Thursday, November 5, 2009
Exercise and Weight Loss
The fitness profession has been on the defensive with all of the recent press on exercise NOT having an affect on weight loss. I'm here to give you some tough, straight talk about the matter. If you are need of some motivation to get your diet in gear, read on ...
Time Magazine recently printed a cover story on the "exercise myth"(http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1914857,00.html) and now the New York Times has blogged about the subject as well:
Right after the Time Magazine article, The American Council on Exercise (the entity I am certified by) responded almost immediately in their publication ACE Fitness Matters. ACE had the gloves up - hoping the bad press wouldn't further impact the already suffering fitness industry.
As a personal trainer and group exercise instructor, I say THANK YOU for these stories finally being brought to the forefront of our fitness consciousness.
It's about time the delusion of "If I exercise, I can eat whatever I want" was permanantly destroyed.
It is the most challenging and often frustrating message to get across to clients - that working out DOES NOT give you free reign to eat whatever you want.
Losing weight is about math. Period. Bottom line. You must burn more calories than you consume to lose weight. You must create a caloric deficit of 500 calories a day from your basal metabolic rate to lose one pound of body fat a week - end of story.
General health and fitness is about working out. Exercise is great for the cardiovascular system - and should be practiced 3 - 6 days a week to maintain and improve cardiovascular fitness. This leads to a better quality of life, increased efficiency in every day activities and a stronger, more fit heart.
Exercise - particularly strength training and calisthenics can sculpt a body, much like shaping a piece of clay. Strength training also improves bone density. Flexibility training contributes to the shape of a body as well as to it's function.
But, even if you do these activities for hours on end a day, they will not necessarily contribute to weight loss. Especially, if you are using the expenditure of calories from your workout as an excuse to eat ungodly amounts of food.
To lose weight, to lose body mass - it's about the food. Noone wants to hear this or believe it is true. We are constantly looking for the magic pill to fix our body image. There isn't one. It's been proven time and again and now has been revealed in the press, that weight loss really is all about gaining control of your food intake.
If you are trying to lose weight, I challenge you to really examine your eating habits - even before starting an exercise program. Enlist a nutrition professional or a motivating personal trainer to guide you through the process of proper nutrition education, portion sizes and healthy eating.
If you get the nutrition solid, results from an exercise program will not only be maximized, but guaranteed.
Achieving a weight loss goal takes discipline, hard work and resolve. Honestly confirm to yourself that you are willing to undertake a huge project in order to attain your objective.
Think of working out as a bonus calorie burn in the day that you tuck away in your calorie savings account rather than impulsively spending it right away.
Results are worth the sacrifice and nothing feels better than being in control of your own destiny!
(photo from: homebathroomscales.com)