Friday, August 14, 2009

The Myth About Exercise

That's the front page headlines of this week's Time magazine. The writer says that while exercise may be good for you, it will not help you lose weight, it's watching what you eat that really counts.

I can already hear some of you groaning-"what??? All my exercise was done in vain." Well, this is what the writer of the article 'Why Exercise Won't Make You Thin' attempts to tell us why exercise is unnecessary for weight loss.I do not agree with him, and here's why.

The writer claims that working out is ineffective in promoting weight loss because exercise makes people hungry. So you tend to eat a lot more after you exercise, worse still he says that after exercising he indulges in some junk food (to reward himself) because he deserves it. He thinks that exercising is a waste of time and he stops eating desserts and didn't gain weight. This he thinks is evidence enough that by eating less you can lose weight.

The few articles he quoted did seem to support what he wrote, but there are many many more articles that don't support what he wrote at all(which he didn't include).

Those of you who've tried dieting know that yes you do lose weight fairly easily and quickly but you do know that the weight comes back super quick once you stop. Moreover, your metabolic rate slows down while you are dieting and after a while the weight loss will plateau.

If you eat more than what you use (in terms of calorie expenditure), you will gain weight. If what you use (especially if you exercise) is more than what you eat, then you will lose weight. This is the way I explain to my patients/ friends when they asked me for advice on losing weight. So even if you ran an hour on the treadmill and reward yourself with a plate of fried kuay tiao or brownie (or fill in your own favorite), then you probably won't lose much weight.

So, what have I gotta do to lose weight? well, you combine exercise with clever eating and do it on a long term to lose weight and keep the weight off. Come talk to us if you need any advice on this.

Plus there are other good reasons to exercise, please also see this and this.
This Time magazine article is probably what most people will read and think that they don't have to exercise. Certainly, not the best read for our increasing numbers of overweight children as well. Please tell your friends that it's not true.

Please email me if you want a copy of the Time article.

1 comment:

  1. If it were true, than all professional atheletes would be fat since they eat a lot more than normal folks.