Lose Fat Without Exercise?
Fat Loss Lie #5: Lose Fat Without Exercise
I remember seeing a full-page ad in a fitness magazine a while back with this headline:
“Lose Up To 2 Pounds Daily… Without Exercise.”
Are you kidding me? That’s like those crazy infomercials that say “Make a Million Dollars Every Day…. Without Working. “I mean, I was born at night, but it wasn’t last night.
Trying to lose fat without exercise is setting yourself up to fail.
An effective fat burning program must have four crucial components:
1. Aerobic exercise
2. A nutrient-filled diet with a very low calorie deficit
3. Weight training
4. Goal setting and motivation
Except for those who have been blessed by good genetics, a fast-metabolism is rare, and only a handful of people will actually lose fat without exercise. As I’ve mentioned in an earlier post, it’s always better to burn the fat, than it is to try to starve the fat.
To lose body fat, there is one common law that must be followed – there must be a calorie deficit. However, there’s more than one way to create a calorie deficit. One way is to decrease your calorie intake from food. The other is to increase the amount of calories you burn though exercise.
Of the two ways to create a calorie deficit, burning the calories with exercise is by far the superior method. This is because large calorie deficits cause muscle loss and trigger the starvation response. Ironically, most people do the opposite: They slash their calories to starvation levels and exercise too little or not at all. This causes a decrease in lean body mass and invokes the “starvation response.”
Paradoxical as it seems, the most effective approach to fat loss is to eat more (keep the calorie reduction small) and let the exercise burn the fat. You don’t have to starve yourself – you just have to choose the right foods and make exercise a part of your lifestyle.
Why would anyone resort to starvation diets when they can burn fat more efficiently through exercise? Perhaps they believe that eating more food and working out at the same time will “cancel each other out. Maybe they shy away from the hard work involved in exercise. There’s also a trend these days towards avoiding too much aerobic exercise because of the notion that it will make you lose muscle.
FALSE! Aerobic exercise, combined with weight training, is the only method of fat loss that allows you to create a calorie deficit and burn fat without slowing down the metabolism.
Here are the reasons why exercise (not dieting) is the superior method of losing body fat:
1. Exercise–aerobic and weight training raises your metabolic rate. Dieting decreases your metabolic rate.
2. Exercise creates a caloric deficit without triggering the starvation response.
3. Exercise is good for your health. Dieting is harmful to your health.
4. Exercise, especially weight training, signals your body to keep your muscle and not burn it for energy. However, dieting without exercise can result in losing muscle as the reason for most of the weight loss.
5. Exercise increases fat-burning enzymes and hormones. Dieting decreases fat burning hormones and increases fat storing hormones.
6. Exercise increases the cells sensitivity to insulin so that carbohydrates are burned for energy and stored as glycogen rather than being stored as fat.
If anyone ever tries to sell you a program for losing weight and it doesn’t include exercise (it’s just a “diet”), hold on to your wallet and run. Even if you could get lean without exercise, you should be working out for your health anyway, not just for cosmetic reasons.