Myths and Half-truths

Myths and Half-truths

Myths and Half-truths

Society has always been conditioned to think that physical activity is the key factor in losing weight-perhaps even the most important ingredient. So, the gym is always number one on the list. But gradually, the evidence is accumulating that while exercises are excellent for good health, they are not as important for weight loss. A proven weight loss program in San Jose that prioritizes dieting can do infinitely more than spending hours and hours on a treadmill.

The Daily Calorie Burn

Though excellent for good health, exercise accounts for a very small portion of an individual’s total energy expenditure. There are three main components that make up the energy expenditure in the body: basal metabolic rate which is the energy used in performing the basic functions when the body is at rest (breathing, pumping blood), the energy spent during digestion, and the energy used up in physical activity. Taking a weight loss program in San Jose will help one understand this better.

The basal metabolic rate accounts for the biggest energy hog in the body, consuming 60 – 80 percent of the total energy. Digesting food takes up 10 percent, and the rest 10 – 30 percent is spent on physical energy, including walking around, talking, and exercising. Whereas food intake accounts for 100 percent of calorie gain, exercises account for less than a third of calorie loss. Clearly, the weight-loss battle was lost before it ever began.

Undoing Progress

Most of the time, how much food one consumes is determined by how much physical activity one is involved in. Many others underestimate how much energy they burn when they work out. When a person does a lot of exercises, especially prolonged endurance exercises or weight lifting, they burn off a lot of calories, come out hungrier and end up increasing their food intake thereby undoing all the progress they had made. A single slice of pizza can undo an hour’s progress at the gym.

Other people simply slow down on other activities after working out. They might take a rest, work lazily, and even take an elevator instead of stairs. This is called compensatory behavior and has been identified as unconscious behaviors that offset calorie burn.

Creating a Calorie Deficit

Hypothetically speaking, if a 190-pound person walking at 4 miles per hour burns 200 calories in 30 minutes (15 minutes per mile) they might burn 200 calories. This much work could easily be undone by drinking less than two glasses of wine or eating one and a half scoops of ice cream. A piece of cake can cancel out the progress gained in a vigorous cycling class that burns 700 calories per session.

The amount of time needed to burn off a small quantity of calories, and the amount of time needed to consume it back is quite disproportionate. If the goal is to lose weight, then one is better off not exercising and simply eating less. Instead of wasting time and energy-burning 500 calories a day, an easier way to get there is to cut soda out of one’s diet.


Lack of exercise and bad dieting are not equally responsible for obesity problems. And although great exercise and food choices are both vital for long-term weight control, one can never out-exercise a bad diet. To lose weight, fighting over-consumption of low-quality food should be the first priority. To keep the pounds from piling up, the food choices one makes are far more important than the exercise that can be done.


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