Exercise and Weight Loss? Fact or Fiction

Throughout my studies and professional life exercise has been constantly recommended as one of the essential components of any weight-loss program. But is exercise really essential to weight-loss?

If one considers the “formula” for weight loss closely (burn more calories than you consume), then doubtless exercise is important as a means of burning more calories, both during and after exercise (post exercise increase in metabolic rate). However the sheer volume of exercise required to burn off that burger (6km run) or chocolate bar (swim for an hour) means that to really shift weight you need to become extremely fit. Whilst undertaking this amount of exercise may indeed be very healthy for a number of other reasons ( heart and lung health, mental state, improving sleep, fun and leisure), it’s clear that exercise alone has a small influence on weight loss in healthy individuals. Indeed, building muscle via weight training (and hence increasing your body’s metabolic rate) may be a more efficient means of increasing energy output for many individuals.

Given current society’s “obesity epidemic” it is clear that exercise alone is only a very small part of the answer. Indeed the answer may well be found by examining not only how much we eat, but what we put in our mouths.

After decades of various agencies and groups promoting low fat diets it’s clear that the obesity problem continues to grow (no pun intended!). Perhaps it’s time to consider sugar and in particular fructose as a relative recent introduction into the human diet (in large quantities) as one of the greatest contributors to poor health and increasing waist lines!
I would encourage all readers to closely examine their diets and consider the amount of sugar they consume. Next time you’re at the shopping center read the labels and check how much sugar you consume. Look at the amount of sugar added to your favourite products. Even better, do your body a huge favour and read David Gillespie’s excellent book, Sweet Poison or read his blog. I guarantee that this will definitely change the way you look at your diet, and have a positive effect on weight-loss and health. Go on, I dare you!