Exercising is good for your health, but exercising for the sole purpose of losing weight can lead to both physical and emotional health implications. This is why you shouldn’t exercise to lose weight. The human body can use up 1600 to 2400 calories a day, and exercise can help to burn only a certain number of these calories. The rest are burned during sleep or are stored in the form of fat. According to research, 70 percent of calories are burned by basal metabolism, 20 percent by physical movement, and 10 percent is burned up by the process of digesting food.
So if you are wondering why am I not burning as many calories, it is because even individuals who do rigorous exercise find it hard to burn more than 20 percent calories. Your basal metabolic rate plays a vital role in maintaining a healthy weight as it determines the number of calories your body burns at rest. Understanding your BMR is essential for determining your daily calorie intake. So if you wish to lose weight, you need to shift your focus from an exercise-only weight loss regime to one that gives equal importance to exercise and calorie-specific diet.
What causes weight gain?
Water, muscle mass, and fat are the main components that add up to an individual’s weight. Fat is nothing but sources of energy stored in the body. The body does not directly tap into the fat reserves as it uses glucose, found in carb-rich foods, as an instant source of energy. When glucose is present in the blood, insulin is produced to regulate blood sugar. Insulin also converts excess glucose into fat. It is found that high levels of insulin in the blood lead to a condition called insulin resistance, which leads to a large number of complications, including hormonal imbalances in women and extreme weight gain in the abdominal area for both men and women.
While storing fat is an important step to help you survive during famine-like situations when the fat reserves are not depleted periodically, it begins to accumulate around the visceral organs leading to obesity. This is why lifestyle diseases are more prevalent now than during earlier decades when hard labor and minimum access to food was the way of life. With exercise, you may lose excess water or may also experience atrophy; such weight loss is not sustained for an extended period and is often quickly regained, causing emotional stress.
For achieving your ideal body weight, it is imperative to lose weight in the form of fat, and this can be achieved with the right diet plan. So now that we understand the role of fat in weight gain, let us talk about how you can lose excess fat and achieve your fitness goals.
Know the right diet plan for you
Some say the food is medicine. While this is true, only the right food, eaten in the right proportion, can heal, nourish, and strengthen your body. Too much of anything, even food, can create debilitating diseases that can lessen the quality of your life. Now there are hundreds of weight-loss diet plans, but only a few can give you actual results. The low fat, high carb diet combined with exercise is often less effective for maintaining long term weight loss.
The answer to sustained weight loss is a low carb, high protein, and high (good) fat diet that will reduce or nullify the amount of glucose produced in the body and directly use the fat reserves to produce what is known as clean energy. While glucose burns only 4 calories per gram, fat cells burn around 9 calories per gram, which means you will have increased energy while losing weight. This is great news as most low fat and high carb diet leaves you sluggish all day, which is not how you should feel when you want to lose weight.
If you are worried about including high-fat food items in your diet, choose good fats over highly processed fatty food items. Sources of good fats include avocados, nuts, pure desi ghee, butter, fish, and certain varieties of cheese, etc. You can adapt a high fat, high protein, low carb diet plan that stimulates fat loss, improve your basal metabolism, and helps in weight loss. Combine such a diet with an exercise routine of your choice for sustained weight-loss.