Does exercise promote weight loss?

Do you want to lose weight? Here’s part 13 of 17 in a series of blog posts on the subject. You can read them all on the How to Lose Weight page.


13. Exercise

Do you wonder why this weight-loss tip doesn’t show up until number 13 on the list? It’s because few things are so overrated for weight loss as exercise is.

Have you ever watched “The Biggest Loser”? The participants take leave from their jobs (and family) for months. They are allowed only small portions of food, and work out as though it was their full-time job – 40 hours a week, sometimes more. This method is clearly unsustainable for your average person in the long run.

Just taking the stairs instead of the elevator, or getting off the bus one stop earlier, isn’t going to change the numbers on your bathroom scale. It’s a myth. Sorry about that. Studies show that if you just start exercising, you’re going to need at least one hour of tough workouts every single day to noticeably lose weight.

Basically, the effect of exercise on our weight is vastly overrated. That’s why it’s only number 13 on this list. There are other things you need to take care of first. It’s not a good idea to eat bad food, drink sugar water (so-called “sports drinks”) or be on medications which force you to train for hours daily just to compensate. Metaphorically that’s like digging a hole, into which you put your ladder, on which you stand and paint the ground level windows of your house.

Exercise cannot compensate for other issues in your life. Those must be addressed first.

The good news

If, on the other hand, you’ve already taken care of steps 1-12, you should have a rested and recharged body which is already happily burning fat. In this case, increased activity will accelerate your weight loss, and act as an nice bonus. You’ll be burning even more fat from the very first step.

For example, you could take long walks (golf), cycle, dance, or play any sport you’re happy and comfortable with.

Exercise also burns the body’s glycogen stores, which are essentially carbohydrate. This means that after a workout, you can eat a little more carbs than you otherwise can permit yourself, without negative effects on insulin or fat storage. Also, don’t forget that the non-weight-related health effects of exercise are quite impressive.

Hormonal effects

For even more impressive effects on body composition: aim for exercise forms which elicit a positive hormonal response. This means lifting really heavy things (strength training), or interval training. Such exercise increases body levels of the sex hormone testosterone (primarily in men) as well as growth hormone. Not only do greater levels of these hormones increase your muscle mass, but they also decrease your visceral fat (belly fat) in the long term.

As a final bonus, exercise can both make you feel and look better.

What kind of activity suits you?


Read all posted tips on the How to Lose Weight-page.

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  1. 1 comment removed
  2. erdoke
    First of all avocado, then guava, grapefruit, cherries and most berries. Some lemon juice added to a glass of mineral water.
    In moderation and mainly between meals.
    Reply: #53
  3. Galina L.
    Why grapefruit? It has even slightly more sugar than an orange.
    Reply: #54
  4. erdoke
    It has typically lower GI than orange and the portion size is usually smaller (due to the bitterness), so overal GL is significantly below the level of eating oranges.
    The University of Sydney has a comprehensive GI database being worth checking out if in doubt.
    Reply: #55
  5. Galina L.
    If I were a diabetic I would trust more to the data about nutritional value and own blood sugar meter than any official data. As I understand, glycemic response may vary quite a bit for individuals. Grapefruit is not low in sugar.
    Reply: #56
  6. erdoke
    My understanding is that GI directly refers to the blood sugar raising property of foods. GL is calculated by correcting with tipical portion. Some sugars have no or very low effect on blood sugar, even though these (for example fructose) might impose other adverse effects on the body.
    I don't intend to promote very high fruit intake in any diet, but some fruits definitely bring more benefit than risk. Just remember the study where following a clear increase caused by a regular burger menu at McDonalds inflammation markers drop significantly as a result of consuming a glass of fresh orange juice (!) in the same restaurant after the meal.
    When talking about diabetics I'm sure they are aware of the risk of consuming big amounts, especially without pre-selecting types based on blood sugar raising properties.
  7. max
    Everyone is deifferent in terms of losing weight. some people lose weight quickly and some people struggle to lose weight, it all depends on yourself. If you have time for the gym and make healthy meals every four hours for your mentabolism can keep running then I would not use any extra help you lose weight. in other cases, others are too busy to go to the gym or just exercising at home. take a supplement to help lose weight can be a good choice. I consider oosing weight normally, simply because I really enjoy working out and eating healthy.
    Reply: #58
  8. Galina L.
    You don't need to eat every 4 hours to keep your metabolism running.
  9. Ann Aja
    I have been guiding me loved I stand here in my view today not just tell him want to show you keen me done so you're ready to be thin for the rest of your life at the end is our you'll have the tools to do so this particular lectures going to happen in two sections part 1 we got to get to the goal no point in maintenance if you don't have the goal part 2 we have to keep the weight of yo-yo dieting and day so if you're anything but the rest of your life be careful what you wish for you does the world really need another diet he's back Dhobi fat a pasta don't eat pasta diets don't work but this site for every playing a counterclaim this what do all that I plan on havingcom p are the diet on personally have gotten move date since the age of eleven I can remember some I'm sure there's even more but nonetheless I'm going to go to impact them you right tight look plan Suzanne some sour size body ally.
  10. Safinaz
    We shouldn't skip our breakfast. If we take a balanced diet in the morning, we’ll feel full and fresh for the rest of the day. It insists we to avoid any kind of unhealthy snacks.
    Reply: #61
  11. Zepp
    Well thats mayby an good advice for those mostly glucose burners.. fat burners can eat when theý are hungry!

    And then comes the tricky question.. why eat when one not hungry.. and there are only four hours to lunch?

    If one cant wait four hours.. then one eat the wrong food!

  12. 1 comment removed
  13. cleanse Ultima
    Good Morning! 213.4 when I got up this morning. My husband and I thought last night after my post that our bathroom floor is uneven or something, so we changed our scale to the kitchen and realized that we were so close to our notice weight as we thought, but is good because it gives us more to work with. That's fine! We will be able to work on it any longer! When I got to 210, I'll take a milestone photo, and ten pounds from then on, I will have a new look.
  14. 1 comment removed
  15. chris
  16. IsabellaSemmens
    Interesting article, thanks! I’ve subscribed to your website posts. Nice ideas in this blog. Welcome to Slim Quick Program, say Check out Slim Quick Program. Instead of using Kia Ora Health and the address, simply say: Energised Life
  17. 3 comments removed
  18. buygreencoffeebeans
    Plus Exercise does not have to be rigorous. People say that walking is one of the best exercises you use your whole body. Going for a 20 minute walk once a day or even dividing it into four 5 minutes walk if you find 20 minutes followed too.
  19. Lisa Anderson
    This is a very good article. Watch fat loss exercise video for free at :
  20. Galina L.
    The girl in a video looks like she is too thin and underfed to look healthy( she reminds a wilted flower), may be she looks ok in clothes, but not with bare skin. However, my main complain is not the appearance of the person who does some basic crunches, but the title which contains at least inaccurate suggestion that doing such exercises would make a stomach flat. No , it wouldn't. Of course , the exercises demonstrated in the video will help to tone core muscles, but the title contains a false claim.
  21. 1 comment removed
  22. Carol Morrison
    I can feel your ache. I excessively have been battling with my weight for a long time and have 100 lbs to lose too. I am at the most noteworthy weight that I have ever been, 240. Like you I have made it up in my psyche to change how I take a gander at nourishment. It is so difficult in light of the fact that everything I do is ponder nourishment. I'm the cause all my own problems.
    Get More :
  23. jeff
    I believe this article is underrating the importance of exercise on weight loss. Firstly, exercise is absolutely the most important aspect of the equation of obesity for MOST people. Hormonal and diet problems can usually be resolved through exercise. The problem with this rhetoric is that exercise is a vague term that encompasses so many different modalities that what most people call exercise, probably won't help. Walking thirty minutes a day may not help if diet and genes are not permitting. For this reason, an exercise regimen needs to take hormonal balance, genes, age and other factors into account and needs to be tailored to the individual. Different types of exercise can help with different adiposities. Modern medicine just doesn't seem to be as concerned with the effects of exercise as they should be. For this reason, most of the studies on the effects of exercise have been on walking, or medium intensity exercise while anecdotal information gleaned from sports medicine and high performance training is dismissed as being niche and not really applicable to everybody. Will the day arrive when clinicians refer patients to board certified exercise specialists to treat their disease? I hope so.
    Reply: #76
  24. erdoke
    There are not too many exercise options available for 200 lbs females and 300 lbs males without stressing joints.
    For most people it is indeed easy to quickly lose weight with a hormonal approach intervention. Regular walks are recommended not because of increasing energy expenditure, but rather for the many other benefits.
    I do not agree that exercise is the most important aspect for weight loss. That's a myth by a big margin.
  25. 1 comment removed
  26. spkzzz
    Yeah,try to ride 50 km a day on a bicycle and we will see if your fat is not going to melt.
    Reply: #79
  27. Apicius
    Is that before or after you eat 50 bananas?
  28. Riyana Vatyani
    Thank you for the info. Really an informative and helpful article. will surely share this. looking forward for more articles like this. Thank you once again. i also read few articles which were helpful to me when i was on weight loss program... ""
  29. EmmaHolden
    Thank You For Sharing This Information...This is good and Best way for weight loss.this is really good Advise For the weight loss.Exercise is not for loosing weight but it keeps your body good shape and healty...
  30. 9 comments removed
  31. PalakNotes
    One cannot depend solely on exercise for weight loss. Exercise helps people to lose stubborn fat from body so helps in getting you back in your shape. If you do not complement your workout efforts with the right nutrition, you would have to struggle more.
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