Should You Exercise to Lose Weight?

Do the Basics and Get the Best Results

Exercise-to-Lose-WeightIf you're like the millions of Americans now fighting their own private "battle of the bulge," you've probably spent at least a little bit of time learning how to reduce excess fat.  Unfortunately, the medical and political communities have let us down where weight loss is concerned, promoting dietary conventions that have made us much heavier instead of healthier.

We are now facing a fat crisis of biblical proportions.  One out of every three kids is now either overweight or obese, a statistic that predicts a dim and expensive future.

But there is hope, however, because even though there's been a great deal of damaging misinformation about weight management, the truth about how the body processes, stores, and burns fat is not tough to understand or influence.  It all boils down to insulin, a hormone produced by the pancreas in response to elevated blood glucose (sugar) levels.  Blood glucose and insulin levels spike fastest when we consume processed carbohydrates (bread, pasta, rice, etc) and sugars.  Insulin commands the muscles and organs to utilize glucose for energy rather than fat, and insulin also instructs our fat cells to store fatty acids as triglycerides.  In short, we add fat when we produce excess insulin in response to elevated blood sugar.

This simple fact changes many of the answers to a few common questions that we thought we had already figured out.  It turns out that we've had it completely wrong for a long time.

  • Is there a best exercise to lose weight?  Absolutely not.  Exercise has never actually been conclusively shown to produce weight loss.  This shocking statement is actually true.
  • What's the quickest way to lose weight?  It's actually very simple:  just stop eating starch and sugar.  You can generally eat all the meat and fat you want.  This advice runs completely counter to our "common sense," which happens to be what has made us fat in the first place.
  • Which diet should I use to reduce my weight?  Don't follow a diet.  Dieting implies a putting up with a short-term sacrifice to achieve a short-term goal, after which you'll immediately start getting fat again.  Just stop eating sugar and starch, and you'll be amazed at how easily the weight comes off.
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