The Myth of Exercise and Weight Loss

America’s children have an ally in First Lady Michelle Obama.

 

Since she moved into 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Ms. Obama has devoted herself to improving the dreadful obesity statistics of our country’s children. She created a White House Kitchen Garden, and championed the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, which gets junk food out of our schools and replaces it with more healthful menus.

 

She also has kicked off the “Let’s Move!” campaign, which encourages kids to climb off the couch and onto the monkey bars in order to lose some weight.

 

Unfortunately, like so many other public initiatives about losing weight (remember when they told us to eat fewer calories; and later, to stay away from fat?), this newest strategy is destined to fail too.

 

Why? Because plenty of solid research show that …

 

“Exercise is pretty useless for weight loss.”

That’s the conclusion of Eric Ravussin, head of the Department of Diabetes and Metabolism at Louisiana State University (LSU).

 

While it’s true that exercise does burn calories, what doctors and the experts don’t tell you is that it also stimulates your hunger, thus rendering it ineffective.

 

Exercise is futile for losing weight because it makes us eat more – and research shows that most people usually consume more food calories than they burned in their workout after it’s over.

 

In other words, exercise isn’t helping us lose weight. It’s actually making it harder.

 

This is proven by numerous studies.

 

Research, conducted at LSU, randomly assigned overweight women to four groups. Women in three of the groups were asked to work out with a personal trainer for 72 minutes, 136 minutes, or 194 minutes every week for six months. Women in the fourth group (the control) were told to maintain their usual physical-activity routines. All the women were asked not to change their eating habits one bit.

 

These findings were surprising, to say the least…

All the women lost weight, but those who sweated it out with a trainer several days a week lost no more than the control group did. Any many of the exercising women actuallygained weight – with some adding 10 pounds or more!

 

BTW … The fact that exercise stimulates our appetite is why many fast-food restaurants add playgrounds to their property. Corporate food psychologists know that when kids play five minutes and burn 50 calories, they’re more likely to go inside and gobble 500 calories or even 1,000 worth of food.

 

Even though exercise has never been proven effective for losing weight, the experts keep pushing this wrong-headed belief on overweight people.

 

First they claimed all you needed was 30 minutes of physical activity performed two or three days a week to reduce your weight.

 

But not a single study found this effective.

So they upped the ante.

 

Recently, the American College of Sports Medicine and the American Heart Association (AHA) issued new guidelines. These stated that “to lose weight … 60 to 90 minutes of physical activity per session may be necessary.”

 

Not only is this unrealistic for most people with families and jobs – but imagine how hungry all this extra exercise can make you!

 

I’m all for exercise and physical activity. It’s part of my daily life because it keeps me strong and energetic — and I love how it makes me feel.

 

I also know my regular workouts will lengthen my life and protect my brain, while fostering peak mental performance and emotional well-being.

 

But one benefit it won’t provide is weight loss.

 

Only diet can achieve this.

 

Only by abstaining from the fattening carbohydrate “products” (no way can you call them foods) such as sugar and sweets … sodas and fruit juices … bread and baked goods made from white flour … chips and snacks made from refined grains … pasta, white rice, and white potatoes … can you lose weight and stay slim.

 

These wildly popular foodstuffs make (and keep) you fat because they trigger insulin, the hormone that governs fat storage. Here’s how it works…

 

Refined carbs (also called “fast carbs”) break down into blood sugar (otherwise known as glucose) as soon as you eat them. Because elevated blood sugar is toxic to your body, insulin’s job is to remove it from your bloodstream.

 

It does this by turning glucose into fat (called triglycerides) and storing it in your fat cells so it can be used as fuel between meals and while you’re sleeping.

 

But if you’re constantly munching fast carbs snacks and sipping sugary drinks, those fats never get used because insulin keeps them locked in your fat cells.

 

It’s a vicious cycle…

Eating more fast carbs spike your sugar which triggers more insulin.

 

And because insulin won’t let the fat out of your cells to be burned as energy, you feel hungry and crave more even carb foods.

 

At the same time, your body begins to conserve energy because insulin keeps the fuel locked in your fat cells.

 

The result is that you keep eating – and insulin keeps turning those carbs into more body fat.

 

And the bigger your body gets, the less energetic you feel. So the last thing you feel like doing is hit the gym or the jogging trail.

 

But let’s say you force yourself to exercise because of all the public pressure…

 

One half-hour on a stair-stepper — or a brisk one-hour walk — burns about 100 calories, the caloric content of a slice of bread!

 

And you’ve already seen how working out works up an appetite. So the chances that you consume at least this many extra calories are very good.

 

The science is very clear on this:

It’s what you eat (or abstain from) — not how hard you try to work it off — that shows up on your scale or waistline.

 

And it isn’t about eating fewer calories, either. (Like exercise, restricting your calorie intake just makes you hungrier too.)

 

Here’s the real solution:

 

The easiest, surest way to slim down is simply to stop consuming the insulin-provoking fast carbs that prevent your body from burning off its fat reserves and that pump-up your fat cells instead.

In fact, this was the mainstream dietary advice as far back as the 1950s. And there’s plenty of scientific research to show how and why it works.

 

You may wonder why, if the truth is so well-established, that you keep hearing otherwise, even from the well-intentioned First Lady.  I suggest: follow the money. The fast food and soda lobbyists spend millions ($56,771,216 in 2009!) to hide the truth about how harmful these fattening products are to the public’s health. Go to http://www.opensecrets.org/lobby/indusclient.php?lname=N01&year=2009 [1] to see how much each company actually spent three years ago, to quash talk of a soda tax.

 

It’s much easier to blame our current epidemic of obesity and overweight on consumers themselves for being lazy and slothful – and to pretend that exercising more or eating less will solve the problem.

 

This way the blame gets passed to the victims.

 

And if you’re at risk for diabetes, you’ll see how to turn the tables by visiting this link [2].

 

Don’t fall for this shameful deception

 

So please quit torturing yourself by trying to stick with the latest fad diet — or eating less.

 

And stop feeling guilty because you’re “not exercising enough.”

 

After all, this is what the Big Sugar and Big Carb industries want you to do. (And let’s not forget about the enormous profits that Big Medicine and Big Pharma rake in from the diseases that these fattening foods are directly linked to.)

 

As for the First Lady’s “Let’s Move!” campaign, I’m all for seeing our kids put down their PlayStations and pick up the exercise habit.

 

But educating America’s youth about the foods that really make them fat and ill will have a far more positive effect on their health and self-esteem than causing them to feel guilty about not being active enough.

 

Maybe Ms. Obama should re-name her campaign: “Let’s Be Real!”


Article adapted from My Healing Kitchen: http://myhealingkitchen.com

URL to article: http://myhealingkitchen.com/featured-articles/the-myth-of-exercise-and-weight-loss/

URLs in this post:

[1] http://www.opensecrets.org/lobby/indusclient.php?lname=N01&year=2009: http://www.opensecrets.org/lobby/indusclient.php?lname=N01&year=2009

[2] visiting this link: http://go.clickmeter.com/30ddc-oped2011Mar17/

 

About Jim Healthy

Jim Healthy™ is a prolific health writer with a life-long dedication to researching and publishing the most important health discoveries of our time -- and creating practical “action plans” that help readers incorporate these new medical findings in their daily lives. He is the co-author of The Healthy Body Book, Arthritis Interrupted, The 30 Day Diabetes Cure, and The Healing Kitchen.
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