Exercises for Weight Loss are essential - don't let anyone fool you into thinking you can lose weight without moving your body more and doing some strength training.
This is also necessary to maintain your muscle as you age or put some back on if you have lost it.
Exercises for weight loss are important for more reasons than I bet you may know. The real issue is that we were built to move, to fire our muscles daily.
Yet most of us live sedentary lives and go against the body's wisdom that resides within us that guides us to move, breath deeply and enjoy what we are doing as we move our bodies about the world.
Without exercise our bodies become sluggish and toxic with metabolic byproducts, we feel antsy, lazy, and even agitated at times not even knowing it is from a body "hunger" to be active.
Many times people who use the Inner Wisdom taught through this website realize they were often eating because they really needed to move their bodies.
They felt antsy or agitated or low in energy and ate, when they really needed to have some exercise, they misread the message, but now they know better, you can too!
I was the lead therapist for a research paper at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston Texas back in 1996, the topic was Exercise Resistance in Obese Females. What was discovered was there are two important factors that seem to keep people doing exercises for weight loss:
1. Finding a way to make it FUN or enjoyable, using music, listening to podcasts or inspirational programs or having phone conversations while doing exercise. Doing it with Pleasure!
2. HAVING A BUDDY TO DO IT WITH YOU, this is great because it also sets up accountability, we all need that from time to time. It could possibly also be a video work out together on zoom or following a video as long as it starts out very slow or at your pace with no injuries (virtual buddy). I blew my knees out more than once just dancing to a video and in a class, it wasn't gradual enough. Do it With a Buddy and Have Fun chatting that's even better.
Often when people use exercises for weight loss it is with a very negative view of
themselves and the activity because they have gained weight and are
using the exercise as a form of punishment or payback for the weight
they gained. In my field we call this "obligatory exercise" and it never lasts for long.
If this is you.....stop that thinking I call it "stinkin thinkin" to berate yourself like that.
Make sure you are thinking positive supportive phrases like.......
Wow I am doing it, yay me!
privilege to get to move like this I never want to lose it!
I enjoy moving and helping my body get stronger!
Listening to affirmations that are empowering about feeling good, being fit or inspirational are great to use while exercising, change your mind while you change your body!
Yes, exercises for weight loss can be enjoyable, in fact they MUST be or you are less likely to keep it up. Often the exercise just isn't fun, or it might be even painful initially, that is not a good idea, it should never hurt! Needless to say most people don't stick to such a behavior for long.
Thankfully in addition to burning a modest number of calories, physical activity also improves insulin resistance setting the stage for weight loss and you don’t need to work out for hours to get this effect.
A study involving older adults at risk for diabetes found that a 15 minute walk after meals improved their ability to regulate her blood sugar for the following 24 hours. These three short walks were at least as effective as 45 minute long walk taken during the day. The habit of taking multiple walks during the day also get you up and away from your desk or couch and they lower your stress level.
Italians have a name for
this type of walk: the passeggiata, is a moment of joyful movement in the open air that helps
support healthy digestion and insulin action while simultaneously receiving
stress and helping you sleep better.
We often think our activity has to be at a gym or track or a class, and while these can be good options many times we postpone the activity because we are too tired or didn't plan it in our day, so then move to "option B" and do it before bed that day. So having a "plan A", "plan B", "plan C" and so on is a good idea.
Start making your plans and carry a list of options with you (like above and add more to it), GET A BUDDY (or several exercise buddies) and make it FUN.
Be creative and get moving, make sure you smile a lot and make it fun in any way you can.
Accountability really helps and is usually necessary with exercises for weight loss. Use of a trainer or “check-ins” with a partner can be tremendous help in getting started.
Research shows that exercise is more easily maintained by pairing it with fun (like doing it with friends, grandchildren or doing it in a group or with buddies).
Recent research findings suggest that more-frequent and shorter breaks may be more beneficial than longer, less-frequent breaks for improvement in vascular function in those with type 2 Diabetes ( American Journal of Physiology-Heart and Circulatory Physiology, news release, Nov. 23, 2020)
Dieting followed by weight re-gain, or the yo-yo dieting cycle is the modus operandi (MO) of the average modern dieter. But these recurring weight fluctuations are more than inconvenient, discouraging, or just fleeting aspects of the dieter's dilemma.
It can cause long term problems with obesity as the result!
Food restriction especially without exercises for weight loss has a lasting and fundamental impact on the body's system, altering its makeup and its efficiency with which it burns calories and keep the weight off over time.
The critical issue is not how many pounds the dieters loose but what kind of pounds!
Since the loss of lean body mass occurs as soon as dieting begins, every down phase of the yo-yo syndrome leaves the dieter with less muscle mass. When the weight is regained mostly fat and very little muscle is replaced especially without including exercises for weight loss before and after.
The ability to repair loss of lean body mass decreases with each decade of life, so losing weight without strength training has more serious consequences as we age and exercises for weight loss are even more critical as we age. In fact using Blood Flow Restriction (BFR) bands will really expedite strengthening muscle and increasing blood flow while exercising. You can learn more about that on Dr. Mercola's website here: History of BFR and why it is so good for you.
Aside from dramatically improving muscle tone, BFR is also a wonderful tool for post-surgical rehabilitation, allowing you to regain physical function in a fraction of the time that you would normally anticipate
Weight loss efforts may train the body's metabolism and cell function to adjust to a low-calorie diet by decreasing the basal metabolic rate which means you don’t burn calories very efficiently and this most definitely leads to obesity.
It can also teach the body to metabolize the food you eat more efficiently, and store it as body fat, not what you want in the long run. Food restriction also reduces the rate of dietary induced thermo-genesis, or the rate that the body uses fat for energy and keeps us lean.
Eating or Diet-Induced Thermogenesis (DIT) is the production of heat that occurs after eating - which contributes to the body's resting metabolic rate. DIT is also called the thermic effect of food. It activates sympathetic nervous system activity and increases Resting Metabolic Rate.
Eating food causes thermogenesis. The scientific definition of the Thermic effect of food (TEF) is the amount of energy expenditure above the basal metabolic rate due to the cost of processing food for use and storage
Thermogenic foods include celery, tumeric, garlic, coconut oil, green tea, cinnamon, apple cider vinegar, chilli peppers, and salmon.
Why can Thermogenesis help you to lose weight?
Your body needs energy — i.e., calories — to produce heat. That’s why increased thermogenesis equals increased caloric expenditure and will over time lead to weight loss. The restrictive diet slows metabolism over time.
The restrictive diet is the problem! The body is just trying to make adjustments based on the environmental threat of less food, just like animals in hibernation.
By practicing Responsive Eating/Mindful Eating, which is eating in response to hunger within 5-10 minutes whenever possible, making a perfect match with the belly hunger, much of the damage can be undone.
Send me your e-mail if you would like a copy of the PDF page that summarizes Responsive Eating to use as your handy reminder.
To rebuild the muscle lost through years of dieting, be sure to include strength or resistance training in your exercise for weight loss routines (more below about this). Muscles are the part of the body that require energy and burn calories, so as we loose muscle through weight loss we burn less calories in our daily activities and in our exercise time.
Below is an example* of what happens with a seven week program of calorie restriction with some who used exercises for weight loss during that time and some who did not.
Wow, it makes a big difference in body composition !
So the weight loss you see on a weigh scale can be VERY DECEIVING, you could be losing muscle which helps with burning calories and keeps the metabolic rate high!
This is why you could get to the same weight you were 15 years ago and after years of dieting look VERY different. Your percentage of body muscle is dramatically reduced with each dieting episode especially without exercises for weight loss.
Later if both groups regain the weight the non-exercisers will have a greater percentage of body fat and less active calorie burning tissue (muscle) than the exercisers.
The non-exercisers will have reduced their metabolism as well. Then each weight loss attempt (diet) after this will take place at a slower rate, requiring more extreme measures with each diet.
This is why people say “I can’t seem to lose weight by dieting like I was able to do when I was younger”, after years of the yo-yo diet cycle.
A healthy 23 year old woman, starts out at 115 and 25 % of that weight is body fat, she is not connected to her belly hunger and fullness and gains 20 lbs over a four year period.
She now weighs 135 and has 34 % body fat. She diets drastically and reduces her weight back to 115 in 8 weeks and the end result is 31% body fat. Soon she resumes her old unchanged habits and the body in defense after dieting, regains the weight back to 135, now she has 38 % body fat.
As the cycle is repeated for several years she ends up with a body weight of 115 after a dieting episode but her body fat is 40 %!
Plus her body is starving and just waiting for an opportunity to “catch up” on nutrients and weight.
Her reduced amount of active lean tissue (muscle) and slowed metabolic rate have plunged her into a vicious cycle of weight gain. She watches herself get heavier even as she consciously controls her diet.
The solution and reversal of this dilemma is to Choose Inner Wisdom to guide you, stop restrictive dieting (that is disconnected from your belly wisdom) AND make exercises for weight loss (including strength training) a part of your daily life just like brushing your teeth.
Stop dieting forever and begin to eat whole foods in strong adherence to your belly wisdom with Responsive Eating/Mindful eating, while practicing understanding and meeting all of your other needs (see the page on the site called Eating Without Hunger).
Stop weighing yourself compulsively, let the pounds fall where they may, and focus on your health and developing excellent self-care. Learn to eat in response to hunger, fullness and body cravings while you Normalize foods.
Remind yourself that your muscles hunger for exercise, we were built for active living. When we don’t get regular exercise our body doesn’t function as efficiently, we miss our inherent potential for vitality and good health.
Exercise even for as little as 5-10 minutes, that is a concerted effort, to break through the threshold of inactivity and take good care of the body feels empowering.
Add in Resistance Training, you can do this sitting at your desk or watching TV.
Resistance training is defined as exercises that cause the muscles to contract against an external resistance. To create that external resistance, you can use dumbbells, kettlebells, resistance bands, or your own body weight.
Resistance training will not only burn energy during the workout but also after. The reason for that is the nature of the recovery process: when you overload a muscle, you cause micro-tears within the muscle fiber. During the recovery process, the body requires energy (aka calories) to repair these tears. Some people also call this the ‘after-burn effect’ of strength training.
I recommend looking at YouTube videos searching for exercises for weight loss but type in "seniors" or "beginners" so it is a bit easier and if it is fun to watch even better! Here is a link to YouTube videos for using resistance bands and working out for seniors.
Here is an article: Resistance training: here’s why it’s so effective for weight loss
Exercises for weight loss are also a stretch of your willpower, that will makes you feel like you
have some control over your live and it affects your healthy ego strength in a
very positive way.
*Excerpted from research done by George L. Blackburn, M.D., Ph.D. & Konstantin N Pavlou, Sc.D., at the Harvard Medical School in 1985. Many such studies have been done over the years showing the same outcome.
Here is a recent study showing similar effects from exercises for weight loss versus not exercising: