No exercise needed for weight loss?

curhahn Posts: 2 Member
edited March 2016 in Health and Weight Loss
I know we've all heard weight loss is 80% nutrition and 20% exercise, but I keep hearing more & more that exercising is almost worse for weight loss than NOT exercising. It's like they're almost saying exercise is completely unnecessary. So confusing. Anyone else confused?


  • ninerbuff
    ninerbuff Posts: 47,944 Member
    Exercise is for fitness and health. It helps to create a calorie deficit easier than just dieting alone. However if you eat as many calories as you burn in a day, no weight loss occurs whether you're doing exercise or not.

    A.C.E. Certified Personal and Group Fitness Trainer
    IDEA Fitness member
    Kickboxing Certified Instructor
    Been in fitness for 30 years and have studied kinesiology and nutrition

  • Nikki10129
    Nikki10129 Posts: 292 Member
    Exercise is certainly not worse for weight loss, but you can lose weight without exercising. It's all about calories in vs calories out, if you're in a calorie deficit without exercise then you'll lose weight, if you're in a calorie deficit while exercising, you'll lose weight. If you're in a calorie surplus in either situation then you'll gain weight
  • majigurl
    majigurl Posts: 660 Member
    Who are "they"? Don't listen to "they".

    Do the research, check the math.
  • msf74
    msf74 Posts: 3,498 Member
    To lose weight you need a calorie deficit. You can create a calorie deficit:
    1. Through diet alone
    2. Through exercise alone
    3. Through a combination of diet and exercise

    Most people opt for a combination of diet and exercise as it doesn't require the large time commitment devoted to exercise of approach 2 and allows for more food to be consumed than approach 1.
  • PaulaWallaDingDong
    PaulaWallaDingDong Posts: 4,641 Member
    Who said exercise is worse than not exercising? That's just silly.

    You don't have to exercise to lose weight, but you should for your overall health and well-being.
  • sonjavon
    sonjavon Posts: 1,019 Member
    Exercise is not mandatory for weightloss. Due to some medical issues, I am unable to exercise at this time... but with calorie restriction I have lost almost 16 lbs in 8 weeks. I hope to eventually be able to add exercise into my habits, simply because exercise IS mandatory for optimal health... and I want to not only be thinner, but healthy as well.
  • cityruss
    cityruss Posts: 2,493 Member
    People lose weight lay in a hospital bed with multiple fractured limbs.

    They aren't popping out to the gym.
  • majigurl
    majigurl Posts: 660 Member
    it's not "Mandatory" .. no.. as long as the math adds up.

    but the idea that not exercising is better than exercises is ridiculous simply because of the math.. ( outside of medical reasons). if helps to created a deficit that's all that REALLY matters, but as stated, easier to created a deficit with you are moving even just a bit.
  • zerojunk
    zerojunk Posts: 70 Member
    It's possible they were over training, I've been experimenting with exercise and I found if I did 3 hours of walking a day, I got so hungry that I couldn't resist eating. For my body, currently, it seems like around 500 cals worth of exercise per day is the sweet spot.
  • _lyndseybrooke_
    _lyndseybrooke_ Posts: 2,561 Member
    curhahn wrote: »
    I know we've all heard weight loss is 80% nutrition and 20% exercise, but I keep hearing more & more that exercising is almost worse for weight loss than NOT exercising. It's like they're almost saying exercise is completely unnecessary. So confusing. Anyone else confused?

    You should stop listening to whatever idiots you're taking weight loss advice from. How would exercising make weight loss harder? That makes no sense.

    Exercise isn't completely unnecessary. It's beneficial for both weight loss and general health. However, it's not a requirement if you're unable to do it. I personally think being too lazy to exercise is a sorry excuse, but that's just my opinion. If you don't want to exercise, don't, but you'll need to eat less in order to lose weight than you would if you were exercising.
  • I believe that weight loss can happen without exercise. However, fitness can NOT. Exercise for fitness and overall health and mental and physical well-being, not for weight loss. The up side of this, is you can do what you really enjoy doing, and not worry so much about calories. Nice, right?
  • scolaris
    scolaris Posts: 2,145 Member
    edited March 2016
    I don't know what 'people' you're listening to, but you need to find replacements! Or perhaps become a better listener. LOL
    Yes, exercise is not necessary for weight loss. And yes, unlimited free eating simply because one exercised will kill your potential deficit and impede weight loss or even result in gain. But where did you get this idea that exercise makes things worse?
    In a perfect world one would address an overly large body mass with a multi pronged approach. First, there's diet. The total number of calories consumed by the day or by the week must be smaller than the amount of calories expended by that same measure. This is simply the law of thermodynamics at work. There's no 'work around' or cheat for this. Second there's exercise. Raising ones daily TDEE through exercise allows for larger deficits. It can make eating at a deficit easier. Moving more in a variety of ways just makes bodies feel better over time as well. Cardiovascular health improves. Muscle memory leads to greater mastery. Balance and motor skills are more fully developed. Mental health improvements ensue that directly impact sleep, resilience, delayed gratification, and the immune system. None of these in and of themselves lead directly to weight loss, but they will help maintain your deficits as you lose body mass because you are able to work harder, faster, longer as time goes on. A third area many fail to recognize would be rest and sleep which are so important for regulating the hormones associated with hunger, satiety and fat storage. Well rested bodies are more efficient bodies. Fourthly there's nutrition. Not just the calories we touched on above but the detailed nutrient content of those calories. That's too big to go into here. And it's not necessary to simply lose the excess weight; it is more important for keeping it off long term and enjoying optimal health.
    I personally feel folks need to get to a point where they are integrating all of these details for optimal good health. But I've listed them in order of importance. You can just lose weight with the first or a combination of the first & second. The people who stop there, however, are the same people who probably ultimately regain in my opinion.
  • ModernRock
    ModernRock Posts: 372 Member
    They are probably referring to the tendency for some to overeat after increasing exercise/activity. It's why some folks never get anywhere with losing weight despite lots of gym time....they simply adjust their intake to their output. But, that's manageable if you are tracking calories.
  • sonjavon
    sonjavon Posts: 1,019 Member
    curhahn wrote: »
    I know we've all heard weight loss is 80% nutrition and 20% exercise, but I keep hearing more & more that exercising is almost worse for weight loss than NOT exercising. It's like they're almost saying exercise is completely unnecessary. So confusing. Anyone else confused?

    I think it may depend who you're hearing this from and what the particular circumstances are... for instance, someone who has Chronic Fatigue Syndrome may be worse off from exercising because it sets them back healthwise. Someone who is severely out of shape and severely overweight may have a tendency to "overdo" and lay themselves up for several days.
    But for the average person - increasing cardiovascular health, increasing muscle which is metabolically efficient than fat... these are all good things! Start off slow and increase your activity level.
  • zerojunk
    zerojunk Posts: 70 Member
    In my mind, exercise is not required for weight loss is true. Exercise being worse for weight loss however is false.
  • missblondi2u
    missblondi2u Posts: 851 Member
    If all you care about is losing weight, exercise is not necessary, and can in fact result in small, short-term bumps on the scale because of glycogen and water retention to repair muscles. However, this is only temporary and should not discourage you from exercising if you want to be more fit.

    Of course, you can eat more and maintain your deficit by moving more, and this is one of the main motivations for my exercise. But exercise also improves my mood, makes me stronger, and pushes me to improve. To me, these are the real benefits.
  • enterdanger
    enterdanger Posts: 2,447 Member
    All I know is that my normal amount of calories is too few to allow for beer. If I run I can have a beer. Running = Winning.
  • kgirlhart
    kgirlhart Posts: 4,786 Member
    I don't think anyone is saying that exercise is worse for weight loss. Just that you can't exercise and not watch what you eat and still lose weight. I have lost weight before without exercising. I was younger and more active with small kids and didn't have a desk job. I am losing weight now and exercising too. My calorie goal is low and I spend most of my day sitting at a desk so if I want to eat a little more or have some treats (like beer) then I need to exercise too. But if you are unable to exercise for whatever reason then you can still lose weight just by eating at a calorie deficit.
  • dopeysmelly
    dopeysmelly Posts: 1,390 Member
    I lost a lot of weight by focusing exclusively on diet. The sum total of my exercise was shoveling a bit of snow every couple of weeks for a month or so and then a stroll once a day after winter. I found it easier to use my mental resources to focus on fixing my diet, than trying to do that AND focus on working out. One thing at a time worked for me, or I just would have exhausted myself and given up by trying to change too many things at once.

    Now, after I lost the weight, gym membership was my reward for reaching target, so I could work on cardio fitness and muscle tone.