Does exercise really matter, as long as I eat well?

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Joined: Sep 11
Posts: 56

Posted: 07 Aug 2013, 15:55
This is an article I found in a magazine that I subscribe to, by Dr. Neal D. Barnard, MD. The magazine is Vegetarian Times September 2013, or you can go here to read the article:

“Question: I really do not like exercising. Does exercise matter, as long as I eat well?

Answer: It depends. If your goal is weight loss, then exercise probably isn’t the answer. The fact is, exercise has a much more modest effect on your weight than you might imagine. Don’t believe it? Try this little test: go to the gym, hop on a treadmill, and run flat-out for a mile. Then, as you wipe your brow, push the little button that tells how many calories you’ve burned. It turns out to be only about 100. That’s less than half the calories in a 20-ounce soda. A more serious workout will burn more calories, but your appetite will tend to compensate for your exercise, so you’ll find yourself eating more.

Researchers have found that a lack of exercise has played almost no role in the obesity epidemic. Yes, we are not as physically active as we might be, but the changes in physical activity over time have been much too small to account for expanding waistlines. The obesity epidemic has been fueled by food, not sloth.

My research team tested the effect of a plant-based diet alone-without exercise-for people who needed to lose weight and found that the pounds dropped off even in sedentary people. So while exercise does burn calories and theoretically ought to help with weight loss, the truth is that your plate matters a lot more than your sneakers.

Having said all that, don’t cancel your gym membership. Exercise has many benefits. For one, it boosts HDL (ie: “good”) cholesterol and reduces tryglycerides, and the effect is beg enough that your doctor will likely see the difference on your next cholesterol test. Exercise is crucial for strong bones too. At every stage of life, from childhood through old age, weight-bearing exercise gives your bones a reason to live. Exercise also helps you sleep better and feel more emotionally stable.

What may be most exciting is the effect of physical activity on the brain. Researchers from four universities collaborated on a study that asked a group of seniors to take a brisk walk three times a week, and over time, this practice noticeably improved their performance on memory tests and even increased the size of the brain structures involved in memory. You might like to know that the exercise program was designed with the sedentary in mind. The seniors started with just a brisk 10-minute walk, three times a week for the first week, then added five minutes each week: the walks were 15 minutes the second week, 20 minutes the third week and so on until the participants were walking 40 minutes three times a week. Additional studies show that over the long run, exercisers are much less likely to develop serious memory problems that plague so many people.”

So, what are your thoughts?
Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass, but learning to dance in the rain.


Starting Weight 228 - 3/29/13
Weight Goal 220 - Met:5/16/13
Weight Goal 210 - Met: 7/14/13
Weight Goal 200 - Met: 9/15/13
Weight Goal 190 -

Joined: Dec 10
Posts: 669

Posted: 07 Aug 2013, 16:20
Good advice, and supported by the research on the subject. Exercise has a lot of benefits, but it's not an efficient way to lose body fat - an hour of strenuous cardio might burn 600 calories or less. And then if you are less active the rest of the day, the lower energy expenditure during the resting hours can offset some or even all of the exercise.

Exercise can help with health, performance, mood, energy levels, and body composition especially, but when it comes to weight, exercise tends to be more helpful for maintaining a lower weight rather than getting you there in the first place.

Joined: Sep 09
Posts: 197

Posted: 07 Aug 2013, 16:58
Good Read. "the truth is that your plate matters a lot more than your sneakers." I've been fighting this for awhile now, but have found it to be so true. I am a regular exerciser, but not a good eater. Haven't really lost any weight for quite some time and kept thinking, but I'm exercising. That's not the whole story, I need to eat better, better food and less of it! I will continue to exercise because I like all the other nonlosing benefits that come with it, though.
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Posted: 08 Aug 2013, 02:51
Does exercise matter to lose weigth? No. Not really.
Does exercise matter to look good once you lost the weight? You bet.
Visit my website:

"Losing weight is never about eating as little as possible"
- Kingkeld.
"You wouldn't worry so much about what others think of you if you realized how seldom they do.
― Eleanor Roosevelt
"Do. Or do not. There is no trying."
- Master Yoda.

I went from morbidly obese to being the owner of TABDIG - a weight loss coaching service that helps people worldwide losing weight. It's been an amazing journey. From October 4th 2010 to April 3rd 2012 I lost half my body weight - 80 kilos/170 lbs. Since then, I have had two cosmetic surgeries to remove excess skin. I have now quadrupled my strength, gained several kilos in muscle mass, and today I focus on building muscle, optimizing my diet, living healthy and helping people to reach the very same goals. I am stronger, healthier, thinner, happier! If you feel that you need help losing weight, don't hesitate to send me an inbox message.

Joined: Sep 11
Posts: 56

Posted: 08 Aug 2013, 13:02
I thought it was a really interesting article. And I agree, exercise matters to look good once you've lost the weight. But I also know, that I've lost weight, we're looking at 20 pounds since 3/28/13 and I haven't done any exercising. I do plan to start exercising once I reach my next weight goal, nothing major, just walking or maybe some ab work.

Like I said, I thought it was an interesting read, and I wanted to see how other people responded to the article as well. Thank you to all who responded.
Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass, but learning to dance in the rain.


Starting Weight 228 - 3/29/13
Weight Goal 220 - Met:5/16/13
Weight Goal 210 - Met: 7/14/13
Weight Goal 200 - Met: 9/15/13
Weight Goal 190 -
Re Becca

Joined: Sep 12
Posts: 727

Posted: 08 Aug 2013, 13:34
Exercise has numerous benefits for health that we all agree, so I won't mention it. But exercise helps with weight loss in two ways: you burn some calories and can have a higher RDI, which makes easier to stick with a diet plan; and you build muscle what increase your BMR and makes you spend more energy just standing still. And of course, a toner body looks way better than a flaccid one - my opinion! Smile
If you focus on results, you will never change. If you focus on change, you will get results.

Joined: Oct 15
Posts: 4

Posted: 22 Apr 2016, 04:18

It matters.

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