Weight loss can be a challenging and complex process, but it’s important to remember that there are many ways to achieve it. One of the most common methods is exercise, which has been shown to have numerous benefits for both physical and mental health. But is it really that effective as a weight loss tool? The answer is simply that exercise alone will not give you the weight loss results you want and can, in fact, hinder weight loss if done improperly. While exercise alone may not be enough to achieve significant weight loss, it can be an effective tool for aerobic health, stability, muscle maintenance, and mental health.
As your local weight loss clinic, we want to help. In this blog post, we will explore the relationship between exercise and weight loss and discuss how exercise can help or hinder you in reaching your weight loss goals.
The Importance of Calories and Nutrients
Calories are a critical source of energy that our bodies need to perform various functions like breathing, circulation, and metabolism. It’s crucial to maintain an adequate calorie intake to keep our bodies running smoothly, especially when trying to lose weight. However, many people make the mistake of consuming too few calories while attempting to lose weight, which can negatively impact their health. When we don’t eat enough, our metabolism slows down, making it more challenging to burn fat. Consuming enough calories also helps to maintain muscle mass, which plays a vital role in keeping our metabolism high. We also need to be aware that not all calories are created equal. Whole foods keep you fuller longer and help regulate our bodily systems, such as hormones and digestion. Therefore, it’s essential to ensure that we’re eating enough to fuel our bodies, as well as eating the right foods to achieve sustainable weight loss. Moderate exercise alone won’t achieve the same results.
The Relationship Between Exercise and Weight Loss
The relationship between exercise and weight loss is a complex one. The amount of weight you lose through exercise depends on various factors, such as your starting weight, the type and intensity of exercise you do, your diet, inflammation, and your hormones, including metabolism. However, research has shown that exercise can indeed help with weight loss if done correctly. So what is the correct way to exercise?
Benefits of Exercise for Weight Loss
One of the most significant benefits of exercise is that it helps increase your metabolic rate, which is the rate at which your body burns excess fat. When you exercise, your body utilizes energy stores to power your muscles and keep your body functioning. This increase in metabolic rate can last for hours after you finish exercising, meaning you will continue to burn fat even when you’re not working out.
Specific types of exercise, like HIIT, help build lean muscle mass. Muscle tissue is metabolically active and uses excess energy stores (such as fat). This means that the more muscle you have, the more excess fat you will burn at rest and during your day-to-day activities. This can help you lose weight and keep it off in the long run.
In addition, moderate exercise can help re-regulate your hunger and fullness signals which in turn can help reduce cravings. Exercise can also help reduce stress and anxiety, which are often triggers for overeating.
When Does Exercise Become Less Effective for Weight Loss?
We don’t think of exercise in terms of inflammation, but it can hinder weight loss if done improperly. Working out too intensely or starting a new regime can cause stress on the body. This stress manifests as micro-tears in the muscles, which is a form of inflammation due to physical stress. When levels of stress hormones in the body become too high because of exercise or even emotional stress, it can hinder weight loss. The body perceives this increased stress as a “danger” and subsequently shifts all of its time and effort into healing. Being in an inflamed state can lead to changes such as higher levels of cortisol as well poor insulin responses. By affecting insulin, cortisol, and a myriad of other hormones, exercise can drive our bodies into a chronic state of inflammation and weight loss resistance.
Chronic inflammation can also be produced by visceral fat, which is the fat around your organs. If we are in an inflamed state, our body does not prioritize weight loss as it takes a longer time to heal. Chronic inflammation also affects leptin by impairing the brain’s ability to receive leptin’s signal. Leptin is needed for appetite regulation as well as metabolism by telling your brain to utilize its current fat stores.
Therefore, it’s important to keep a positive mindset and not fall into the trap of thinking that exercising more will lead to greater weight loss. A 30-minute brisk walk can burn around 100-150 calories, not enough to require more food. Some people may have a “reward” mindset and feel like they have earned treats for working out, which can result in consuming excess food.
Despite these challenges, exercise still has numerous benefits for overall health, including maintaining muscle mass, improving bone and heart health, boosting mental health, preventing diseases, preventing pain, promoting mobility and injury prevention, and improving sleep. So, it’s crucial to stay motivated and focus on the positive effects of exercise beyond just weight loss.
The Importance of Combining Exercise With a Healthy Diet
It’s important to remember that exercise alone may not be enough to achieve significant weight loss. It’s crucial to also focus on your nutrition and make healthy choices to get enough macronutrients, as well as micronutrients, for your bodily functions to work properly. A combination of moderate exercise and a healthy diet is the most effective way to lose weight and keep it off in the long run.
To summarize, exercise can, in fact, help with weight loss, but it’s not a magic solution and doesn’t outweigh poor eating habits. High levels of stress hormones and inflammation can lead to slowed or stalled weight loss, but staying motivated and focusing on the many other benefits of exercise can help maintain a positive mindset. A combination of regular exercise, a healthy diet, and a positive attitude is the most effective approach to achieving and maintaining a healthy weight.
HAVE YOU BEEN STRUGGLING TO LOSE WEIGHT? DR. KELLS’ WEIGHT LOSS CLINIC CAN HELP!
Here at Dr. Kells’ DC, Weight Loss, we understand that it can seem daunting to tackle a weight loss program on your own. Having a partner to support you through the journey can make all the difference in helping you stay motivated and driven as you set your goals. That is why our clinic offers medical weight loss programs that don’t involve dangerous dieting fads or stressful exercise regimes. Rather than providing a generic program for every patient, our staff takes the time to get to know each individual’s lifestyle and needs to develop an effective weight loss plan tailored specifically for them – one designed with achievable goals and lasting results.
What is our approach to healthy weight loss?
- Meal Planning (smaller meals, avoiding prepackaged foods, etc.)
- Diet Plans Focusing on Nutritious Foods
- Detecting Hormone Imbalances
- Addressing Toxicity
- And much more!
With our help, even clients that have struggled with attempts at weight loss in the past are able to find success through commitment and dedication!
If you are ready to transform your life, you can schedule an appointment online or call us at:
- (385) 257-9194 SALT LAKE CITY
- (719) 259-0773 COLORADO SPRINGS