Newsletter Vol 17 October 2015


Does exercise really help you lose weight Zig Zag? 


I think most ladies think that exercise is the most important tool for weight loss.


They say, "Well, I just need to get to the gym more," or "I need to increase my cardio," or "I need to start working out every day."


Here's the thing: exercise is supremely healthy for the heart, bones, joints, skin, etc, but does more exercise equal more weight loss?


Not necessarily.


And get this.


The ladies who are MOST likely to see results by simply adding more exercise (or starting to exercise regularly) are THE BEGINNERS--ladies who are just getting started.


People who have been exercising fairly consistently for a while will see little change in weight as a result of simply adding more. 


On one hand, this stinks


But at the same time, it makes sense.


In order to increase results, something needs to change, and there is a bell-shaped curve when it comes to duration of exercise and results.


In other words, you can reach a point of diminishing returns with exercise volume. 


More does not equal better; better QUALITY exercise equals better. 


And even with that, results vary.


A lady who is more conditioned will see results in muscle gain and body SHAPING or “toning” , not necessarily weight loss.


Weight training is the #1 way to change the shape of your body.


But weight loss? That happens in the kitchen.


Exercise cannot be your #1 tool for fat loss, simply because it does not impact the metabolism as much as diet does. 


In my early 20s, I tried, optimistically, to exercise off my disgusting weekend's worth of alcohol, frozen pizzas and bagels and though I was burning tons of calories, I never looked any different. 


BUT, there is an important point to be made here about weight maintenance: exercise has a great track record when it comes to helping us maintain our weight loss.


Nutrition is the gross control for weight loss, while exercise is the fine control. 


Weight-training exercise in particular is useful because it helps shape the body , adding curves and preserving muscle. It assures that when we lose weight, we are losing fat and not muscle.


If you have to choose between spending your time at the gym for hours or at home prepping food, choose the latter. Use your mental energy and willpower in the nutrition realm for best results.


Also, realise that the more you try to use exercise to "burn off" your food, the more compensatory responses you'll encounter, i.e. increased hunger and cravings. 


Long-duration cardio increases the hunger hormone ghrelin.


You've heard this before: when you bump up your exercise, you want to eat more. You are actually physically more hungry, plus exercise increases neurotransmitter release (dopamine, serotonin, etc), which, over the long-haul, if they are depleted, can have a severe impact on CRAVINGS. One of the 2 main reasons why women in particular give up on their healthy eating plans. 


Exercise is an appetite stimulator; especially the long-duration variety. Short-duration, high-intensity modes are best.


So, back to the initial question: Is exercise good for fat loss?


Honestly, unless you are a beginner, pinning your physique results on exercise alone is a poor strategy.


It doesn't mean you shouldn't do it--especially lifting weights--but just realize that most of the "why" behind exercise has to do with things like mood enhancement, weight maintenance, body sculpting, muscle gain, shape change and simply because sweating feels good sometimes


Exercise is not the best approach for weight loss. Nutritional changes are. This is good news!


Now we can focus on efficient exercise, while using the majority of our mental space and willpower to make the best choices possible in the kitchen.


I'd love to know your thoughts, as always!


Let's have a great weekend!


Bye for now




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Allison Harding,Fitness & Motivation Coach