Why Working Out Does Not Equal Weight Loss

Why Working Out Might Not Be a Good Idea to Lose Weight

Exercise equals weight loss. That is the equation we have all been led to believe. But the truth of the matter is far removed from this. Moving the body is vital for well-being, But no one ever said the math was as simple as sweating your way to weight loss. While working out, you will be expending vast amounts of energy, but the real world is very different. Eating less is equally essential when it comes to weight loss. This reduction does not mean binge eating or strict diets. It means regulating your nutritional intake as per your body requirements and calorific needs. There is no doubt that exercise is the key to good health, whether you want enhanced cardiovascular functioning or lowering the risk of heart disease and diabetes. Eating right is the way out when it comes to losing weight. An editorial in the British Journal of Sports Medicines even went so far as to say physical activity does not promote weight loss! So don’t think you can outrun a bad diet. Obesity is not entirely due to lack of exercising. Overeating has a significant role to play in being overweight.

Reasons Why Working Out Does Not Equal Weight Loss

One is conditioned to perceive exercise as a significant ingredient – perhaps the most critical factor – in weight loss efforts. The drill goes something like this. Join a gym and lose weight – the signage screams. Your gym trainers are likely to be joining the chorus. Evidence shows that exercise, while excellent for health, is not critical for weight loss.
Exercise, even when one works out, accounts for a tiny portion of the total energy expenditure.

Three critical components for energy expenditure revolve around basal metabolic rate, energy used to break down food and energy used for physical activity. Basal metabolism is the rate at which energy is used for functioning when the body remains at rest. There’s very little control over basal metabolism, but it determines most of the energy expenditure. Around 60 to 80 percent of the total energy expenditure is the basal metabolic rate. Digesting food accounts for another 10% of energy expenditure.
This expenditure leaves only 10 to 30% for physical activities, of which a subset is an exercise. Physical activity includes all the movement, including fidgeting, walking around, etc. The implication is that food intake accounts for 100% of the energy that is expended by the body and exercise accounts for 10 to 30% of it. There is a lot of discrepancies and erasing diet problems at the gym is more laborious than gym members think.

It is hard to create a massive calorie deficit via exercise. Using the NIH’s Body Weight Planner offers a more realistic estimate of weight loss than the 3,500 calorie rule, as proposed by Kevin Hall, a mathematician and obesity researcher to show why adding exercise programs is not likely to trigger weight loss. When a 200-pound man adds 60 minutes of moderate-intensity running four days a week while keeping the calorie intake same, hypothetically, he will lose five pounds for thirty days. If the food intake is increased or relaxation is induced to recover from added exercise, less weight will be lost. If one is overweight or obese and trying to drop pounds, an incredible amount of will, time, and effort help to create a real impact via exercise alone. Exercise undermines weight loss in subtle but distinct ways.

How much one eats is linked to movement. When one moves more, eating is more, too. When exercising less, we eat less. A 2009 study showed people showed increased food intake patterns post-exercise as they burned off additional calories or because they have an enormous appetite. Another study review from 2012 showed there was an overestimation the extent to which exercise burns energy and eats more when worked out. Working on a gym machine for an hour and the work is erased within 5 minutes of eating. A massive pizza slice, for example, could undo the benefit of 60 minutes of workout. So could an ice cream cone or cafe latte. Evidence suggests some individuals slow down after a workout, using less energy on non-gym actions, like taking the elevators and not the stairs.


These changes are known as compensatory behaviors, and they include factors for working out to offset calories burnt. One needs to reframe how one thinks about exercise.

Obesity experts have called for a rebranding of how one thinks of exercise. Exercise has a lot of benefits that do not necessarily help in a weight loss quest. By improving blood pressure, sugar and cholesterol, preventing cancer, or boosting attention, mood and energy, exercise has proved to be the world’s best solution. Training, however, is not a weight-loss drug. Pushing practice primarily in the name of treating obesity, causes health myths to be perpetuated. The public will be short-changed about health benefits and misinform long-term weight management realities. Ramping up physical activity alone is not enough for losing weight. Societies need to stop treating exercise and diet as equivalently responsible for obesity issues in the country.

Health policies in the public realm should prioritize warding off overconsumption of low-quality diet and improve the food environment. Are you eating well, exercising often, and still not losing stubborn weight? Eating well and exercising is a relative process when it comes to losing weight. We are capable of trying harder in different areas, and weight loss is one of them. But exercise is not the only factor in the weight-loss equation. Total body wellness is based on a host of lifestyle factors. Fat loss takes place when the scale is ditched, and you find an enjoyable activity and see food as fuel rather than trying to feed emotions or occupy the time. Irrespective of the background and physical characteristics of the person, here are the reasons why shedding pounds may be harder than you think.

#1 Overestimation of the Calories Burnt

While working out, it might seem that enormous amounts of energy are being used. But this is where the real world takes over. The truth– it takes minutes to scoff a cheeseburger of 500 calories, but two hours of moderately paced exercise to burn it off. Even if you go for a 30-minute walk at an average weight of 150 pounds, you burn a measly 150 calories! A piece of chocolate could easily undo all your hard work. To rid yourself of over three hundred calories, you need to cut down on potato chips of around 2 ounces or run 3 miles in a park each day.

Long-term physical activity is more complicated than reducing food intake. More awareness needs to be created about just how much you need to sweat it out to burn common foods.

#2 Exercise Makes You Eat Voraciously

Exercise may burn your calories, but it also increases your hunger pangs. People consume several calories and eat correctly the number burnt in what is known as caloric compensation. If you work out heavy, you could be starving the next day quite easily. So, don’t exercise without adjusting your intake because this can have disastrous consequences.

#3 Did You Reward Your Self, Only to Lose Out?

Made it to the workout at the gym, have you? Well, did a big piece of pie or a sugar-rich smoothie follow? If it did, you could kiss your weight loss goodbye. Rewarding yourself with pasta for power yoga will only lead you down the wrong road when it comes to weight loss.

#4 Exercise Leaves You Too Tired To Move?

Exercise Leaves You Too Tired To Move
Photo By: Trix and Friends/ CC BY

Once you return from the gym, you may feel you have done your work for the day. Moving a lot may be difficult on account of tiredness. So what do you do? You take the escalator instead of the stairs and don’t spend all that time walking but sit down instead. This practice adds up to less activity, and if you exercise like a maniac for 1 hour and remain stationary or sedentary for the next 23, how will it boost your calorie burn? Older adults who changed their exercise regimen to one hour have been found by researchers to be more sedentary for the rest of the day.

#5 Exercise Well And No Portion Control= Zero Weight Loss

Reducing calorie intake is possible only if exercise is coupled with portion control. This amount of calories should be consumed in each meal. Cut down on fried, processed junk food, sodas, and empty calories. Remember, liquid calories can be just as bad as solid ones. Exercise must be coupled with a calorific restriction for those who are obese. Being overweight means, you are exceeding your calorific consumption, and no amount of exercise is going to work unless you curb the urge to splurge on soda and fries. As obesity has skyrocketed, there has been no change in the activity levels. This is being blamed for increasing waistlines. But the truth is calorie counting is just as important. Denial, doubt, and confusion reign when it comes to portion control. Adopt a diet that is high in healthy fat, but low in trans fat. Choose food where sugar and simple carbs are cut down. Celebs need to stop promoting sugary drinks, and you need to stop buying into their brand narrative, and taking in fizzy beverages contains tons of sugar. Manipulative marketing needs to stop. A fat tax should be in place to sabotage the junk food industry.

#6 Exercise Moderately? You May Need to Pump Up the Volume!

Performing the same exercises every day or week in a month is not just dull; your body adjusts to it as well and burns fewer calories as time advances. If the workout is not challenging enough for the body, the calorific burn begins to plateau, and your body becomes (there’s just no other way to put it!) bored and remains its fat, chubby self.

#7 Low Exercise Intensity= No Weight Loss

Low Exercise Intensity= No Weight Loss
Photo By: Jackie Bese/ CC BY

If you are not challenging yourself, weight loss becomes next to impossible. This is because you will not gain strength or break through the plateau in your training. Don’t think you need to shake things up, but do exercise in a way that prompts your body not to adjust. Try interval training and high-intensity exercises to bring out the ability of the body to lose weight.

#8 Strength Training Makes Sense; Walking Does Not!

While walking has a lot of health benefits, it does not bring about weight loss. This is because it is a cardio exercise of light intensity. The metabolic rate is influenced by muscle mass. The greater your muscle mass, the higher your metabolism. This explains why that beefed-up bodybuilder has zero percent body fat. So, try strength training if you want to lose weight and see results. Ladies should not worry about developing muscles “like a man” the very reverse will happen with slimming and toning that comes with strength training. So try bodyweight exercises, weight lifting, kettlebell training, and other methods but make sure you get there.

#9 Weight Loss Is Not A Simple Equation

It does not work as naturally as you burning a certain amount of calories after consuming it. Weight loss cannot be sidestepped. Restricting your diet instead of nutritional balance can harm thyroid functioning and bring down your metabolism. Limit carbs and sugar, eat less refined foods and exercise well if you want to get that trim, slim look.

#10 Exercise Cannot Undo Stress

Stress is a fact of modern life. Cortisol, the stress hormone, causes the body to break down the energy store. This gives you the power to work hard. But if cortisol levels don’t fluctuate, you cannot melt the fat. This is because your body is under constant stress, and it may even start piling up the calories. Short bursts of intense exercise for 10-15 minutes works better than jogging for an entire hour!

#11 Your Body Does Not Have Fuel For Exercise

Your Body Does Not Have Fuel For Exercise
Photo By: Sean Ellis/ CC BY

High carb intake is one of the most dangerous things you can do. It may give you strength for the workout, but it also increases your insulin levels and leads to insulin resistance. Consuming the right amount of protein and healthy fats, on the other hand. can help retain and build muscle composition. You don’t need to carb load like an athlete. But do ensure that your body is up to the challenge.

#12 Dietary Changes Can Make the Difference

If workout sessions are heavy, this means nothing. Researchers have found eighty percent of weight loss depends on your dining table, not the gym. Processed carbs, diet bars, and even cheap weight loss shakes can leave you open to heart conditions and obesity


You need to have spent a lot of time eating right, exercising well, and remaining active if you want to escape the trouble of piling on pounds of weight. Becoming fat is easy. Staying that way is even more comfortable. But if you motivate yourself and choose the tough path, eating well and exercising right, you could be walking down the right road, when it comes to health outcomes as well as weight loss.

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