You're Exercising Like Crazy but Not Seeing Results...Here's Why

Dec 26, 2019

 

Click here to see a replay of the Facebook LIVE discussion. 

You Will Learn

  • Why weight gain is a hormonal, not caloric problem
  • 3 reasons exercise is overrated for weight loss
  • How to sign-up for my free live masterclass to learn how to actually lose weight and prevent disease

 

Not Seeing Progress?

If your New Year’s Resolution in 2019 was to improve your fitness, exercise more, and/or lose weight by doing so...but you still didn’t see the types of results you wanted, this article is for you. 

I’m going to explain why exercise is a big piece of the healthy lifestyle and disease prevention puzzle, but a relatively small piece to the weight loss puzzle.

Why do you think you see people go to the gym or an exercise class day after day and look exactly the same month after month. Maybe YOU are that person!

You are working your tail off, getting your 10,000 steps per day, doing all the things you think you are supposed to do to burn calories and lose weight, but it’s just not working. 

Why?

 

Weight Gain is a Hormonal Not Caloric Problem

Well, a big reason is that exercise is only responsible for a small proportion of the weight you lose. The long-standing theory that weight loss is about balancing your calories in and calories out has created a bunch of cardio gym busters who are so focused about how many calories they burned and equating that to the food they ate. 

Here is a hint...strength training and building muscle is more important than cardio not only for weight loss, but for disease prevention. 

The calorie theory seems completely logical. The problem is that weight gain is a hormonal, not a caloric imbalance. 

Do girls gain weight during puberty because they are eating more? No. Their hormones are changing. 

Do women gain weight when they are pregnant because they are eating more? Being pregnant myself I’ll tell you I have a bigger appetite but the amount of weight I gain doesn’t equal the amount of extra calories I’m taking in. Many women eat less during pregnancy due to nausea but they still gain weight. That is because our hormones are changing. 

How about menopause? The reason you gain more weight around the mid-section is because the estrogen levels you once had were protective against abdominal fat. Once estrogen levels drop, your body fat is redistributed. Once again, a hormonal, not caloric problem. 

Does a patient gain weight when they take corticosteroids because they are eating more? No, medications can have side effects on your hormones and water retention that affect weight. 

 

The Math Just Doesn’t Add Up

How about those who are meticulously eating 250 fewer calories and burning 250 more calories per day to get a 500 net calorie deficit per day. 500 x 7 = 3500 and there are 3500 calories in a pound of fat so IN THEORY they should be losing exactly one pound per week. 

But we all know it doesn't work like this. It may work in the first few weeks, but eventually weight loss using this method slows down and the weight usually comes back on, even if they are continuing to diet. 

 

Elevated Insulin Causes Weight Gain

You gain weight because of elevated levels of insulin. Insulin is your fat creation and storage hormone.

If your insulin levels are too high for too long, you can develop insulin resistance. Insulin resistance is the precursor to a myriad of conditions that not surprisingly tend to occur in tandem with each other - high blood pressure, elevated blood triglycerides and cholesterol, and high blood sugar. 

There are certain lifestyle factors that are modifiable such as your nutrition, the types of exercise you do, your sleep and stress that all contribute to the development of insulin resistance. 

 

3 Reasons Why Exercise Has Little to do with Weight Loss 

Disclaimer: There are many health benefits and exercise has been proven to be a key component in healthy aging and disease prevention. But when it comes to weight loss we are tremendously over-estimating its utility.  

We need to re-think exercise and put a heavier focus on functional, moderate-to-high intensity strength training, and less of a focus on just burning calories. Every little bit counts, but being more strategic in your exercise approach can give you a greater return on your investment. 

 

Reason #1: Exercise is a Small Percentage of the Total Calories We Burn 

The real term for “calories out” is total energy expenditure, or how much energy our body uses.  

Total energy expenditure = basal metabolic rate + thermogenic effect of food + non-exercise activity thermogenesis + excess post-exercise oxygen consumption + exercise. 

Definitions

Basal Metabolic Rate: Housekeeping items for your body, things like breathing, maintaining body temperature, keeping the heart pumping and blood flowing, maintaining organ function, and keeping our brains active.  

Thermogenic Effect of Food: Energy used in digestion and absorption of food.  

Non-exercise Activity Thermogenesis: The energy used for everyday movement like getting in or out of bed, walking around the house, basically and ACTIVITY that is not intentional EXERCISE.  

Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption: Energy used to repair cells, replenish fuel stores, and other recovery activities after exercise.  

Exercise: Any intentional activity above and beyond day-to-day movements.  

We have wrongfully assumed that the only variable in the total energy expenditure equation is exercise, even though it is a very small part of the equation (about 10% for people who exercise). 

Research has shown that decreasing how many calories you eat will decrease your basal metabolic rate, or how many calories your body burns naturally. I cover this in more depth in this post

 

Reason #2: Your Body Adjusts to Counteract the Calories Burned by Exercise  

  • Reducing calories in reduces calories out. Increasing calories out increases calories in. In other words, if you burn calories with exercise you will want to replace those with eating. 
  • Reducing non-exercise activity following exercise.  

Have you ever done a hard workout, gone for a walk, or just did yard work and were all of a sudden hungry afterwards?

This is the first compensation your body makes. Following activity, your body increases your hunger hormones so that we eat more. This is because your body tries to maintain something called homeostasis, or a stable state.  

The second compensation your body makes is reducing non-exercise activity following a workout. If you ran 3 miles today you are going to be more likely to take the elevator, park close to the door, or skip the evening walk.  

 

Reason #3: You Can’t Out-Exercise a Bad Diet 

There are not enough hours in the day to exercise off the excess and unhealthy food you eat. You can save yourself a lot of time and effort by just adopting a healthier diet.

Besides, weight gain is a hormonal, not caloric problem. We need to shift our mindset from how can I burn more calories to…

  1. How can I build more muscle to increase my metabolism and let my body burn more calories naturally. 
  2. How can I lower my insulin levels and thus body set weight. 

What you eat is only part of the insulin lowering equation. When you eat, the type of exercise you do, your sleep, and stress are other important factors that are often overlooked when losing weight. 

 

You Are Invited…

If you are reading or watching this post live, I’m hosting a FREE masterclass, “The 3 Behind-the-Scenes Secrets to Weight Loss Success After 50” to help you learn how to actually lose weight by lowering your insulin levels/insulin resistance. 

By adopting certain lifestyle changes, you not only lose weight, you lower your blood sugar, triglycerides, cholesterol, and blood pressure to lower your overall risk of developing disease. 

I have four live dates and a limited-time replay option if you can’t attend live. To register for that masterclass, click HERE

Download My Free Weight Loss Masterclass

This free 55-minute training explains why insulin resistance and inflammation are at the heart of weight gain ... and how to fix them!