No Exercise Weight Loss
As a sleep Doc, I see my share of overweight patients (sleep apnea gets worse with weight gain – it also gets better weight loss). When I ask my overweight sleep patients what their plan is for weight loss, they almost always talk about exercise (and 90% of the time it’s to tell my why they can’t exercise, so it’s no use to try to lose weight). Well guess what, YOU DON’T NEED TO EXERCISE TO LOSE WEIGHT! Yes, you can lose weight without exercise.
What Heresy is This?
It’s true! In fact, a study led by the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) showed that the percentage of American’s meeting the American’s Heart Associations recommendations for adequate exercise had increased from 2001 to 2009 while the obesity rate has increased during the same time. Another fact, a study out in the International Journal of Obesity showed that women who were instructed to to exercise 45 minutes 5 times per week did lose more weight than their non-exercising counterparts, but only 1.8 kg more in a year (that’s less than 4 pounds). There are also plenty of studies out there showing that some people actually gain weight when trying to lose weight with exercise alone. Seeing that our patient’s average weight loss is 6.6 pounds in the first two weeks, maybe you should come see us and save yourself 50 weeks of frustration.
Should I Lose Weight without Exercise?
Disclaimer, before starting any exercise program your should be cleared by a physician – safety first! If you can exercise, you really should. There are a whole host of benefits to exercise beyond weight loss. Even in those studies that showed people gaining weight with exercise, there were positive, measurable markers of improved health due to the exercise. Actually, the studies out there show a higher and more sustainable weight loss over time when you COMBINE nutrition and exercise. So the answer is – unless you can’t exercise, you should combine nutritional changes and with moderate exercise. But I’ve had quite a few people who started losing weight then added in exercise when they started feeling better (less aches and pains in their backs, knees and feet following a modest weight loss).
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