Anyone who knows me, or who has read much of my blog, will know I am not a supporter of diets (because they are short term, involve depriving yourself and ultimately fail, in case you wanted to know!). To this end it surprises me when nearly every client who signs up with me tells me exactly how much weight they “need” to lose.
I have to admit this chase for some perfect number on the scales baffles me somewhat, but that’s not the point right now. The point is will you lose weight if you exercise more?
Well, maybe. Yep the answer is that wishy washy, I’m afraid.
If you exercise your body will likely use food more effectively, which can lead to weight loss. Exercising uses extra calories, which can lead to weight loss. Moving more can bring about better food choices, which can lead to weight loss.
But does exercise = weight loss? No, ‘fraid not.
And does this matter? No, it absolutely doesn’t.
Exercise does has so many benefits above and beyond the number on the scale:
- Increased energy
- Improved mood
- Better sleep
- Better muscle tone
- Change of body shape
- Improved concentration
- Lower stress
- Reduced anxiety and depression
- Increased confidence
- Improved body image
And the list goes on. Diet alone won’t give you all that. Exercise alone won’t give you guaranteed weight loss.
Personally I have only once in my life lost weight only by exercising more. And that was when I was working as a ski rep so I was skiing 4-6 hours a day 4-5 times a week. I ate whatever I wanted. I drank a lot of beer. I lost weight. I have no idea how much, because I didn’t see a set of scales in over 6 months, all I know is I needed new clothes!!
Conversely, I have put on weight while training 12+ hours a week for a long distance triathlon. Why? Because I would rather eat when my body needs fuel and I would rather be strong than skinny.
So what’s my point? Well, if your ONLY reason for exercising more is to lose weight, I’m afraid I have to be the bearer of bad tidings. However, if you want your chance at the things listed in the bullet points above, get moving. Get jumping around. Dance to your favourite song. Go for a long walk. Play on the swings. Anything that gets you moving and feeling good. Go for it!
Join my Embracing Fitness community on Facebook for more hints and tips.