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TIME Article: Why exercise won't make you thin
Old 09-19-2011, 09:31 AM   #1
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TIME Article: Why exercise won't make you thin

Good article with citations. Premise is that excerise is not an essential component to weight loss and in fact exercise (the high intensity kind) makes us more hungry so we tend to eat more than when not exercising.

I found it because I've been on WeightWatchers since May (and have lost 35 lbs) but have recently started riding >50 miles per weekend on my bike.

Since kicking up the riding I'm much more hungry than normal and while I'm still losing I was curious why I am so much more hungry than before starting the long distance riding...ergo the Google which produced the following article.

Why Exercise Won't Make You Thin - TIME

I'll be passing this article to MIL. She has a bad back and has ballooned in weight in recent years. Her excuse is that since she can't exercise she can't lose weight.
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Old 09-19-2011, 09:38 AM   #2
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Another reason I never bother to read TIME. The article subtitle was too stupid to read any further. I lost 35 lbs by exercising 4-5 times/week, didn't change my diet at all, but I certainly never would have rewarded myself with more "junk food." And kept it off by just continuing to exercise and eat sensibly.
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Old 09-19-2011, 09:39 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lisa99
Good article with citations. Premise is that excerise is not an essential component to weight loss and in fact exercise (the high intensity kind) makes us more hungry so we tend to eat more than when not exercising.

I found it because I've been on WeightWatchers since May (and have lost 35 lbs) but have recently started riding >50 miles per weekend on my bike.

Since kicking up the riding I'm much more hungry than normal and while I'm still losing I was curious why I am so much more hungry than before starting the long distance riding...ergo the Google which produced the following article.

Why Exercise Won't Make You Thin - TIME

I'll be passing this article to MIL. She has a bad back and has ballooned in weight in recent years. Her excuse is that since she can't exercise she can't lose weight.
Makes sense. One exercises to stay fit, maintain/add muscle mass, etc., though my reading suggests there are positive changes, relating to insulin regulation and other hormonal "stuff" that are the results of "exercise".
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Old 09-19-2011, 09:45 AM   #4
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Another reason I never bother to read TIME. The article subtitle was too stupid to read any further. I lost 35 lbs by exercising 4-5 times/week, didn't change my diet at all, but I certainly never would have rewarded myself with more "junk food." And kept it off by just continuing to exercise and eat sensibly.
granted the writer isn't the most profound, but I found the studies sprinkled throughout worth the read.

It is very common for a person to do heavy exercise and then feel they 'deserve' to eat junk because they've worked out. This will obviously negate any exercise benefit, but you have to be aware of it to be able to stop it since most people don't realize how many calories are in the stuff they're eating or how many calories their exercise burns.
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Old 09-19-2011, 09:58 AM   #5
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It is very common for a person to do heavy exercise and then feel they 'deserve' to eat junk because they've worked out. This will obviously negate any exercise benefit, but you have to be aware of it to be able to stop it since most people don't realize how many calories are in the stuff they're eating or how many calories their exercise burns.
I am sure it happens, but it's hard for me to imagine such counterproductive behavior. If you are motivated enough to begin an exercise program for the purpose of losing weight, it's hard to imagine the same person would also reward themself by eating more - and especially junk food as the article mentioned. I would think someone going on an exercise program would more likely be more conscientious about what they're eating, not less. Why bother if you are that ________?
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Old 09-19-2011, 09:59 AM   #6
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My engineering prof demonstrated this years ago. The number of calories it takes you to just stay alive are much greater than the calories that a moderate exercise program burns up. I think that the main reason exercise helps (when it does) is that it is hard to have your head in the refrigerator at the same time you are exercising.
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Old 09-19-2011, 10:00 AM   #7
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My engineering prof demonstrated this years ago. The number of calories it takes you to just stay alive are much greater than the calories that a moderate exercise program burns up. I think that the main reason exercise helps (when it does) is that it is hard to have your head in the refrigerator at the same time you are exercising.
So you believe metabolism can't be altered at all?
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Old 09-19-2011, 10:11 AM   #8
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I am sure it happens, but it's hard for me to imagine such counterproductive behavior. If you are motivated enough to begin an exercise program for the purpose of losing weight, it's hard to imagine the same person would also reward themself by eating more - and especially junk food as the article mentioned. I would think someone going on an exercise program would more likely be more conscientious about what they're eating, not less. Why bother if you are that ________?
I know it's hard to understand but I see the behavior first-hand every Saturday and Sunday.

There is a Dunkin Donuts at the end of the 37 mile Red Rock Canyon loop bike ride. Most of the riders that I see who go there after a ride get donuts/muffins/bagels and a Starbucks-type drink full of sugar and fat.

I burned approx. 1,450 calories during my Saturday ride and if I would have eaten/drank what they do it would have negated the effects of the ride. But I'm also aware of the number of calories in donut shop fare; whereas most aren't.
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Old 09-19-2011, 10:15 AM   #9
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So you believe metabolism can't be altered at all?
Metabolism can be altered for short periods of time (after a hard workout you burn more calories for about 10 - 12 hours afterwards) and as you increase the muscle to fat ratio you also burn more calories.

But the basal metabolic rate (mine anyway) is pretty stable. I wore a BodyBugg for many months almost full time. My BMR was consistently 1,800 calories per day.
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Old 09-19-2011, 10:28 AM   #10
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This Time article agrees with almost every serious controlled study that has ever been done, regardles of what some individual may say about his personal experience.

I would say that for that person who has had that good result, he should definitely continue, since he has done an experiment of one that worked. It also seems completely safe to try for anyone else too, as the cost of failure is only effort and failure, not death or some long lasting bad result.

But standing on the outside, I would have to say that an overwhelming number of well done controlled studies that show failure of exercise for weight loss are more convincing than some random stories from individual exercisers.

However, as I believe HFWR said above, there are other good reasons to exercise, including metabolic impreovements that do not depend on weight loss. Just do the exercise and you will get the health results, even if your weight does not change one ounce.
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Old 09-19-2011, 10:32 AM   #11
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Telling people exercise won't help is another way magazines sell copies by telling people what they want to believe.
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Metabolism can be altered for short periods of time (after a hard workout you burn more calories for about 10 - 12 afterwards) and as you increase the muscle to fat ratio you also burn more calories.

But the basal metabolic rate (mine anyway) is pretty stable. I wore a BodyBugg for many months almost full time. My BMR was consistently 1,800 calories per day.
Everything I've read says that's not true for exercise that builds muscle, sounds like the outcome from light cardio alone. Millions of people have lost weight through exercise. How did I lose 35 pounds and keep it off for now more than 10 years thru weight training (I did not change my eating habits, no more, but no less). Muscle is metabolically active, fat is not. You can find lots of supporting documentation, here's just one from Google.

Were you changing your behavior, exercise or whatever while monitoring your BMR? If not, I would expect it to be stable. I agree we inherit a range of metabolism, but we can change it somewhat with exercise that increases lean body mass.
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Body Composition. Body composition is the difference between total lean weight compared to fat weight. A higher percentage of lean body weight results in a high metabolic rate compared with individuals of the same weight with a higher fat percentage. A lean person burns many more calories than an overweight person at rest because lean body weight is metabolically active.
http://www.weightlossforall.com/fact...metabolism.htm
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Old 09-19-2011, 10:37 AM   #12
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I am sure it happens, but it's hard for me to imagine such counterproductive behavior. If you are motivated enough to begin an exercise program for the purpose of losing weight, it's hard to imagine the same person would also reward themself by eating more - and especially junk food as the article mentioned. I would think someone going on an exercise program would more likely be more conscientious about what they're eating, not less. Why bother if you are that ________?
Some people really enjoy hamburgers, pizza, chocolate ect, but they dont want to get fat so they exercise in order to be able to indulge in fattening foods they enjoy without blowing up like a balloon. In other words, they know they cant resist certain foods so they might as well exercise as well as eat badly.
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Old 09-19-2011, 10:39 AM   #13
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Some people really enjoy hamburgers, pizza, chocolate ect, but they dont want to get fat so they exercise in order to be able to indulge in fattening foods they enjoy without blowing up like a balloon. In other words, they know they cant resist certain foods so they might as well exercise as well as eat badly.
Definitely, I know someone who does exactly that. She works out almost 2 hours/day and then eats whatever she wants (never made sense to me), and she is in terrific shape. But that's the exception, not the sensible norm, as the article subtitle suggests.
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Old 09-19-2011, 10:44 AM   #14
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Back when, in my 30s, I was running 70 miles a week, I could eat pretty much what I wanted without putting on weight......and in Saudi a few years later doing marathon training a buddy & I would pig out, (oops can't say 'Saudi' & 'pig' in the same sentence...LOL), at our cafeteria every day and find we'd lost another 1lb by week's end.

If your expenditure exceeds your intake you'll lose weight.
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Old 09-19-2011, 10:49 AM   #15
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Back when, in my 30s, I was running 70 miles a week, I could eat pretty much what I wanted without putting on weight......and in Saudi a few years later doing marathon training a buddy & I would pig out, (oops can't say 'Saudi' & 'pig' in the same sentence...LOL), at our cafeteria every day and find we'd lost another 1lb by week's end.

If your expenditure exceeds your intake you'll lose weight.
Absolutely agree! Calories in vs calories out over the long run.

I realize there are differences with high protein diets, etc, but over the long run a calorie eaten is a calorie that must be burned to maintain a stable weight.
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Old 09-19-2011, 10:59 AM   #16
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Absolutely agree! Calories in vs calories out over the long run.

I realize there are differences with high protein diets, etc, but over the long run a calorie eaten is a calorie that must be burned to maintain a stable weight.
Sorta...
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Old 09-19-2011, 11:45 AM   #17
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2 year old article. I remember calling it stupid at the time it came out. I'm not going to go into details again, but the main problem is the word "won't". I'll agree it "might not", but exercise very definitely can help you lose weight. Just don't use it as an excuse to eat a lot more. And it won't work for everyone.
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Old 09-19-2011, 11:47 AM   #18
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Here is the earlier discussion about that article:

Why exercise won't make you lose weight.

I exercise for health and fitness and (try to) manage what I eat for weight control.
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Old 09-19-2011, 11:49 AM   #19
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Everything I've read says that's not true for exercise that builds muscle, ...
http://www.weightlossforall.com/fact...metabolism.htm
I read over the page you linked and several other subsidiary pages, but I don't find any evidence given -- just a series of unsupported statements. So, I don't believe that exercise loses weight. It's been my own experience that exercise does not help lose weight, others' experience, and that's what the evidence says. You have to diet.
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Old 09-19-2011, 11:55 AM   #20
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Back when, in my 30s, I was running 70 miles a week, I could eat pretty much what I wanted without putting on weight......
In my early 30's I could eat anything, not exercise, and remain flesh-and-bone skinny.

If you follow conventional recommendations dispensed by medical professionals (exercise 30 minutes a day and keep your calorie intake in the 2000-2500 cal/day range), I think that the weight loss benefits of exercise are going to be minimal.

I do 30 minutes of exercise per day and the 100-150 calories I burn are only a small fraction of the 2000-2500 cal/day provided by my diet. In other words, the calories burned by exercising can be negated by simply drinking an extra glass of low fat milk (110 cal).
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