Exercising to Lose Weight

Every morning for the past two years, as I made my way to my gym, I was witness to the dedication of a few people as they went on a morning walk. Some walked vigorously, others not so much. Most were fairly regular. Still, others came to the gym to run on treadmills or even used the stair climber. I do not claim to have the sensors of a weighing scale, but it is safe to say, none of them ever lost any weight. Many gymnasiums advertise the magical properties of crossing their hallowed thresholds. Step through, and the weight will melt away, you are told.

In fact, if you are strength training, you should be putting on weight. How can you possibly add muscle and not add weight? If you are just starting weight training, you should be adding up to 1.5% of your body weight as muscle per month. If you are not watching your food, you may end up completely confused as along with muscle you may end up also adding body fat. Worse, depending on your exercise routine and diet, you may even lose body muscle and not lose body fat. Muscle loss occurs because when you exercise, your body may use its muscles as a source of energy. Your goal is actually to lose body fat and gain body muscle, never mind your weight at the end of the process. Confused? I do not blame you. It is this confusion that is routinely exploited to sell you supposed solutions. Your mirror tells a different story.

Exercise’s come in various forms. The benefits of most activities quickly plateau for example a regular morning walk loses its value soon. Your body adjusts. The only way to truly lose weight is to watch what you eat. Exercises only help when you get into your fat burning zone. My apologies to the people walking everyday struggling to lose their weight.


Ritesh is a born again health enthusiast and holds a Certificate in Physiology from Harvard Medical School and a Certificate in Nutrition from Tufts University.