Exercise v. Diet
1- Diets are a faster and easier (which is of course a subjective term) way to lose weight than exercise alone.
2- Research has shown that some forms of exercise tends to make people hungrier. And as you know it is real easy to negate those 300 calories you burned on the treadmill with a one yummy cookie. Moreover, excessive cardiovascular work (or too intense cardio) and/or workouts exceeding 60 minutes has been shown to lower fat burning hormone levels, making it harder to lose adipose.
Did you ever notice that lots of people who workout on a regular basis never seem to change their body? Here are some reasons why:
-bad eating habits -lack of motivation -incorrect training progressions -inconsistent workout regimen -improper or little cross-training -high stress -lack of sleep -hormonal imbalances -genetic predisposition to carry extra fat -sedentary lifestyle
Most people workout to get lean and to feel better (and obviously to stay/be healthy). But why exercise at all if it’s not really going to help with weight loss, and possibly leave you disappointed?
I have been working out for over a quarter century and some days I’d love to stop. Here are a few scientifically valid justifications to continue:
-Exercise releases some “feel good hormones” like cannabinoids (yup, those) and endorphins
-Research has shown exercise improves cognitive brain functions and increases neurogenesis (growth of brain cells)
-In studies daily exercise has been shown to perform as well and better than antidepressant medication
-Exercise is cathartic and helps relive stress (be decreasing cortisol levels) and improves sleep (increases serotonin)
-Resistance training increases lean muscle mass and strength (who knows when you may need to lunge out of a burning building!)
-Workouts can immediately improve how you regulate blood sugar levels (insulin) and increase your energy
-Exercise is an integral part of a healthy life and combats arthritis, cv diseases, osteoporosis, some cancers and lots more.
-Even exercise without weight loss is correlated to reductions in stomach fat
-And if there is a “guilty hormone”, exercise impedes it so I can feel unsullied when I occasionally eat gelato and cookies!
Unfortunately we can’t rely on exercise alone for weight loss but a polygamous marriage between a healthy diet, smart exercise and stress reduction will do wonders for your body and brain.
1. Grundy, S.M., G. Blackburn, M. Higgins, R. Lauer, M. Perri, D. Ryan. Roundtable Consensus Statement: Physical activity in the prevention and treatment of obesity and its comorbidities. Med. Sci. Sports Exerc. 31: S502-S508, 1999.
2. Ross, R., J.A. Freeman, and I. Janssen. Exercise alone is an effective strategy for reducing obesity and related comorbidities. Exerc. Sport Sci. Rev. 28: 165-170, 2000.
3. Hagan, R.D., S.J. Upton, L. Wong, and J. Whittam. The effects of aerobic conditioning and/or caloric restriction in overweight men and women. Med. Sci. Sports Exerc. 18:87-94, 1986.
Doug Joachim – NYC www.JoachimsTraining.com