Every weight loss program worth its salt includes exercising as part of the overall weight loss effort. But, what if you are not an athletic person? What if you hated gym in the high school and your attitude towards exercise is that it is only nice on TV when others do it? Can you still lose weight? The answer is yes, but you will not like the consequences.
The simple formula for losing weight is that you have to take fewer calories in than you use by normal activities. A normal person needs about 2000 calories for normal functioning. Women need about 1500 calories and men about 3000. Of course, it depends also on your metabolic rate at rest (basal metabolic rate), your weight and on what you eat body takes more energy to digest some foods than other.
It is also important to know that one pound of fat equals 3,500 calories. That means that you have to burn those 3,500 calories in order to lose one pound of fat. Now, imagine if you have to do that just by cutting calories you eat! Eating only 1000 calories instead of 1,500! Not only that you would have to cut your calories taken through food, but you would feel lousy, depressed and weak. This is where exercising comes in.
Exercising not only burns extra calories from fat, but it also makes you feel better, and increases your metabolism the way your body uses food. Exercising releases a number of hormones which make us feel good, like pheromones. It strengthens muscles, so when we lose weight we do not have all the excess skin and flab. Exercising also increases our body temperature, which also helps our body to burn calories faster.
Of course, not all exercising is the same. For example, by doing one hour of high impact aerobics, you will spend 511 calories. One hour of ballroom dancing will spend 219 calories and one hour of hiking 438 calories. Jogging 5 miles per hour will spend 584 calories, but one hour of golfing only 329, if you carry your own clubs.
It does not help doing intense exercising once a week and doing nothing the rest of the time. You will do much better if you spread your physical activities to one hour every day, whether you do just brisk walking of playing volleyball with your kids (292 calories.) It has to do with strengthening your muscles and general increase in your metabolism. The effects of exercising linger even after you stop.
Lot of household chores are as good as exercising, like window washing (remember Karate Kid?) and
scrubbing floor. Unfortunately, watching TV does not spend any calories, even if you are watching your favorite team losing.
The ideal recipe for weight loss is a healthy combination of a reduction in quantity of food, decrease in fat and sugar in food, increase in the amount of fiber and increase in exercising. If you are one of those people who are doing all that and still not seeing any results, do not despair. It takes time to get your body to respond to all those changes. It particularly takes time for your stomach to adjust to smaller quantity of food, but it will eventually. Dieting for long term results requires patience and persistence.
Try to enjoy your weight loss program. Healthy food does not mean boring food. Add spices to your veggies, they also burn calories. Bring your dog for a brisk walk, or convince your friend or neighbor to join you every day. Treat yourself with a nice jogging outfit or nice sneakers, to make you want to get out. Get a pair of really nice jeans or dress one or two sizes too small, to give your self an incentive. If you are single, just think of all those active, gorgeous people you will meet while you are exercising. Whatever trick in the book works for you, just do it, you really can if you really want, it often just take to start. You will be amazed how much pleasure it will give you, with all the endorphins kicking in. Not to mention the pleasure of looking at your new self in the mirror.