Those that make it a goal to lose weight, typically take one of two avenues to accomplish their goal: an exercise routine, or a diet. In an ideal world, you’d be able to do both, but it can be hard to commit to two big lifestyle changes at the same time.
Those that have committed to exercise for weight loss may find results to be spotty if there are results at all. If you’re regularly working out and not seeing any results, you may be wondering why. This blog dives into why exercise may not be helping you lose weight.
Exercise Can Cause Overeating
It’s easy to overeat when exercising for weight loss for two reasons. First and foremost, you’re burning calories when you exercise. Naturally, after using up stored energy and calories, your body will send signals that you need to replenish by eating more. Depending on how you’re replenishing your body, you may be consuming more calories than you can actually work off through exercise.
Exercising also tends to speed up your metabolism. With both of these factors working to increase your appetite, it becomes very easy to overeat. The amount of calories you consume in a matter of minutes could take hours to work off through exercise. Thus, if you’re exercising, but you haven’t changed your diet, you’re going to have a hard time losing weight.
Your Body Isn’t Able To Recover
Another common mistake when exercising for weight loss is performing strenuous levels of exercise without proper breaks. Your body needs time to recover after workouts. That’s why most programs include a weekly rest day. While you’re resting, your body burns fat and energy to repair muscles and replace glycogen with muscles.
Your metabolism actually rises after exercise and not during exercise as your body uses the fat and calories to recover. If you’re never giving your body a break, then you’re not fully enabling your body to speed up your metabolism and burn through fat while resting. You won’t lose as much weight if you don’t add periods of rest into your routines.
You May Have Slowed Down Your Metabolism
While your metabolism tends to speed up after exercise, there are ways you could still accidentally slow down your metabolism. If you’re working out more, but also drastically reducing your calories, your metabolism can start to slow down to prevent muscle loss and deal with the drop in caloric intake.
Ultimately, weight loss is a very complex process. Exercise has many health benefits and it can aid in your weight loss journey. However, taking up exercise alone is not the most effective way to lose weight. A change in diet is typically more effective than exercise. In fact, if you change your diet, you can lose a life changing amount of weight without ever exercising. The key to healthy weight loss is consuming fresh, whole foods and avoiding processed foods, processed sugars, and preservatives.
Of course, you should also keep in mind that there are other factors besides movement and diet that could be contributing to your weight problem. Stress, dehydration, and lack of sleep have also been shown to cause weight gain. If possible, working to increase sleep, drink more water, and reduce stress will go a long way in helping you accomplish your weight loss goals.