I like the saying, “Get Fit in the Gym, Lose Weight in the Kitchen” because it is so true.
Why is this? Well there are a few reasons. Exercise makes us hungrier, so we “compensate” by eating more. Many people use exercise as an excuse to eat more and end up eating more than they burn during the exercise. Don’t believe me? To counter the effects of one 20oz soda, you would have to walk 4.5 miles, or 1 supersize meal at a fast food restaurant you would need to run 4 miles every day for a week to burn it off! If you eat that supersized meal every day, you have to run a marathon every single day to burn it off.
*Note, for everyone tracking their food in MyFitnessPal. Do not eat the “extra” calories you get through exercise. It never works out and it is often a way people gain weight.
Another reason is that when we exercise, we may also compensate by being less active at other times. Have you ever plopped yourself down on the couch after a hard workout and no feel like moving? The more active we are at one time, the less active we may be later on.
This is why I encourage people to be more active instead of exercising. This may sound like I'm contradicting myself, but exercise and physical activity are subtly different and can mean the world of difference when trying to lose weight.
What is physical activity? Physical activity is any body movement that works your muscles and requires more energy than resting. Walking, running, dancing, swimming, yoga, mowing the lawn, picking up toys, and gardening are a few examples of physical activity.
What is exercise? Exercise is a type of physical activity that's planned and structured. Lifting weights, taking an aerobics class, and playing on a sports team are examples of exercise. You do not need to be at the gym to exercise! Exercising can be going for a 15 minute walk during your lunch break, dancing with your kids or girlfriends, or taking a dance class.
Physical Activity and Exercise are important for:
1.Better insulin sensitivity
3.Improved brain health
4.Reduces risk for chronic disease
6.Slows aging process
Although exercise is great, I like to focus on increasing physical activity. Physical activity doesn’t sound so burdensome for a lot of people. Even though exercise doesn’t have to be at a gym, it requires some sort of planning and often gives people the excuse to eat more. Physical activity on the other hand can be fun and spontaneous and doesn’t sound so hard to do if you are out of shape. It has also been shown by science that increased physical activity throughout the day is better than one long bout of exercise for your health!
Easy ways to Increase Physical Activity:
1. Take the stairs instead of the elevator
2. Park further away
3. Take frequent bathroom trips
4. Take a walk during lunch
5. Play with your kids
6. Dance around the kitchen while making dinner
While it is true that you can’t over-exercise your way out of a bad diet, the right exercise (increasing physical activity) can help you lose weight, maintain weight loss, and control your appetite so you don’t overeat. Ideally you should do a minimum of 30 minutes of walking every day. Get a pedometer to track your steps. Wear it every day and set a goal of 10,000 steps a day. More vigorous and sustained exercise is often needed to reverse severe obesity and diabesity (diabetes related to being overweight). Run, bike, dance, play games, jump on a trampoline, or do whatever is fun for you.
Fun Facts about Steps:
10,000 Steps Challenge:
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