually eat lunch, then in 30-60 mins I eat, and then 2 hours later I have a small snack. I do this two to three times a day. (cardio, strength training, yoga.)

Jadebatdog
08-10-2009, 02:58 AM
I actually talked to a personal trainer about this yesterday and he said that I wouldn't lose any weight no matter how much I exercise if I am not keeping track of what I eat. So, the basis of the article is true but the author went about it SO WRONG!

The thing about this article that is so ridiculous is that it is taking away personal responsibility. The article is blaming exercise for people going out and eating junk afterward!

I enjoy exercising, it makes me feel really good! I don't have to reward myself with french fries, my reward is self satisfaction and the ability to go to bed at night and imagine myself a year from now when I'm thin and hot!

chickiegirl
08-10-2009, 10:35 AM
I think there was some fairly obvious reasons exercise wasn't helping the writer lose weight -- and if you stop at the blueberry bar, or like others, have a gatorade or muffin after working out, this isn't rocket science you won't lose.

I don't like questioning whether exercise has played a part in the obesity epidemic because that is just ridiculous. Who gets fat from exercising too much?

There may be some valid points in there, but to be honest, they get lost from me in the overall tone about exercise being more harm than good when it comes to weight loss and lifestyle.

Thanks for posting Lottie, that was interesting.

Thighs Be Gone
08-10-2009, 10:51 AM
Personally, I do not find that exercise makes more hungry. In fact, when I run I find myself thinking about the other things during the day I can do to get more exercise or eat healthily. I find it helps to keep me focused on a healthful life.

I do think exercise is overrated by many beginning weightloss. If you substantially overeat, there is almost no way for you to exercise it off consistently. One piece of chocolate cake is about 500 calories. Not to mention, it would send me into a tailspin to overeat all day. And the 500 calories of the cake--well, it would take me about an hour of running to get rid of it.

I think movement is important--however you can get it in. If it means walking your dog--then walk your dog. If it means riding a bike to work, ride your bike to work. However you can do it and will do it--DO IT. It is important for overall health regardless of the outcome on weight.

kiramira
08-10-2009, 10:57 AM
Some simple facts that are most relevant, IMHO:

Weight loss is mostly about diet.

You don't NEED exercise in order to lose weight.

Many people overestimate the calories burned during exercise and overeat as a result -- my DB for example, who eats a powerbar and drinks a gatorade after 20 minutes on the elliptical. Or those who go for chicken wings and eat 2 lbs because "they worked out today extra hard".

Exercise is VITAL for overall health and cardiovascular capability.

Exercise is a VITAL COMPONENT for weight maintenance, mostly IMHO because exercising makes you aware of your body -- it reinforces that mind-body link that many of us need to work on during the weight loss process. IF you are aware of your body and how it moves and what it does for you, you are IMHO more likely to treat it with respect and fuel it properly...

JMHO

Kira

Shannon in ATL
08-10-2009, 11:28 AM
DH & I subscribe to time and were just talking about this article this weekend. I agree with some of the points that it makes, at least as it pertains to the average person. Most people don't understand the process required to lose weight, and a lot of folks really believe that exercise is a cure all.

I agree, exercise alone won't make you lose weight. Several years ago I took kickboxing two nights per week, yoga two nights per week and walked 1-2 hours on another day. The kickboxing sessions were pretty intense, so it wasn't fluff exercise. I didn't lose any weight at all, because I did take the exercise as an excuse to drink more Starbucks. I had to educate myself on the things I was eating and drinking this time around to lose weight. Now, when I exercise I don't think it gives me permission to go out for a 600 calorie coffee beverage. I might eat or drink a little more afterward, but I know the calorie count of what I'm consuming so don't wipe out my exercise effort. I have become educated on what I'm doing. I can't eat the junk I used to eat because I know what is in it, even if I exercised first. I also educated myself about the true impact of exercise - no matter what the stationary bike display says I know I didn't burn 300 cals in ten minutes of slow pedaling.

Not everyone is as educated about the process - we see questions that illustrate that all the time. How many times has someone asked if they really burned 1000 calories in 25 minutes on the treadmill? Or asked about eating back exercise calories like it endorses on The Daily Plate? Or asked how many calories per day they should be eating and then being surprised at the low number they get back?(Or sometimes higher number.) People who don't learn how weight loss works don't seem to have long term success. I still track my calories every day after almost a year of maintenance. I understand that I won't be able to go back to eating higher calories and maintain the loss. I understand that while exercise is important I will still maintain my loss with less exercise, but not with more calories.

I am often starving the day after a run - the challenge I have is picking the right foods to satisfy that. We need to teach people how to make those choices, so they go for the protein not the blueberry muffin.

Like Kira said, exercise is a vital part of the process, but not the main part. People need to learn that, and unfortunately this article doesn't illustrate that in a positive light. I suspect more people will see it as a reinforcement for why they shouldn't bother than for why they need to exercise and eat better.

ubergirl
08-10-2009, 01:04 PM
I know that in my own case, exercising makes me more active because I'm stronger and can do more. When I was at 295 I would procrastinate before bending over to pick up a dropped sock. Now that I'm fitter, I move around more in daily life.

The thing I do agree with is that the effect of daily exercise that is incorporated into daily life-- like walking to work-- can be really important.

The two thinnest times in my adult life were when I lived in NYC and had to walk my kid more than a mile each way to school, and when I served in the Peace Corps. After walking everywhere for 3 years and eating "whatever I wanted" but not having access to any junk food, I weighed 145 lbs-- the lowest weight of my adult life.

I do think that a generally sedentary lifestyle with exercise may not be as good as a generally active lifestyle without a formal exercise program. But most of us don't have that choice.

diyana
08-10-2009, 01:25 PM
I used to reward myself after the gym with a trip to Taco Bell...now the reward is simply how great I feel and now the lbs are coming off. Activity (however you define or pursue it) burns calories. Calories in vs calories out is what matters in weight loss (I know we all know this). Sheesh, maybe one of us should write a letter to the editor as a rebuttal to this article.

And what the heck is this person talking about..."self-control weakens after each day of using it". That's B.S. Sure I do sometimes give in to the cravings....but 99.9% of the time my resolve to get healthy is much stronger that my cravings.

shasha17a
08-10-2009, 02:29 PM
I don't really have anything else to add that someone didn't already cover. But in my experience I have found that what you eat has so much more of an effect on weight loss. Between Sept 2005 to April 2007, I went from 287 to about 210. I know I could have lost it faster if I had eaten healthier. I was exercising a lot about 5-6x week, but there were so many days that I was eating out or eating bad. There were months where I would lose like 1-2 lbs. Eating badly is the main reason that I'm back in the 250's now, but I will continue to exercise 4-5x a week and keep my diet in check.