It is extremely easy to undo hours of calorie burn with a single meal. Consider these examples of Food vs. Exercise:
A glazed doughnut has 242 calories. It would take 88 minutes of crunches to work them off.
The 16-ounce Starbucks Frauppuccino contains 500 calories -- equal to 170 minutes of Pilates.
When you go to lunch this afternoon and eat a cheeseburger and fries, just remember it will take 141 minutes on the elliptical to work off the meal's 691 calories.
And if fried chicken is on the menu, it will take 65 minutes on a stationary bike to burn the 444 calories.
Two slices of pepperoni pizza contain 626 calories. Climbing stairs for 159 minutes will work off those calories.
And if you finish your day with a milkshake, don't forget your jump rope! Jumping for 72 minutes will burn off the shake's 780 calories.
2. Exercise Makes You Unconsciously Eat More- If you're not focusing on your diet, exercise may actually cause you you eat more than usual. Several recent studies have shown that exercise increases hunger, leading to increased caloric intake. If you're not careful, you will unconsciously eat enough to completely undo your trip to the gym. I will confess that I used to go to the gym and then straight to a fast food drive thru. If I would have just stayed home, I probably would have fared better. Be careful about adding exercise without a strong focus on nutrition.
3. Burning Calories Does NOT Undo Damage Done by Junk Food- I'm amazed at how many times I hear someone say, "Oh man, I really need to go hit the gym after that meal" or "Oh, I'll just have this donut and run a few extra miles later." While it is true that you can burn off the calories you just ate, there are so many other things that junk food does to your body other than simply adding to your caloric intake. Blood sugar, insulin, cholesterol, nutrient levels...all of these factors are tied to your eating habits. Don't get so focused on calories that you forget how food actually affects your body.
My main point is this:
Weight loss is 10% Exercise and 90% Diet and Nutrition.
You can not exercise yourself thin without first changing your eating habits.
I am a prime example of this. I am much more active than I used to be, but I owe most of my weight loss to my healthy eating habits. In fact, I lost about 30 pounds before I even thought about exercise. Focusing on your eating can really make a big difference in your overall health.
So, yes, please do exercise. Just realise that exercise will NOT help with weight loss unless you learn first to control your eating.
Thanks for reading!