Why don't you lose weight from fitness?

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Why don't you lose weight from fitness?
Why don't you lose weight from fitness?

Find out scientifically how your body burns calories and why fitness is not always effective at fighting fat. Sports can improve health and lose weight. However, this may not be enough to achieve the set goal. Today we will tell you why fitness classes will not help you lose weight. And this is largely due to the fact that a person does not change other aspects of his lifestyle. This article contains research findings on the relationship between physical activity and weight loss.

Often, trainers in the gym claim that after a day of binge eating, all the negative effects of this can be eliminated with the help of an exercise bike or treadmill. This topic is also actively discussed by well-known personalities and, naturally, food producers. Many people believe everything they have heard, and as a result, the sales of subscriptions to fitness centers, sports nutrition products, as well as all kinds of video lessons with workouts are sharply increasing.

Unfortunately, most of the statements in practice turn out to be false and this is one of the answers to the question why fitness classes will not help you lose weight? Contrary to popular belief, just by playing sports, you will not be able to lose weight. The fact is that all our energy throughout the day comes from food. Even if you exercise every day, you can burn only 10-30 percent of the calories you receive.

Few people know that physical activity activates a number of changes in the body that have a serious impact on the amount of energy consumed, its expenditure, as well as the final body weight. This suggests that while maintaining your usual lifestyle and attending the gym, you should not seriously count on significant success in terms of losing weight.

But for improving health, physical activity is extremely useful. However, let's move a little away from talking about sports and its effect on body weight, turning our attention to our health care. Now officially international organizations have announced an obesity epidemic. At the same time, reproaches are most often heard against the low physical activity of the population and their consumption of a large number of calories. This is true in principle. But other factors cannot be ruled out. First of all, it is necessary to start a serious war with the poor quality food that has flooded our supermarkets.

How does the body drain energy?

Sportive guy and girl outdoors

Let's start a conversation on the topic of why fitness classes will not help you lose weight, with the research of the famous anthropologist Herman Pontzer (Hunter College in New York City). He conducted research on the lifestyle of the Hadza tribe living in Tanzania. These people still live on hunting and gathering.

It is quite obvious that their way of life could not be called sedentary and Pontzer was sure that these were real machines for burning energy. For most of the day, men have to hunt down and chase prey, while women gather berries and roots. It was during the study of Hadza that one could count on confirmation of the truth known to many - a sedentary image is to blame for obesity. The scientist's research continued for two years.

Pontzer selected 17 women and 13 men who were in the 18–75 age range. To measure the ratio of consumed and consumed energy, the anthropologist used the popular method of tagged atoms. Today, it is considered the most accurate for determining the amount of carbon dioxide that the body releases during the process of burning energy.

The result of a two-year study turned out to be extremely interesting. Representatives of the tribe spend a little more energy during the day than the average inhabitant of Western countries. In fact, these indicators are equal, if you do not take into account the possible measurement error. In fairness, we note that this study can be considered superficial, because only three dozen people took part in it.

But the question why the hoza, with constant movement, spend the same amount of energy as the inhabitants of Europe, has arisen. We all know that the body spends energy not only on performing various movements. All tissues and organs require a certain amount of calories to maintain their performance. This happens every day, even when the person is asleep.

Scientists knew about this fact for a long time, but did not take it into account when studying the obesity epidemic. Based on the results of his research, Pontzer suggested that there is no difference in energy expenditure between Hodza and us due to the special work of the African body, which saves calories. It is possible that they rest better after doing physical work.

However, we cannot get an exact answer now, since scientists have just begun to work in this direction. This is where important factors may be lurking that we do not yet know about. First of all, we are talking about the possibility of influencing the body's energy consumption through physical activity. Pontzer is sure that there are no obese people among the Hodza due to the absence of moments of overeating. The results of this study allow us to say that it is impossible to accelerate the lipolysis processes solely by increasing physical activity.

How does fitness affect human health?

Girl with dumbbells in hand

People who want to lose weight often make the same mistake - hoping for only one method. In particular, fitness classes. If you continue to eat large amounts of fatty foods at the same time, then you will definitely not be able to achieve positive results.

However, we do not want to say that it is necessary to eat only one protein compounds. A similar approach to catering will also not be correct. All micro- and macronutrients should be present in the diet. However, it is necessary to replace simple carbohydrates with complex ones. Nutritionists also talk about the need for a hearty breakfast, a moderate dinner, and in no case skip meals.

It must be remembered that our metabolism can surprise you at any time if you don't eat right. You should not eat a lot of food before the start of the lesson. However, we do not recommend training on an empty stomach either. In such a situation, the body will not have enough energy and most likely it will begin to destroy not fat, but muscle tissue.

You will definitely get used to eating right before starting the training, but you may experience discomfort for a while. Also, you shouldn't "close the windows" after training. At least, we are talking about the use of carbohydrates, but protein compounds in such a situation will not be superfluous.

Many people wonder how long a workout should be. Here you should experiment, because each of us has a special body. However, 20 minutes is clearly not enough for a full-fledged lesson. At the same time, two-hour marathons should be abandoned. We recommend practicing for one hour, maximum one and a half. At the same time, monitor your well-being and, if necessary, make adjustments.

However, let's get back to research on the relationship between sport and health. Many studies suggest that just exercising regularly without lifestyle changes can lead to significant health benefits. So a group of independent researchers found that moderate physical activity leads to the following positive results:

  1. The blood pressure decreases.
  2. The balance of lipoprotein structures is normalized.
  3. The risks of developing diabetes and diseases of the cardiovascular system are reduced.

There is also information on the positive effects of exercise on cognitive function. A person who regularly plays sports is less susceptible to Alzheimer's disease and dementia. In addition, brain function improves, and the subjects showed the best results in tests to determine the level of intelligence.

Why won't fitness classes help you lose weight without supplementary factors?

Slim girl on the background of the gym with exercise equipment

We have already understood that physical activity can be beneficial for the body. However, the answer to the question why fitness classes will not help you lose weight has not been received. The results of a study were published in the United States several years ago. Participants in the short-term experiment (about 20 weeks) lost weight. However, in the long term (over 26 weeks), this no longer happened.

Most people still continue to think stereotyped - got energy from food, went to the gym and burned extra calories. Back in 1958, a rule was approved by scientist Max Wishnofsky, which is still used by most clinics and medical publications. It says that 0.5 kilograms of fat in the human body corresponds to 3500 calories. Thus, if you create a daily energy deficit of 500 calories, you can get rid of half a kilo of body weight in a week.

However, modern researchers are sure that this postulate is greatly simplified and in practice the situation turns out to be more complicated. They are increasingly talking about the energy balance of our body, as the most balanced system. Any changes in external conditions cause a chain of reactions. For example, let's say you've created an energy deficit through a nutrition and fitness program. As a result, within a certain time, the body adapts to this, and you stop losing weight. Many scientists believe that it is best to use a combination of physical activity with a decrease in the energy value of the diet for weight loss.

It is not often that a fitness instructor, and many nutritionists also, remember that with the help of physical activity, you can get rid of only a small part of the calories entering the body. The only exceptions are professional athletes who train as hard and often as possible. However, such activities can hardly be called healthful.

In total, scientists distinguish three areas in which the body spends energy:

  1. To maintain the performance of all systems.
  2. For food processing.
  3. For physical activity.

The most significant expenditure of calories is observed in the first case. Actually. This is our main metabolism, which we practically cannot influence. According to available research results, it accounts for an average of 60 to 80 percent of all energy consumption. This tells us why fitness classes will not help you lose weight. To obtain the desired result, an integrated approach is required. If you decide to start playing sports, you will have to change your entire lifestyle.

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