I know this might not be something that you hear from personal trainers, as we promote exercise to lose weight, stay fit and healthy. But I wanted to write this blog post because I get a lot of questions and comments from women who tell me that they don’t have time to exercise so they can’t lose weight. But the truth is, you can still lose weight without exercise.
Yes exercise is AMAZING for your body, your mind and helping you stay mobile as you age (plus lots more health benefits), if you are trying to lose weight, you don’t necessarily need to exercise. Let me explain.
Why You Don’t Need To Exercise To Lose Weight
For me personally, if I don’t exercise, my body will burn around 1400 calories anyway because that is my basal metabolic rate. Your body is always burning calories to keep you alive. Find out how to calculate your own basal metabolic rate here.
Therefore, if I eat around 1200 calories per day and don’t do any exercise, I am at a calorie deficit of 200 calories (1400 – 1200) and I will still lose weight. All you need to do is eat relatively healthy and eat less than your body needs.
Why Exercise Is Still Great For Losing Weight
HOWEVER, exercise makes it much easier to lose weight, which is why most programs combine diet and exercise. If you exercise you will burn more calories (obviously), and the more muscle you have, the higher your basal metabolic rate.
So let’s just say I put on a few kilograms of muscle, my basal metabolic rate might increase to around 1600 calories. If I exercise on top of that and burn say 500 calories in my workout session, I would burn a total of 2100 calories for that day (1600 + 500). You would then be able to eat more food, but would still want to stay at a calorie deficit.
When you are trying to lose weight, how much you eat and what type of foods you eat will be the main factor. I often hear people say that they eat healthy and exercise but still can’t lose weight. Read this blog post and might explain why.
If you burn 2100 calories per day, but eat 2100 calories of healthy food, you’re not going to lose weight, even if the food is healthy. You need to be at a calorie deficit. Remember that weight loss is 70-80% diet and 20-30% exercise, so diet really is the main factor. Exercise will just make it easier and quicker for you to lose weight and will keep your body and mind healthy.
This is why I include a complete nutrition program in my programs. 8 weeks of meal plans and recipes, and every single day is different. Find out more about them here.
I love your blog and all of your articles. I have bought your endomorph book and I’m currently on week 6 and I am loving it and can definitely see a difference! I enjoy the exercise and I don’t really have a problem with exercising as much as you should do in one week. The meals I eat are healthy however, I do have a problem with occasional snacking. I have read your article on having to be at a calorie deficit if you are going to loose weight. However, my struggle is although I am eating healthy, when ever I eat at a calorie deficit I am still really hungry which forces me to snack. Do you have a solution to this or is it that I need to get used to eating less?
Hi Katie, that is great to hear! I’m sure you are looking amazing :D Eating at a calorie deficit can take a bit of getting used to. If you’re super hungry, definitely eat more as you might be underestimating how many calories you’re actually burning throughout the day. But if you think you have estimated it pretty well, just start with a small calorie deficit (100-200 calories) and then increase it. If you have any other questions, feel free to email me hun! Hope the next 2 weeks of the program goes well xx