Author's Note: Does exercise really help with weight loss?
I enjoy exercising. A lot. And I've always counted myself lucky for this. But here's the interesting thing. Over the last 20 years, I've increased my exercise regimen from running two or three miles a few days a week to running 10 miles a day — or doing the equivalent on the elliptical — six days a week. I also take a strength training class once or twice a week on top of that. You'd think I'd be a waif by now. Yet my weight has remained the same. I haven't lost a pound, despite all of this exercise.
First I thought it was because my metabolism was slowing as I aged. But in the back of my mind, I knew I was simply burning off everything I ate. I was eating more calories. No, I wasn't gorging on burgers or chips. I was eating pretty healthily, actually. Still, I might treat myself at night with a glass of wine, some mixed nuts and a little cheese — for a total of about 500 calories, almost the same as a Big Mac! Now I just have to decide if I want to keep exercising so much every day, or cut back on the exercising and let the extra time I'll have be my nightly treat.
More Great Links
- Bowden, Dr. Jonny. "Exercise: The News You Don't Want to Hear." Huffington Post. Sept. 11, 2012. (Nov. 16, 2015) http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-jonny-bowden/exercise-benefits_b_1777630.html
- Calorie King. "Lose the Weight Forever." (Nov. 17, 2015) http://www.calorieking.com/
- Carroll, Aaron. "To Lose Weight, Eating Less Is Far More Important Than Exercising More." The New York Times. June 15, 2015. (Nov. 26, 2015) http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/16/upshot/to-lose-weight-eating-less-is-far-more-important-than-exercising-more.html?_r=0
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "Adult Obesity Facts." (Nov. 18, 2015) http://www.cdc.gov/obesity/data/adult.html
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "The Benefits of Physical Activity." (Nov. 18, 2015) http://www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/basics/pa-health/
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "Physical Activity for a Healthy Weight." (Nov. 16, 2015) http://www.cdc.gov/healthyweight/physical_activity/
- Garrett, Nicola. "Why exercise doesn't always help you lose weight." ABC Health & Wellbeing. Jan. 15, 2015. (Nov. 16, 2015) http://www.abc.net.au/health/features/stories/2015/01/15/4162890.htm
- John, Emma. "Why exercise won't make you thin." The Guardian. Sept. 18, 2010. (Nov. 16, 2015) http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2010/sep/19/exercise-dieting-public-health
- Kurtzleben, Danielle. "A Long Wait in Line for the Bench Press." U.S. News & World Report. Jan. 3, 2013. (Nov. 18, 2015) http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2013/01/03/its-gym-season-from-now-until-march
- My Fitness Pal. "Calories Burned From Exercise." (Nov. 19, 2015) http://www.myfitnesspal.com/exercise/lookup
- Narins, Elizabeth. "Going to the Gym Isn't Helping You Lose Weight." Cosmopolitan. April 23, 2015. (Nov. 16, 2015) http://www.cosmopolitan.com/health-fitness/news/a39484/you-cant-make-up-for-a-bad-diet-with-exercise/
- Reynolds, Gretchen. "Weighing the Evidence on Exercise." The New York Times Magazine. April 16, 2010. (Nov. 20, 2015) http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/18/magazine/18exercise-t.html?_r=0
- Statista. "Total number of memberships at fitness centers / health clubs in the U.S. from 2000 to 2014 (in millions)." (Nov. 18, 2015) http://www.statista.com/statistics/236123/us-fitness-center—health-club-memberships/
- The National Weight Control Registry. "The National Weight Control Registry." (Nov. 20, 2015) http://www.nwcr.ws/
- Zeratsky, Katherine. "Can I lose weight if my only exercise is walking?" Mayo Clinic. (Nov. 19, 2015) http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/weight-loss/expert-answers/walking/faq-20058345