What we’ve learnt about exercise in the 90s and early 2000s have proven to be wrong. We have been brainwashed so much by certain industries to believe that we have to exercise more if we want to lose weight. From government agencies to doctors, beverage companies like Coke and 100 Plus, the common philosophy seemed to be exercise more if you want to lose weight.
This philosophy was preached so much that even fitness instructors back then started passing on the same philosophy. Jump more, jog faster, attend more classes, stay in the gym for hours and hours if you want to lose weight. The outcome? We have people wired to think that unless they workout till they are exhausted otherwise they didn't burn enough calories for their meal. They feel a sense of guilt and shame when that isn't accomplished. They beat themselves up. Feel depressed because they haven't achieved their desired caloric output.
So these people stay in the gym more. They start to workout harder. They push themselves beyond what their bodies can handle. They get injuries that can develop into lifelong issues. They may find success for the first couple of months, but then find their weight plateauing. Instead of looking at their caloric input, they believe that it is because they haven't moved enough. So the cycle repeats.
Recent sports science studies have proven that losing weight via exercise isn’t true. Over 60 studies have proven that you cannot outrun a bad diet. You can jump all you want, run all you can, lift as heavy as your life depends on it, and you can easily wipe out all you thought you worked for with a meal after your workout.
A study published by the City University of New York showed that your caloric expenditure is different from your energy expenditure. Because of our bodies will adapt metabolically to our physical exercise, our daily energy expenditure can be much lower than what we expect. You'd expect that these 2 go hand in hand, but studies have shown that your body will compensate for the additional 200 calories you burnt during exercise by possibly slowing down the rest of the day.
If your goal is to lose weight, then you need to look at the following:
- Find out what your basal metabolic rate (also known as resting metabolic rate) is.
Your basal metabolic rate is the amount of calories your body needs to function.
- More muscle mass = higher basal metabolic rate.
Generally, the more muscle mass you have, the higher your basal metabolic rate. That is why weight training is very much recommended.
- Adults lose 3% - 5% of muscle mass every decade starting from age 30.
Your basal metabolic rate will start to decline from the age of 30 due to the fact that you'll start to lose muscle mass over the decades. Good news is you can upkeep your basal metabolic rate or even raise it higher by doing some weight training.
- Calories out has to be greater than calories in.
Know what your basal metabolic rate is and calculate it with the amount of energy you use through the day, and ensure the calories you intake is less than that. You'll end up gaining weight if you intake 5,000 calories a day and use up only 2,400 calories.
- Quality of movement is greater than quantity of movement.
There's more energy expenditure when you work on muscular engagement.