You’ve probably grown up with the notion that increasing the amount of exercise in your daily routine is the key to weight loss. To many people, this means pushing yourself to the limit and criticizing yourself when you don’t get the results you want. But it turns out that exercise isn’t the most effective way to lose weight after all.
The Research Tells the Story
According to Science Alert, there are three ways your body uses energy, resting metabolism, food breakdown and physical activity. Oddly enough, it’s your resting metabolism, which is the rate at which your body performs such basic functions as breathing that burns the most calories daily. In fact, exercise has a weak correlation with the calories you burn.
A recent study at the University of Copenhagen found that exercising less may prove more beneficial in the long-term. When you exercise more, you tend to get hungrier. When you get hungrier, you eat more. Consuming more food puts back the calories you burned, thereby negating the effects of your previous workout. Not only that, you’re more likely to sit down for longer periods of time due to the fatigue from a heavy work out whereas a person who’s done less will have the energy to keep moving.
The Answer is Simple
So, what is the secret to getting a thinner waistline? It’s not what you do, but what you eat. Your diet is the single biggest factor in your battle to lose weight. Adding more fruits, vegetables and legumes while subtracting sugary, high-calorie snacks, improves your overall health and well-being. Eating healthy also increases your projected life-span.
But just before you stow your treadmill up in the attic, don’t forget that exercise is still incredibly important in keeping your muscles strong, your mind sharp, and your mood lifted. Without it, you’re at a greater risk for contracting cardiovascular diseases and even certain types of cancers. Exercise on its own may not be as beneficial as once thought, but in conjunction with a well-balanced diet, it’s a true life-saver.
While it’s difficult to know how much or how little to do when it comes to your diet and exercise routine, one thing is for sure. Everyone’s body is unique, so what works for one person may not work for you. So, it’s up to you to discover the perfect balance for your individual needs through trial and error. Remember, that slight tweak in your routine may just make all the difference.