Do I Have to Exercise to Lose Weight (A: No, but it helps. Also good for health.)

If you’re like a majority of the population, exercise isn’t at the top of your “fun to do” list. In fact, it’s most likely that it isn’t on that list at all. But the real question is: Can you still meet your weight loss goal without it? In other words, do you have to exercise to lose weight?

The Answer Explained

In short, the answer is that exercise is not necessary for weight loss. However, before you happily pack up your exercise clothes and gear to either sell or give away and settle yourself on the couch, hear me out. Just because it isn’t necessary, doesn’t mean that it doesn’t help.

There are two ways to achieve weight loss. You can either reduce the number of calories you take in via diet or you can burn more calories by exercising. No matter what, you need a 3,500 calorie deficit in order to lose a pound of fat.

So, unless you’re one of those people that doesn’t love food and is okay with a lower calorie diet, you might want to use some physical activity to help you create the deficit you need to reach your goals.

Exercise Speeds Up the Weight Loss Process

Additionally, when you exercise, it increases your metabolism both during the activity and for a period of time after. This means that you’ll speed up the weight loss process because your body will burn more calories, allowing you to reach your goal quicker than ever.

Engage in strength training and you’ll get even better results as the more muscle your body has, the more calories it burns even while you’re at rest. That means that working your biceps, core, thighs, and all of your other muscles will keep your metabolism raised during times when you’re not so active, such as when you’re sleeping or relaxing with your family.

Besides, if you lower your calorie intake too much, you might put your body in starvation mode, making it almost impossible to lose weight. That is why portion control programs like SlimPlate work so well. You get just the right amount of food so your body runs efficiently, making your metabolism fire at optimal rates.

Exercise is Good for Your Health

Also, there are a lot of great health benefits to engaging in regular physical activity. Research shows that it reduces your risk of cardiovascular disease and other major medical conditions, decreases the likelihood that you’ll be depressed or anxious, and it builds strong bones so you aren’t struggling with osteoporosis and related issues as you age.

In fact, in a story that was recently reported by The New York Times, even five to ten minutes a day of very low-impact, low-speed running can greatly lower your risk of death from many different medical conditions. How’s that for motivation to get off the couch and exercise your way to good health?

If You Do Decide to Forego Exercise…

If after reading this you’re still going to forego exercise and lose weight with diet alone, that’s okay. Carrying around extra pounds isn’t healthy, so getting them off more slowly is better than not losing them at all.

Here are some healthy eating guidelines that will help you with the weight loss process:

Be mindful when you eat. Don’t watch TV, read your email, or eat while working. When you eat, just eat so that your body and mind can register the process, potentially saving you a lot of calories you didn’t even realize you consumed.
Monitor your portions. Use SlimPlate’s portion control diet to help you decipher how much food you need to get maximum nutrition without eating maximum calories. Plus, you’ll also get the nutrients you need so that your metabolism is where it should be.
Take it slow. You don’t have to lose all of your extra weight in a day, so give your body time to lose it slowly. Aim for 1-2 pounds a week and you’ll have a greater chance of keeping it off.
There’s your answer to this age old question. What do you think? Do you feel that exercise is an important part of weight loss, or do you prefer to go about it via diet alone?