Why you should never exercise to lose weight

You can lose weight without any exercise whatsoever. It’s true and moreover, you shouldn’t exercise to lose weight.

You might think I’m wrong. You know how unhealthy it is not to exercise. You firmly believe people who professes to hate exercise can find some kind of physical activity that’s fun. They can find it and they should do it because it’s good for them.

That’s true, exercise is good for people and I have never discouraged anybody from exercising, nor would I ever. I do discourage people from exercising for the wrong reason, though, and one very wrong reason to exercise is to lose weight.

Losing weight by exercising is a bad idea for a lot of reasons. Here are 3 reasons why you should not exercise to lose weight.

Exercising to lose weight can be dangerous, especially when undertaken without the supervision of a qualified professional.

1 – You are likely to hurt yourself.

Being overweight already increases your risk of getting hurt. Overweight bodies are less limber and usually less coordinated. That’s because the excess weight negatively affects the center of balance.  There is the risk of falling and getting hurt.

In addition to falling, many people became overweight by a sedentary lifestyle. To all of a sudden start putting a lot of stress on muscles, tendons and ligaments with an strenuous workout can cause pain and injuries. Some of the injuries may heal with rest, but some can become chronic conditions that continue to cause pain intermittently forever.

The final, and perhaps most serious risk of vigorous exercise to lose weight is heart attack and stroke. It’s not safe to for sedentary people to start exercising without a complete examination from a physician to make sure they are healthy enough to exercise. The older you are, the less safe it is. Even healthy people can put their health in danger by too much exercise.

Portion distortion can more than undo the calorie burn from your workout.

2 – You won’t make weight loss progress

It’s no secret that weight struggles are often a combination of failure to recognize how much one eats or exercises. People tend to underestimate how many calories they’re getting from the food they eat, or even just how much food they actually eat. The underestimating of eating is a problem that’s compounded by overestimating how much exercise they’re truly getting.

When people try to lose weight by exercising and have difficulty with underestimating and overestimating that puts their weight in a holding pattern. They maintain their weight instead of losing. It’s not always a holding pattern though, because sometimes exercise becomes an excuse to eat more. “I worked out today, so I can eat the whole pizza instead of just 3 slices.”

Soon as she gets to goal she won’t have to do this torture anymore. Oh, yes she will if she wants to stay at goal.

3 – It’s unsustainable

Exercising to lose weight is not a good idea, but exercise in general is a very good idea. The research is indisputable, it keeps us stronger and smarter and younger for our actual years. I will never argue that exercising is a bad idea and in fact, that’s precisely why nobody should exercise simply to lose weight.

Even if you manage to avoid hurting yourself and you carefully monitor how much exercise you’re getting while monitoring your food to avoid overeating, and you get to your weight goal, chances are it stops there.

Once you exercise yourself to goal, there is no apparent reason to keep exercising. You got what you wanted and now you can quit. This, of course, is especially true when you hated every minute of it. Exercising to lose weight is more about results than finding pleasure in the activity.

Exercising is such a good way to take care of your body, that it is best when you’re active everyday.

Exercise literally helps keep you young better than any superfoods you eat or drugs you can take. Don’t ever exercise just to lose weight, but do get active and do it wisely, safely, and most of all, have fun.

Exercise to enhance your weight loss efforts is highly recommended. A combination of a calorie-reduced diet consisting of mostly highly nutritious foods that have a lower energy density (plus a few treats) and engaging in regular moderate physical activities is a smart, safe, and sustainable way to lose weight.


Jackie Conn

About Jackie Conn

Jackie Conn is married and has four grown daughters and four grandchildren. She is a Weight Watchers success story. She's a weight loss expert with 25 years of experience guiding women and men to their weight-related goals. Her articles on weight management have been published in health, family and women's magazines. She has been a regular guest on Channel 5 WABI news, FOX network morning program Good Day Maine and 207 on WCSH.