This is part 3 (part 1 – failure /part 2 – food logging) to a 3 part series. I went in reverse order of importance so, technically this is the least important aspect to your weight loss but in a way – it might be most important. That sure is confusing. So keep reading!
So, what’s the deal, why is exercise not so important AND so important?
Well this is a complicated answer which is why the confusion is there in the first place. Exercise in and of itself doesn’t actually burn very many calories. Especially when you are talking about cardio, you don’t burn enough calories to justify getting up and going to the gym at all. The things that are far more important than exercise are food logging and the “never say die” attitude.
Based off that – there really isn’t a reason to exercise. But there are some HUGE advantages to getting in the habit of exercise that don’t directly come from the exercise itself:
- A feeling of positivity
- Remember the last time you went to the gym when you didn’t want to? By the end of the session you were probably feeling like a million bucks! The cool thing about exercise is that phenomena NEVER STOPS. Every time you go to the gym, especially when you don’t want to, you will leave feeling like a certified bad ass who has earned their right to be happy.
- Metabolic boost
- So I said that exercise in and of itself doesn’t burn many calories. That is true. But the metabolic effect exercise has on the body DOES burn many calories. So this is the exact reason why exercise isn’t very important, and yet it is super important.
- So when a person goes to the gym, they might only burn 150-250 calories. That isn’t going to make much of a difference and simply skipping a slice of cheese on your sandwich and not having that protein bar to fuel your workout in the first place would have been just as effective.
- What skipping those two food items WON’T do for you however is ramp up your calorie burning for the next 24-72 hours! That’s right, your weight lifting workout (or HIIT cardio workout) will ramp up your metabolism so that it is burning calories LITERALLY WHILE YOU SLEEP for the next couple days!
- Our goal with exercise isn’t to lose the fat while you are at the gym, the goal is to put your body in a position to lose the fat at all other times of the day. In fact, while in the gym, the last thing the body is trying to do is use fat for energy. That simply takes too long. So it won’t use fat for energy until it has the time to do so – and that is the other 23 hours outside of the gym, including while you sleep. Pretty cool huh?
- A sense of habitual scheduling
- This life – the healthy lifestyle that everyone wants but seems so hard to grasp – is a life of scheduling. When done correctly most people find it best to schedule grocery store trips, schedule what they are eating for dinner each day (and maybe even for lunch, 2 snacks, and breakfast as well), schedule workout days as well as what workout to do on those days etc. etc.
- When you are working out you will develop this mentality, when given long enough, that this is just how life is: you workout. It no longer is a chore, but it is your life. That might come off as something sad – something like “well, this existence is my life, I guess I better deal with it”. But that is the opposite of what happens. You end up enjoying this lifestyle. You don’t say to yourself every morning “Well, I have to brush my teeth. It’s just how it is” in a sad depressing tone do you? Most people enjoy the feeling of brushing their teeth when, at once point in their life, it was something they had to do, now it is something they want to do.
- It really does take less effort when something is a habit. The scheduling aspect of this lifestyle will help make it a habit and at the root of this habit forming is a scheduled group of workouts each and every week.
- Body composition
- Maybe the most important one – you don’t actually want to lose weight, you want to to gain muscle and lose fat. You want your body composition to change. Even if you are saying “no, trust me, I want to lose weight” that is simply because you don’t understand what you are asking for. Look up marathon runners and tell me if that is what you want to look like (not all of them have this problem, but most). They don’t have any figure, they don’t have any shape, because they don’t have any muscle.
- Another reason you want muscle, which only exercise will give (not simply dieting) is the increased metabolic response (burning more calories by simply doing nothing) each and every day for years and years to come. This is best described in an illustration: old people. They tend to stop moving because things hurt, then they start to lose that muscle due to the lack of movement, then they aren’t burning calories as much anymore and so they start to gain body fat, then moving hurts even more because they are moving around extra weight with LESS muscle to help them, then the cycle repeats and gets worse and worse.
- Exercise will help you keep that muscle, and gain a little bit more, making it easier to lose fat and keep it off the rest of your life. It also doesn’t hurt that you will be able to do things that normally you wouldn’t have been able to do. Bringing in 10 bags of groceries at once, as shallow as this might sound, feels pretty nice. Not because I’m awesome and super strong, but because now I only have to take one trip to the car. Apply that to every aspect of life – the small things in life get easier and easier. You become more and more confident and enjoying the thing that got you to that confidence: exercise. Then you do it more, and you get even awesomer – another cycle but this time a good one.
Well that is all for this post. It was a simple one but an important one! You MUST exercise if your want to successfully lose weight and keep it off. I hope you enjoyed and I ask that you please share to help spread the positivity!
Make sure to check out our Youtube channel which I am very excited about and I hope will bring you amazing and in depth help on your fitness journey. The podcast, Driving Weight Loss, is going to be up on iTunes in the very near future! I am also very excited about that – you will have the opportunity to get valuable weight loss advice while driving to work. Making your commute a bit more entertaining and saving you time in the process.
Thanks for reading and as always – God Bless!
If you are interested in starting your weight loss journey – don’t do it alone. Check out 4 Faith Fitness’ online personal training and start your 2 week free trial today. Let me prove to you how much easier it is to do this successfully when you have a personal trainer in your pocket – a source of motivation 7 days a week! You can do this! Start now and you will NEVER FAIL AGAIN!