So you have a hankering for some DYK?
Now do ya, huh?
Let’s see if you can take this all in!
You can’t outrun a bad diet. You may have heard that before, or maybe not since I just made that saying up. But whatever. The lesson behind the maxim I just coined is that move around as much as you want, it’s not going to do anything if you’re not exercising the same amount of energy into controlling what you put into your mouth.
Science is often late to the party when it comes to shit that’s commonly known within the gym community, and in what will go down as another addition to the “No Shit, Sherlock” files, there’s a growing body of academic literature giving credence to the truth of my maxim.
What has the lab coat set discovered? Nothing except that physical activity accounts for very little of the calories we burn on a daily basis.
Why?, you ask as you scramble to pick your jaw up off the floor.
Prepare to be astounded…
For starters, around 5 to 10 percent of daily calorie burn is the breaking down of the macronutrients you eat into immediate or future energy for the other operations below that make up total energy expenditure (this process is commonly known as food digestion, but is also known as specific dynamic action a/k/a the thermic effect of food a/k/a dietary induced thermogenesis a/k/a the shit that has more alternate names than some rappers do).
As we see, food digestion is responsible for burning a low amount of calories.
What accounts for the lion’s share of daily calorie burn, 60-80 percent of it, is basal metabolic rate — or the energy used by the heart, brain, liver, and other vital organs that keep you alive to spend another day of your existence working at a job you hate and making someone else rich.
If you can do the math, that means that roughly 10 to 30 percent of daily calorie burn comes from you getting off your ass and moving around, whether it’s in the form of lifting weights after work; walking to and from the coffee machine at work to waste time; flipping the bird back at that motorist who you cut off on your way to work; or hiding under the covers before work with thoughts of how much you hate your job before literally rolling out of bed because you value the income that keeps you away from homelessness for at least another week.
With food making up 100 percent of the energy that goes into our body, movement is clearly responsible for burning only a teeny tiny portion of those calories. This is why exercise by itself is useless, because it doesn’t produce enough of a caloric deficit to lose weight.
On the other hand, because we can control the amount of energy that has to be burned by simply taking in less of it, this is why study after study has found that the most effective weight loss strategy is keeping what doesn’t belong in your mouth out of it.
¡Si, eso es correcto!
Depending on exercise for weight loss without doing anything to address what you put in your mouth is kind of…hmmmmm…what’s the scientific word for it…hmmmmm…oh yeah…moronic as fuck.
But hey, more power to you if you want to drown your sorrows in alcohol and junk food at the end of every workday and can find the time that you don’t have to do the hours and hours of exercise needed just to burn those calories off before you even get around to burning off the calories needed to make a dent in your body fat percentage.
Yeah, more power to you!
Now, with it agreed that exercise alone is useless for weight loss and that it should instead be used in conjunction with a low calorie diet, I know what you’re thinking (after all, I am omniscient): “Why even work out in the first place if it has such a marginal effect on energy balance?”
Sure, you can draw the conclusion that you should throw all your eggs in the basket of dieting and not worry so much about trying to live an active lifestyle. That can only mean more time for you to watch Youtube cat videos and be an internet gangsta on the message boards you frequent at work as you make life hell for some middle schooler living in the middle of Buttfuck, Iowa (they live in IOWA, for God’s sake. Isn’t that torture enough?!).
Sorry, sugarplum, but hold off on dousing your gym membership in kerosene for just a bit longer.
Ya see, you could lose weight by watching your diet and doing nothing else.
But physical activity in the form of weight training is necessary to help keep that weight off, as clearly demonstrated by the oodles of folk who lose weight with fad diets and/or hopping on the hamster wheel (i.e. treadmill) but gain back all the weight — and even more — when they return to their normal lifestyle. The explanation for this conundrum is that what was lost by them wasn’t fat weight but calorie-burning muscle that they did nothing to maintain or develop.
So while it has no real impact on you as you’re in the middle of losing weight, the reason why you resistance train during that time is to build muscle, or lean tissue. Being that lean tissue is much more active and needs much more energy than adipose to maintain, the more muscle mass you have the faster your basal metabolic rate becomes, which increases the number of calories you burn at rest. That means that by building precious muscle, you can keep the fat off even if you’re not as mindful with what you eat because your food choices won’t be as less forgiving on your body. Another reason is to develop the habit of going to the gym and working out so it becomes part of your daily routine.
Knowing that now, and with you being the smart summanabitch you are, you wouldn’t dare do such a thing as burn your gym membership!
Now would ya?!