Do you need to exercise to lose weight? Technically, no. If you’re wondering why anyone would get all uncomfortable and sweaty, here’s why:
1) long term success – while you can physically lose weight without exercise, you are highly likely to put that weight back on without it. The National Weight Control Registry in the US surveyed 15,000 people who lost weight and successfully maintained that over 2 years. Among other things, like planning and eating breakfast, exercise was a factor in keeping weight off. In fact, of those who kept the weight off, 90% were exercising.
2) detox – sweat is one of the prime ways your body removes toxins through the skin. Get sweaty and get detoxed. Exercise also helps with digestion, another system heavily involved in eliminating toxins. So you will better your results by getting active.
3) better body composition – even skinny people can have too much body fat, and it’s the percentage of your body that is fat tissue which affects health. Just focusing on eating won’t do much to alter the balance between fat and muscle tissue. You will probably also lose muscle, not just fat in the process. But using muscle tissue will maintain it, helping to adjust the balance. Plus, generally, the more muscle tissue, the better your metabolism.
So if you’re coming around to this way of thinking, what should you do? First, check your exercise assumptions. There are lots of negative beliefs out there about exercise, like ‘it’s boring’, ‘it hurts’, ‘I’m not fit enough’. Sustainable lifestyle change, not just now in the first week of January, but for life means confronting these beliefs about exercise. For instance, is there something you enjoy? Or even, could you out up with being a bit bored now and again for the sake of your health?
Then what exercise to do? I love CrossFit and would argue that it has a place for everyone, at every level of fitness and ability. But in reality, all you need to do is move more, more often. Less sitting. More standing, walking, taking the stairs, chasing the kids around the park. Whatever you do, consistency is key for long term change and success. Let’s get it moving!