The Myth – Exercising will make you lose weight.
This has been thought of as fact for so long that the majority of people that you talk to about it believe it (including myself until very recently). I’d even go as far as to say that we believe that the more exercise you do, the more weight you can lose.
The Facts – Exercise can help you burn calories, but not as many as we think…
Exercise is of course good for you and can burn calories, but according to this article in TIME Magazine – The problem is that we overestimate how many calories exercise actually burns and we ‘treat’ ourselves to foods that contain way more calories than we’ve burnt with the exercise we’ve just done. The net result of this being that we put on weight…
Why do we all believe the myth?
According to my OH it’s because ‘it’s what we’ve always been told’, basically its been programmed into our culture for so long that we just believe it. I think this is true, along with unhelpful promotion materials from gyms and sports centres that lead you to believe that in just a few mins on the treadmill you too could look like an Adonis!
How much exercise would you actually have to do to burn off those extra calories?
According to the Royal Society for Public Health – These are the amounts of exercise you would have to do to burn off the (approx) calories of our favourite foods:
-Chocolate bar – 229 calories – 42 mins walking
-Packet of crips – 171 calories – 31 mins walking
-Most worrying – a medium mocha coffee – 290 calories – 54 minutes walking!
So unless you plan on doing a lot of walking after eating, don’t eat these foods if you don’t want to gain weight!
No one is arguing that exercise isn’t good for you – Exercise can help with depression, lower the risk for heart disease and cancer, and reduce the risk and complications of diabetes. It can even grow new brain cells. I for one would like to do more and would encourage everyone to do it for the physical and mental health benefits! However, limiting your calorie intake is your best option if you want to lose weight and don’t get fooled into thinking that because you’ve upped the amount of exercise you are doing, that you can eat twice as much!