If you want to lose weight, you probably hear advice from many people to start exercising. According to them, working out helps stretch and develop your muscles which in turn burn the fats in your body, causing you to lose weight. You’ve probably started running in the morning or hitting the gym in an attempt to lose weight. But is it really effective in aiding for weight loss? Here’s what the experts say.
Weight Loss Expectations
While the health experts say exercise plays a significant role in weight loss, they say its impact wouldn’t appear in a short period of time. It takes a long time for you to notice significant changes in your body by exercising consistently. According to a July 2018 research, the study breaks down the initial percentage of weight loss you can expect from doing different types of exercises:
Aerobic exercise: 0-3% weight loss
Aerobic exercise paired with resistance training: 0-3% weight loss
Diet or Caloric Restriction: 0-3% weight loss.
Resistance training: 0-1% weight loss.
So if you weigh 160 pounds, you’re likely to lose around 4.8 pounds once you start exercising. According to clinical guidelines, those overweight or obese people have to lose at least 5% to start seeing improvements not only in shedding their pounds but also in reducing your risk in insulin sensitivity and lipid levels.
According to the renowned medical professor Joseph E. Donnelly, EdD, he encourages obese people to increase their exercise intensity at a moderate level to increase their weight loss percentage between 5-7%.
One of the previous studies he conducted showed that young working adults who did at least five aerobic exercises per week lost significant weight after doing it for 10 months. He divided the participants into two groups where one group conducted the aerobic exercise while the other group wasn’t assigned any specific exercise to conduct.
After 10 months, Donnelly noted the group who performed aerobic exercise lost between 400-600 kilocalories per workout. This yields between 4.3-5.7% of weight loss within the timeframe. The actual weight loss of each individual depends on their body frame and the physical activities they’ve done.
In essence, a 160-pound person needs to undergo aerobic exercise for at least an hour to burn 400 kilocalories. Meanwhile, you have to run at least 5 miles per hour and do it for at least an hour to burn 600 kilocalories.
Donnelly says you also need to take into consideration the average daily calorie intake of an individual. According to studies, an adult woman’s ADI falls between 1,600-2,400 kilocalories while men fall between 2,000-3,000 kilocalories. Donnelly’s parameters applied in the study made it possible for the participants to burn extra 2,000-3,000 kilocalories every week – which cause them to lose more weight.
Exercise Doesn’t Equate to Weight Loss
Donnelly says while these weight loss studies show fantastic results, the reality is that it’s quite difficult to recreate the same results in the real world compared to a controlled environment.
Aside from exercising, you need to consider other factors like your gender, body size, metabolic rate, and exercise type to lose weight. Aside from that, you need to commit to the exercising and dietary changes in the long term to pursue a healthy lifestyle. Moreover, it’s difficult to embark on a healthy lifestyle when temptations are everywhere.
For instance, the rise of fast-food chains and restaurants provide easy access to processed foods which are usually high in calories. Furthermore, the emergence of cars, elevators, escalators, televisions, and computers help to keep us sedentary instead of having an active lifestyle.
Donnelly also adds that you need to watch your food portions when you eat. If you choose to do more intense exercise, you’re likely to eat more since it’s burning the fats in your body. He recommends sticking to eat healthy foods like whole grains, healthy fats, lean protein before and after a workout rather than binging on unhealthy foods. Otherwise, you’re likely to reverse your efforts.