Is exercise the most effective method for losing fat?
If I could give one tip to anyone that is desperate to lose some fat, then it would be this: forget about endless burpees and think about what you shove in your mouth!
“Really? Isn’t exercise supposed to lose me all of this weight?”
Well actually, it’s not that effective.
Exercise alone will not do anything unless you are in a calorie deficit.
We’ve all heard the phrase ‘you can’t out-train a bad diet’. That’s because no matter how many hours you spend in a gym or the amount of time you put into your runs in the park, if you consume more energy from food and drink than you expend, you are going to gain weight.
Use exercise as a tool to improve your heart, your lungs, your bone health and well-being.
But if you continue to run yourself ragged and not make any progress, it’s probably your diet that needs training!
It’s easier and less time consuming to eat less food than exercise more.
As a Personal Trainer myself, I wince at the thought that one of my clients thinks they will achieve their fat loss goals in 10 sessions or less, because it won’t happen with a diet high in calories.
As an individual who puts a lot of importance on time and not wasting it, seeing someone push themselves far and above what they need to do, only for them to then go home and completely undo all of their hard work is demoralising for my client, and for me.
So save yourself time. Cut down on some of the calories that go into your body.
Think about it, what’s easier to do; run on a treadmill for half an hour or substitute a serving of spaghetti for a serving of courgette spaghetti?
I’ll give you one more point to bring home the argument.
You don’t speed up your metabolism when you exercise.
In fact – you actually break even.
When you burn a lot of energy through exercise, other parts of your daily lifestyle will compensate for this because your body does not want to lose weight. It’s happy to stay where it is because it’s comfortable there.
As an example, say you’ve just been for a run. As a result you will fidget less, be less likely to want to walk anywhere, take the stairs or move around a lot.
Your body will want to rest as much as possible because the more exercise you do beyond a given point, the more lethargic you are for the rest of the day.
So don’t shun the importance of diet if you really want to shift some weight. Use exercise as a tool for health and well-being, not for losing fat!
• If you’d like to read more of Richard’s musings, he writes regularly on his website (https://www.angelnutrition.net), and his Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/richardangelofficial) or check him out on Instagram (@richardangelofficial)
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