Recently, I usually get asked “I just started the workout and I keep exercising hard every day, sweating like a pig in the gym. However, my weight has increased during the past month.”
Are you going through a similar situation right now? If you are, this article is the best fit for you.
Is it Wrong to Lose Weight through Exercise?
A US study has shown that exercise does not necessarily lead to weight loss and may even result in weight gain. The study followed two groups of men and women for up to 16 months. Both groups exercised regularly every week.
In the first few months, girls generally lost weight, the most of which is up to 6kg, while boys can amount to 16kg, which is almost three times that of girls. But after about eight months, girls begin to gain weight increasingly, and the same results for boys a year later.
This data may upset you, and most of you may think that exercise cannot help lose weight.
Don’t jump to conclusions too early.
Exercise Alone won’t Really Lose Your Weight.
This result above is based on the premise that men and women have not changed their eating habits or their energy intake. It can only tell us that exercise alone is not enough to lose weight. If you do not change your eating habits, losing weight can just be a feint.
And one disappointing fact you may never want to accept is that it is much more difficult for girls to lose fat than boys! Extremely difficult!
To find out if exercise is actually a good way to lose weight, I followed up on a study from Arizona State University. This weight-loss test lasted for 12 months, involving 81 overweight women. They had to do aerobic training three times a week and every time for more than 30 minutes. The intensity of the aerobic training is about 80% of what a person can handle, which means if your maximum heart rate is 170, your heart rate when you are exercising will basically remain above 130 in the fat-burning zone.
Note that the study did not restrict their diet, meaning that in addition to exercise, these overweight women could eat whatever and as much as they wanted.
You may be curious about the result.
Just as I mentioned before, instead of losing fat, most of them gained weight and body fat.
This is rational in psychology. We always think that it’s totally fine to eat more to reward ourselves after exercising. Or there’s another explanation that your body will naturally take in extra energy to maintain the life it is not used to.
This study revealed another vital fact that how long will the weight gain caused by exercising last.
The answer is four weeks.
The researchers compared people who actually lost weight during the experiment with those who did not and found that the natural weight gain from exercise only lasted for four weeks.
Those who lost weight after four weeks continued to lose weight. And for those who failed to lose weight, of course, they would not be better.
Remember FOUR WEEKS. If you can’t lose weight after four weeks’ persistence, then it’s time to think about your diet.
To Lose Weight, You Also Need to Change Your Eating Habits.
You must be burning with anxiety now.
“Exercise is cheating on me, so does diet! How could I do?”
The key is that both exercise and diet are important in this long-term project of weight loss.
The human body has a huge complex mechanism. Let’s say, our bodies are actually homebodies which prefer keeping still than moving around, eat and store energy as much as they can. Your body is actually a rebellious teen that is always against your willingness.
When you exercise, your body will panic and think you’re going to die, and it will store up to two things it needs to survive, water and energy, namely glycogen here.
When you try new sports and increase the intensity, your body will be under great pressure, furthermore, with muscle fiber continuously being damaged and then being repaired (the feeling of pain after exercising is a muscle in repair), the process of muscle repair will be 24 to 36 hours after you exercise. The process of muscle damage is a sort of inflammation thus your body will naturally store water to fix that problem.
That is to say, within three days after exercise, the aching pain and weight gain are normal. Remember that pain is like inflammation which means you have to drink water. When you are no longer painful, water will be discharged naturally.
Your body’s energy source is glycogen produced by food burning. However, when you suddenly do more exercise, the food you eat will be transformed to glycogen for later use. The little extra you eat that would otherwise be converted to fat is now stored as glycogen, I mean, your motivation, because your body needs it. Sounds great, right?
Of course an encouraging thing! And that’s one of the reasons why people who exercise are more energetic.
“Can the glycogen make me heavy?”
No, when cells make more glycogen, they need a lot of water, so like 1 glycogen,3 water to store, so your body is storing more water.
“Bullshit! I just want to weigh lighter, no matter what glycogen or fat, I want to look thin and be really thin.”
So please insist on more than four weeks, because the water you stored will be discharged finally when your body adapts to your new life. This homebody can’t live without food anymore, so it will turn to your body fat.
And for those who are on a diet, you must exercise. Because if you don’t exercise, your body will go into the self-preservation phase where it tells the food you take in, “No! I can’t convert you to instant consumable glycogen, I have to convert you to fat and store it.
That’s why people who go on a diet become thin at first. But don’t count your chickens before they hatch. Hunger will also eat your muscles, and beneficial cells, brain cells, and the like. The basic metabolism drops, and the glycogen conversion rate is reduced.
So, only keep exercising and eat less oil and salt, less carbohydrate, drink water more can help you lose weight. Don’t be upset when you gain weight in the beginning, insist on it for four weeks, and then we’ll see.
Again, remember FOUR WEEKS!