Exercise! - How does exercise help weight loss?




domesticbliss
02-01-2013, 12:51 AM
I know this is a basic question, but I'm curious.
If you're overweight, and can't see your muscles what's the point?


danzingurl77
02-01-2013, 01:06 AM
Exercise burns extra calories, so it will speed your weight loss up a little bit. It also strengthens your muscles which can prevent injury in the long run as long as you are exercising correctly. It strengthens your heart and lungs. It can help keep depression away. Some crazy people find that they actually enjoy excersize;-)

I think that exercising just to lose weight is silly. Exercising to boost fitness and get some endorphins and strengthen your body- now that's worthwhile.

gymrat05
02-01-2013, 01:09 AM
What danzingurl said! Also, when you're restricting calories you're bound to lose a little muscle mass throughout your weight loss. Exercise helps maintain your muscle mass. More muscle mass = higher BMR and more calories burned.

Also, you will look better after you lose the weight. AND certain types of workouts burn calories for the rest of the day...again, elevating your BMR.


Mozzy
02-01-2013, 01:32 AM
Exercise can help reshape your body... Toning and firming your body.

But weight loss is mostly about diet.
I had to focus primarily on my diet for months before I could wrap my head around the concept of exercising.

amandie
02-01-2013, 01:36 AM
Everyone pretty much nailed it on the head with above posts.

I prefer strength/weight training because it will help your body look better due to more muscle mass even at a higher weight as opposed to just losing weight through diet alone. It also makes you more stronger. I like the 30 Day Shred, pretty much 20 minutes of **** but well worth it. You may not lose many pounds at the end of 30 days but you sure will lose inches.

straightahead
02-01-2013, 10:22 AM
I know this is a basic question, but I'm curious.
If you're overweight, and can't see your muscles what's the point?

ditto to the other responses. And even if you cannot see the muscles, they are helping you burn calories. And once you lose the weight, I am guessing you would want some muscle rather than lots of loose skin and lots of lost muscle mass. Also, exercise is not just to have muscles. It helps with your heart health, blood pressure, and other medical problems - since i have started exercising regularly, my migraines are gone




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berryblondeboys
02-01-2013, 10:31 AM
For me, at my age and body, I lose very little by calorie restricting alone and that is for two reasons. One, I find it hard to eat under 1400 calories a day, so I usually don't. When I don't exercise and I eat 1400 a day, I lose, but I lose VERY SLOWLY.

BUT, if I exercise, I don't eat back those calories lost, so I actually lose weight faster. A good workout 6 days a week can mean I lose a pound JUST from adding the exercise - easily a pound.

But also, exercise does two things for me that make it easier to stick to a 1400 healthy diet. First, exercise is an appetite suppressant for me. Yes, if I exercise, I'm actually LESS hungry for the day than if I didn't exercise.

Two, it is a mood lifter. If I exercise I'm in a better mood and me being in a better mood means I make better food decisions which also makes it easier to stick to the prescribed lower carb (under 100 net grams) a day and around 1400 calories. This is especially true in the winter months when I can get terribly affected by Seasonal affect disorder - that is much more in check if I get regular exercise to boost my mood.

berryblondeboys
02-01-2013, 10:35 AM
ditto to the other responses. And even if you cannot see the muscles, they are helping you burn calories. And once you lose the weight, I am guessing you would want some muscle rather than lots of loose skin and lots of lost muscle mass. Also, exercise is not just to have muscles. It helps with your heart health, blood pressure, and other medical problems - since i have started exercising regularly, my migraines are gone




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Wish people would stop saying that building muscles helps with preventing loose skin. It simply does not. Actually a lean arm - with more muscle is actually a smaller arm because is MORE compact. So, actually there is more loose skin.

Loose skin is mostly because of genetics, then how much weight you have lost and then age and then diet.

I have been exercising faithfully for this entire 2 years - cardio and strength and I have tons of loose skin. No strength training has shrunk that loose skin.

HOWEVER, I look better overall even with the loose skin because a toned body looks much healthier and appealing than a non-toned body. So perhaps it's perception that loose skin is less of a problem on toned bodies only.

deepbreath
02-01-2013, 11:44 AM
Also, what a trainer friend told me that has stuck with me is this:
Exercise does NOT play a huge role in weight loss you can lose weight without exercise, however then you are just getting a smaller version of your "fat" self you will still have the same basic shape. It is exercise that allows you to reshape yourself. And I agree with what has already been said (I do NOT love to exercise :o) but it truly is an instant mood lifter for me, especially if I pair to really great loud pumping music. It kind of takes me back to the days of getting ready to go out on a Friday night, having no cares, just cruising around...which as a 40 year old, wife, and mom to 4, mortgage carrying and bill paying you kind of lose that youthful vibrance. Working out lets me feel that again! Which I know is kind of silly but it works for me.

EagleRiverDee
02-01-2013, 02:50 PM
My doctor said this:

"You exercise for fitness. You eat a proper diet for weight loss."

Exercise can help with weight loss in some people because it can rev the metabolism. I love resistance training, personally, because it revs my metabolism for the longest time after a hard workout. However some people find that they end up being hungrier and overeating after exercise, and so it nullifies any caloric deficit the exercise caused. So you need to be conscientious that you are not outeating your exercise, if you're using it to assist your weight loss.

But in answer to the original question- despite my muscles being covered up by fat, I'm glad they are there. It means I can carry my own groceries, help move furniture, push my neighbor's car when they get stuck on a snow berm, etc. Having functional fitness is important to me, even if I don't have the glamour muscles to show off for it.

AlmostMe
02-01-2013, 05:29 PM
"Having functional fitness is important to me, even if I don't have the glamour muscles to show off for it."

Yep, for me too!! I feel so much stronger physically and emotionally when I am fit. I love being able to run for a bus or for a ball. I like not being out of breath or at least recovering faster when I am.

But for me exercise keeps my metabolism ticking over. I always start exercising before I start worrying about food. I believe it helps me to lose faster and I KNOW it's essential to helping me maintain.

And even though I may not have 'glamor' muscles, it sure is improving my shape faster than the scale would predict - not that the scale is moving slow right now.

sontaikle
02-01-2013, 05:37 PM
Wish people would stop saying that building muscles helps with preventing loose skin. It simply does not. Actually a lean arm - with more muscle is actually a smaller arm because is MORE compact. So, actually there is more loose skin.

Loose skin is mostly because of genetics, then how much weight you have lost and then age and then diet.

I have been exercising faithfully for this entire 2 years - cardio and strength and I have tons of loose skin. No strength training has shrunk that loose skin.

HOWEVER, I look better overall even with the loose skin because a toned body looks much healthier and appealing than a non-toned body. So perhaps it's perception that loose skin is less of a problem on toned bodies only.
Oh gosh I wish they would stop too. As a lot of people know I lift very heavy and I STILL have loose skin!!

Also I wish they would stop telling 20 somethings they won't end up with loose skin because of their age. When I finished losing weight at 23, I had loose skin! Age doesn't always help!

straightahead
02-01-2013, 10:12 PM
Wish people would stop saying that building muscles helps with preventing loose skin. It simply does not. Actually a lean arm - with more muscle is actually a smaller arm because is MORE compact. So, actually there is more loose skin.

Oh gosh I wish they would stop too. As a lot of people know I lift very heavy and I STILL have loose skin!!

Also I wish they would stop telling 20 somethings they won't end up with loose skin because of their age. When I finished losing weight at 23, I had loose skin! Age doesn't always help!

Maybe "they" do that because they have not been exposed to the same information and experiences as you. It is helpful to hear the info...less helpful to be practically scolded for an honest misconception.

Anyway, I am scared now! The first time I lost 60 pounds, I did not have loose skin and attributed that partially to exercise.

sontaikle
02-01-2013, 11:52 PM
Maybe "they" do that because they have not been exposed to the same information and experiences as you. It is helpful to hear the info...less helpful to be practically scolded for an honest misconception.

Anyway, I am scared now! The first time I lost 60 pounds, I did not have loose skin and attributed that partially to exercise.

Well there's a difference between telling someone that lifting weights and age will minimize loose skin and telling them that they won't have any entirely.

I know I could have had much more loose skin had I not been young and lifting weights, but it infuriates me to see people tell others that they won't end up with loose skin at all. If that's the case, why do I have loose skin?

If people aren't sure they shouldn't say anything at all. If I don't know the answer to something, I simply don't post.

Also, don't worry about the loose skin. It's annoying, but I'm sure just about any other maintainer will agree with me that it's better to have the loose skin than to be where we started.

amandie
02-02-2013, 12:06 AM
Also, don't worry about the loose skin. It's annoying, but I'm sure just about any other maintainer will agree with me that it's better to have the loose skin than to be where we started.

I agree. I'm not at goal yet but I do have a little bit now and I know it will not entirely go away for sure once I reach goal. I will take it over being 230-240 again! Although I have to admit, when I first started out, I was reallyreallyreally worried about loose skin but after losing nearly 50lbs, psshhh! Those worries went out of the window once I noticed how better I felt and looked even with the loose skin.

domesticbliss
02-02-2013, 02:20 AM
Ok, I understand the health benefits of exercising...
How does it help you reshape your body if you have a layer of fat over the muscles though?

Babybat
02-02-2013, 02:42 AM
exercise burns calories, thats a good thing :D
you need to burn more calories than you take in

chubbiegurl
02-02-2013, 03:04 AM
Also, what a trainer friend told me that has stuck with me is this:
Exercise does NOT play a huge role in weight loss you can lose weight without exercise, however then you are just getting a smaller version of your "fat" self you will still have the same basic shape. It is exercise that allows you to reshape yourself. And I agree with what has already been said (I do NOT love to exercise :o) but it truly is an instant mood lifter for me, especially if I pair to really great loud pumping music. It kind of takes me back to the days of getting ready to go out on a Friday night, having no cares, just cruising around...which as a 40 year old, wife, and mom to 4, mortgage carrying and bill paying you kind of lose that youthful vibrance. Working out lets me feel that again! Which I know is kind of silly but it works for me.

Aww I love that last part about the music, that's how I feel when I drive alone blasting my music.

And the part about the same smaller version of yourself, I have to agree. Exercise is really changing my shape, I see in my sis who lost 30 lbs with just diet, extreme diet she looks the same just a smaller version of herself. I also always found it kinda nuts that when we would go to a theme park together I at 150 lbs could totally handle all the walking and her at 110 would be breathing hard. The excersizes I was doing then helped me.

sontaikle
02-02-2013, 09:03 AM
Exercise is good for your HEALTH. While it's made me a solid, toned thin person, I was an avid exerciser when I was fat. I was able to walk long distances, do more than my non-exercising thin friends, etc.

As others said though it reshapes your body. I'm a totally different shape at goal than I was when I was heavier. My arms also look great and they were a major annoyance of mine!

Also I outweigh a friend of mine by 15lbs (we're the same height) and we wear the same size clothes :dizzy: so thank you weight training!

I agree. I'm not at goal yet but I do have a little bit now and I know it will not entirely go away for sure once I reach goal. I will take it over being 230-240 again! Although I have to admit, when I first started out, I was reallyreallyreally worried about loose skin but after losing nearly 50lbs, psshhh! Those worries went out of the window once I noticed how better I felt and looked even with the loose skin.

Exactly! I don't even care about it now. I'm so much happier and can do so much more.

Although what they say about TIME is true...my skin looks so much better at one year out than when I first hit goal

AlmostMe
02-02-2013, 10:21 AM
Domesticbliss - I am quite fat and the way my weight is distributed I have very chunky legs. But because I have been running a lot and lifting a lot for lower body strength my legs look way better. Maybe better than they ever have. I always had legs that went straight down and now I have ankles! Just because it's underneath a layer of fat, muscle still shapes it.

Josiee
02-02-2013, 11:13 AM
For me being very short in stature cutting calories only doesn't give me much of a weight loss since I don't have much calories to play with to reduce. Exercise is mainly what has helped me lose weight over the last 4 months. ARC machine for 60 minutes blasts the calories and I can push myself really hard as again it's comfortable for my short legs. Bodyflow for strength, balance and flexibility. Moderate weightlifting to maintain muscle mass and make slight gains in muscle. When I'm closer to goal will most likely will reduce cardio on ARC to 30, keep up with Bodyflow but then focus more on weightlifting (higher weights and more of a schedule).

betsy2013
02-02-2013, 11:33 AM
I have to admit that I absolutely hate going to the gym and exercising. But, I do it. 5 days a week with a mix of cardio and weights. It's not for weight loss. I actually have managed to gain weight while exercising. It's because it helps with my walking which with my bad arthritis is important. It's a good way to socialize. It makes me feel stronger. And, some day I want to be able to exercise by going hiking and biking and swimming and that isn't going to happen if I haven't been building up some muscle.

straightahead
02-02-2013, 12:45 PM
Domesticbliss - I am quite fat and the way my weight is distributed I have very chunky legs. But because I have been running a lot and lifting a lot for lower body strength my legs look way better. Maybe better than they ever have. I always had legs that went straight down and now I have ankles! Just because it's underneath a layer of fat, muscle still shapes it.
I agree with this based on personal experience...I am fat, but I can still see more definition in my upper body and legs. Also, sometimes when the scale does not reflect it, the tape measure can show me that, yes, my body is changing. The visible benefits may differ from person to person though since we all carry our weight differently. The first time I lost weight, I loved when I lost enough for the toning to become more visible to others and I got compliments on the shaping (so there might be a little bit of a delay in the gratification that you get for this hard work if you are looking for visible benefits!)

berryblondeboys
02-02-2013, 01:59 PM
Also, what a trainer friend told me that has stuck with me is this:
Exercise does NOT play a huge role in weight loss you can lose weight without exercise, however then you are just getting a smaller version of your "fat" self you will still have the same basic shape. It is exercise that allows you to reshape yourself.

Oh so true. This is especially true for my saggy baggy arms and loose skin tummy. Without exercise it's blubbery. With exercise (cardio and strength), I can see the muscles and it totally changes the look of my body naked and clothed.

I move quicker. I stand taller. I bounce back better all because of exercise and my body transforms... as yes, otherwise it's just a smaller version of the same old fat self.

And for me, this was about getting healthy. Being skinny fat is NOT healthy - just skinny. Eventually being thin wouldn't be enough - I would run into other health problems from being too inactive as I'm witnessing with my MIL.

domesticbliss
02-03-2013, 01:09 AM
Domesticbliss - I am quite fat and the way my weight is distributed I have very chunky legs. But because I have been running a lot and lifting a lot for lower body strength my legs look way better. Maybe better than they ever have. I always had legs that went straight down and now I have ankles! Just because it's underneath a layer of fat, muscle still shapes it.

this really helped! I have some serious thunder thighs, and am about to start a rigorous squat/lunge/bridge routine for my lower body, but was so worried about whether or not it would help the shape of my legs... looks like it will according to your post

AlmostMe
02-03-2013, 04:19 AM
It will help! But also remember everyone gains and loses fat differently and everyone gains muscle differently. Also some of us do experience 'spot reduction' - it's a real thing, just not a controllable or predictable thing. Reshaping the body thru exercise takes time....give yourself that time. You will feel other benefits of exercise (standing taller, feeling better) before you can see them (usually).

Also I do Bikram yoga once a week. It's great for shaping the body (though not sure once a week cuts it for that) - but more than that when I'm in certain postures I can see my 'future body' and the real difference my exercise is making. I can see the definition in my upper body. I can see my firm abs and the muscles in my legs.

Randolph
02-04-2013, 05:35 PM
My doctor said this:

"You exercise for fitness. You eat a proper diet for weight loss."


Or another way to view it: You diet to look good in clothes. You exercise to look good naked.

Lolo70
02-06-2013, 04:06 PM
I have now been exercising for 18 months and started loosing weight a year ago. I have lost 40 lbs so far, but can get comfortably into pants that were tight when I was 20 lbs less than I am now. My tops are now actually a size smaller than what I wore then. So, getting toned really helped me getting a shape back. I am hourglass now, before I was simply a barrel. It is hard work, but once that layer of fat is gone, which will happen by the end of this year, I am done. My body will be ready for the beach. I have not seen the beach in almost a decade. It is simply time.

sontaikle
02-07-2013, 04:04 PM
Oh so true. This is especially true for my saggy baggy arms and loose skin tummy. Without exercise it's blubbery. With exercise (cardio and strength), I can see the muscles and it totally changes the look of my body naked and clothed.

I move quicker. I stand taller. I bounce back better all because of exercise and my body transforms... as yes, otherwise it's just a smaller version of the same old fat self.

And for me, this was about getting healthy. Being skinny fat is NOT healthy - just skinny. Eventually being thin wouldn't be enough - I would run into other health problems from being too inactive as I'm witnessing with my MIL.

The posture thing really got me when I saw it. I found pictures of myself from when I was around my heaviest, and comparing them with more recent pictures it's just really easy to see how much better my posture is! I stand up straighter, I'm not hunched, etc. I'm sure some of that is the result of just being about half the size I was before, but a lot of it probably has to do with being physically fit.

And I also agree with you regarding health in older age. I see how my grandmother is—she goes to the gym regularly—and it really inspires me to stay on track. Others who are younger than her and haven't been keeping up with exercise are in much worse shape!

teekim22
02-11-2013, 02:32 PM
I think you have to differentiate between muscle training and cardio here when you refer to working out or exercise.

Cardio (running, swimming, brisk walking etc) all raise your heart rate and burn calories. In addition to the calories you burn WHILE exercising your metabolism will also be heightened a few hours after.

Weight training isn't as effective for a caloric burn as most cardio is (at least not in the way most people weigh train) but having muscle helps you to actually, burn more calories when youre working out and even when youre at rest.

So things like ab exercises may not make a lot of sense if you are overweight currently, but I think weight training still has its place even if you're not at your goal weight quite yet