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The weight-loss industry in the United States is worth its share in billions of dollars. An impressive number, but unsurprising statistic, being that one in three Americans suffers from obesity. This is only the tip of the scale because the number does not account for all the ranges in between, from the overweight to the fad dieters who struggle with the same fifteen pounds. According to PRWeb.com, there are approximately 75 million dieters in the United States at any given time.
That’s a lot of people struggling with the same question. When did losing weight become so complicated? According to a recent New York Times article, two new studies have shown that exercise alone will not necessarily result in weight loss. Exercise cannot only be insignificantly effective in the fight against fat—it can actually lead to weight gain. Muscle weights more than fat.
Perhaps it’s a question of overestimating not only our workouts, but also ourselves. That euphoric feeling of satisfaction so brutally earned can lead us into thinking that, certainly, that second piece of cheesecake cannot be all that bad. We earned it.
What the studies showed is a fact easily forgotten amongst the Dukan diets and Insanity workouts that claim to resolve, but rarely keep in mind, the simplicity of weight loss: Weight loss is simple math. You only need to burn more calories than you consume: calories in, calories out. This may seem to oversimplify a daunting struggle, but it can be helpful to keep in mind and maintain realistic goals. You can work yourself to death, but if you are still eating more than you consume, then all that effort is moot. Exercise should not be used to compensate for past or future indulgences.
It turns out that contrary to popular belief, exercise can actually lower your metabolism. Our bodies can become accustomed to exercise. For example, you may be burning a large number of calories, but if your metabolism slows down, you may actually be burning less than you thought. You will lose fewer calories, rather than if your metabolism stayed the same.
What all of these findings best seem to illustrate is that moderation is key. Eating in moderation and exercising in moderation should eventually lead to weight loss. It may not be as fast as only drinking spicy lemonade for seven days, but it is far more effective and easier to stick to.