You hear it all the time, right? The “magic potion” to losing weight is a combination of exercise and healthy eating. But… what if it’s not? This idea is actually a lot more complicated than it looks so let’s unpack this common weight loss approach.
Large body = no exercise?
This ol nugget of “exercise more” is really built off the assumption that all small people are sufficiently active and all large people are inactive. Therefore, if we make large people more active they will become smaller.
That’s actually not what comes through in research. What research finds is that about half of people with a “normal” BMI are sufficiently active and about half of people with a higher BMI are also sufficiently active*
If exercise did automatically mean weight loss, this statement would look really different. You’d expect it to show a lot more small people who are active and a lot less large people.
There’s no way I can look at your body – whatever shape or size that may be – and how active or inactive you are.
Exercise is actually not all that great for weight loss
In research studies that specifically look at the impact of exercise on body weight, the different between the intervention group and the control is not much – a couple of kilos at most.
Even if exercise does lead to weight loss, there’s no guarantee the weight will stay off
There is no proven method of weight loss that leads to lasting change, for the vast majority of people. In fact, the effect of “lifestyle changes” maxes out at about the 6 month mark. After that, things can not go so well. 95% of people who try and lose weight end up putting the weight back on.
want to know more? Go check out my research section
If you don’t lose weight, what will happen to your exercise routine?
You’re sleeping better, are far less anxious, have so much extra energy, it’s easier to go up a flight of stairs and its getting easier to lift things around… and yet you feel like a failure and like this exercise business is all too hard because the scales. are. just. not. budging.
I find this a really interesting observation.
Clients have no problem listing off half a dozen positive things about movement and then follow up with “but its not working because I’m not losing weight” ” I must be doing something wrong, the scales aren’t shifting”
Clients will tell me that movement just isn’t for them or they’ve decided to stop. When we explore this, the lack of weight loss is actually so demotivating that they want to stop moving all together.
There are 275902 reasons to move but weight loss isn’t one of them
Bodies generally feel good when they get some form of movement, on some form of regular basis. What form that movement takes is entirely up to you. Focusing on the dozens of benefits that movement brings outside of temporary weight loss can help you find the joy in movement and find movement you actually enjoy doing. Imagine that!