Archive for September, 2009

“Why Exercise Won’t Make You Thin” by John Cloud…….WHAT!!!

Sunday, September 20th, 2009

John Cloud is a reporter for Time Magazine. He wrote an article titled “Why Exercise Won’t Make You Thin”. If you don’t want to waste your time reading it, I will summarize it for you. In short, the article says that if you’re trying to lose weight…exercise won’t help. Mind you, he talks about exercise alone without changing eating habits. His article quotes different studies on exercising for weight loss and how none proved exercise helped with losing weight. However, the article doesn’t really talk about the type of exercise or exercise intensity; whether the studies involved aerobic, anaerobic, etc.

When it comes to losing weight, there are numerous studies showing that anaerobic exercise is more beneficial than aerobic exercise. Anaerobic exercise requires more glycogen (stored blood sugar) and aerobic exercise requires more oxygen, as far as the energy pathway goes. Weight lifting is a form of anaerobic exercise. Lifting weights, also known as resistance training, will increase muscle which in turn will increase your basal metabolic rate (BMR), thus helping with fat/weight loss. So, I think it’s important to know what kind of exercise/intensity he’s referring to when he states, “Why Exercise Won’t Make You Thin”.

I can typically get my clients to burn between 300 and 500 calories in a 30 minute session of anaerobic/aerobic activity. For someone working out with my same intensity for three times a week this calculates to approximately: 900-1500 calorie deficit per week, 3600-6000 calorie deficit per month, and 46,800-78,000 calorie deficit per year. This can produce as much as 22 pounds of fat loss per year for someone that kept their calories the same as before they started their weekly workout routine; and much more for those who changed their eating habits and calorie consumption to fit their new found exercise program.

One of John Cloud’s excuses as to why exercise doesn’t help with weight loss is because exercise can make you hungry…causing you to eat more calories; more calories than your exercise session burns. Well, duh John…exercise requires energy…and food is energy. You just have to watch what type of food you put into your mouth. And if you’re wanting to lose weight and get healthier, why would you not want to refuel your body with the healthiest food available!

John, just because you exercise doesn’t mean you’re going to get “thin”. You have to be conscious of how you exercise, what you eat and how much of it you eat. You can’t walk on a treadmill while you eat a donut and expect to lose weight just because you’re doing some form of exercise. Just like you can’t expect to ever save money if you spend all you earn.