For decades, it was thought to lose weight you had to burn 3,500 calories for every pound. Now, science seems to have different ideas. What do we know? What don’t we know?
1.Exercise Does Not Play The Role We Thought It Did In Weight Loss
100% of our energy comes from food. But, we only burn about 10-30% of it through physical activity each day.
2.Exercise Only Burns A Small Amount Of Daily Calories
Calorie burning is divided into 3 categories.
- Basal metabolic rate – the energy used while the body is at rest. It takes up 60-80% of a person’s total energy expenditure.
- Energy required to break down food – takes up about 10%
- Energy used in physical activity
3.Exercise May Even Sabotage Weight Loss
Exercise has a way of making many of us hungry. One study showed participants increased their food intake after exercise. Or, people just slow down after a workout. Called “compensatory behaviors,” the body does these unconsciously to compensate for burning calories.
As your exercise intensity increases, your body may be actively fighting your efforts. It differs for each, but your body’s basal metabolic rate slows. Scientists believe it’s part of our basic survival mechanism.
5.But, Exercise Does Make Us Healthier
Exercise alone can lower triglycerides and blood pressure. It can reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, heart attacks and strokes.
6.So, What Does Work For Weight Loss?
A study pointed to these common traits shared by those who kept a minimum of 30 pounds off for one year.
- They weigh themselves at least once a week.
- They restrict their calorie intake by staying away from high-fat foods and watch portion control.
- They exercise regularly.
But, training should be considered a way to maintain health, not to lose weight.