Why Exercise Does Not Lead to Weight Loss
A recent study in the British Journal of Sports Medicine confirms the findings of many previous studies showing that vigorous, supervised, aerobic exercise programs also result in very disappointing weight loss. In the study, fifty-eight obese individuals completed twelve full weeks of vigorous, supervised, aerobic training without changing their diet, and each individual lost an average of around seven pounds.
The truth is that it is exceptionally difficult to burn high amounts of calories through exercise. For example, for most people, thirty minutes of vigorous exercise is only going to result in 200-350 calories burned. Sadly, but indisputably, we all replace those few hundred calories in a few seconds with a sports drink, a snack or one cookie.
In counseling, overweight and obese individuals seeking to lose weight, I often find that a great many of them are prepared for a monumental challenge, but they imagine the wrong challenge. Many times people envision what it will take to lose the weight now that they finally decided to get serious about it and they picture themselves undergoing a Rocky Balboa type training regimen and enduring long and difficult training regimens, physically pulling sleds and doing an unfathomable number of push-ups. The truth is, the real challenge is equally monumental, but, in many ways, far more difficult. The challenge actually consists of cutting out large numbers of carbohydrate calories from our diet day in and day out. We are typically very unprepared for that sort of challenge. It involves living with hunger, retraining our minds and bodies and sacrificing to achieve rewards that are difficult to see for weeks or months. In the end they are well worth it.