An article I like: Why exercise does not help people lose weight

inside exercise

This Time article is from a few years ago, but a friend just posted it on her Facebook page and I read it and–having had my struggles with weight gain and loss–I could not agree more. Losing weight is not about exercise, but rather the calories you consume and not being sedentary. Read the best weight loss advice I have ever received here.

Photo by glenmcbethlaw

Joe Donatelli
Joe Donatelli is a writer in Los Angeles
  • We’ve talked about this before as I think we have pretty similar takes on weight loss, but OF COURSE exercise helps people lose weight, and I hate attention-grabbing headlines like Time’s that will reinforce people’s decision to not exercise.

    You said it yourself that it’s about not being sedentary. If your job (like mine) forces you to be at a desk for most of the day than hitting the gym every night at least gets you active and reminds your body that it needs to actually work from time to time.

    The problem is that eating is SUCH a big part of losing weight, and no one should think that because they’re going to the gym later it means they can finally try that donut cheeseburger.

    On the flip side, when you invest time, money, and effort in working out, it’s a reminder that you’re actually working toward something and it can actually dissuade you from hitting up Chipotle (“I didn’t work my ass of last night just to waste the result”).

    ALSO, working out properly will build new muscle and increase your calorie burning-potential. The study they mention with the women, they say the women who worked out gained 10 lbs, but if they were eating more that doesn’t prove that working out isn’t effective, just that eating bad shit is that horrible (and shouldn’t a study tracking the effectiveness of exercise make sure BOTH groups are eating the same?). Also, they later mention body fat, but also say that the workout group waistlines actually did shrink. They never mention that they did actually body fat (water displacement) measurements. How do they know the 10 lbs wasn’t muscle? A lot of first time gym-goers gain weight because of muscle.

    Last point: a lot of super-ripped, super-healthy pro athletes eat like shit but they burn about a million calories doing two-a-days and weight training and they have the bodies of Greek gods (only better). An extreme example, yes, but I still think it’s worth mentioning.

    I don’t like any article that says, “hey, don’t work out, it won’t help” when really what they mean is “hey, work out, but watch your eating habits.” And don’t sit on your ass all day.

  • I like this article because I think working out is over-hyped, and too many people try, and can’t do it, and get discouraged and then they stop trying anything altogether. They need to know that it’s being active and eating right that’s the important part, not a workout program or hitting the gym hard 5 days a week. I agree with your assertion that going to the gym reminds you to eat healthy. But that’s you. Lots of people I know use it as an excuse to eat more, and obviously that’s just a waste of time on all fronts. Now let’s go get some Chipotle.

  • Let’s blame work for liver disease since it causes people to drink.

  • “Oh, you hate your job? Why didn’t you say so? There’s a support group for that. It’s called EVERYBODY, and they meet at the bar.” — Drew Carey

  • Oh, BTDubs, 5 Guys opened right next to Chipotle and Chipotle is all like

  • Ha. Chipotle has nothing to fear. Those restaurants’ patrons hate themselves for entirely different reasons.


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