It’s almost sinful to suggest that exercise should not be the main focus when attempting to achieve your perfect weight.
But I’m going to do it anyway!
While the benefits of exercise are widely known (I even exercise almost daily), and there are countless fitness plans all over the internet showing people how to burn fat and lose weight by exercising more and eating less.
This all sounds pretty reasonable, but is it effective?
Of course it’s not effective! Sure, these fitness plans often include the infamous before and after photos, where one is a blurry shot of the person frowning and slumped over in a bizarrely unattractive pose, while the second one is a professional picture where suddenly the person’s hair is combed, they are dressed nicely, and appearing happy and confident!
And yes, these before-and-after people probably did all lose some weight on the calories in/calories out plan, with lots of exercise and restricting of calories. But it will not last in most cases.
This is because the focus is in the wrong place. Many people have seen the fat melt away from their bodies by simply cutting way back on their carbohydrate consumption, but remaining sedentary! Now, I wouldn’t recommend a sedentary lifestyle; it’s simply not healthy. But most of your success in achieving a permanent fit body will come from your nutrition, not how many hours a day you can pound yourself into the ground and burn away calories.
How is this possible?
One problem is, when you exercise, you will often stimulate your appetite, and be tempted to overeat.
Another is that a fitness program that is exercise-intensive and calorie-restrictive is not sustainable for most people.
And finally, exercise can act almost as a band aid for psychological addictions to food or certain kinds of food.
In part 2 we will explore these 3 aspects of fat burning and fitness plans in greater detail.
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