I came across this article in the paper this morning. And found it pretty interesting. While I don't agree that working out will make you fat. I do agree that it is WHAT you put in your MOUTH that really MATTERS.
This week’s Time magazine cover story makes a provocative argument — exercise won’t make you thin. The article argues that while Americans claim to be exercising more than ever, two-thirds of us are overweight and that working out may be harming efforts to get thin.
Author John Cloud writes:
Yes, it’s entirely possible that those of us who regularly go to the gym would weigh even more if we exercised less. But like many other people, I get hungry after I exercise, so I often eat more on the days I work out than on the days I don’t. Could exercise actually be keeping me from losing weight?
The article cites various studies on on weight loss that suggest what people eat matters more and that light activity sprinkled throughout the day (walking and taking the stairs) is most beneficial. One researcher is quoted saying, “In general, for weight loss, exercise is pretty useless.”
The article knocks the media, including shows like “The Biggest Loser,” for promoting the idea that exercise is crucial for weight loss. (Check out a story on O.C. residents auditioning for the show here.)
The article has stirred fierce reaction in the fitness world. The American College of Sports Medicine released a statement in response. In it, Janet Rankin, an expert in nutrition and exercise, said, “A practical response to the claim that exercise makes you eat more and gain weight is to look around. If this were the case, wouldn’t those who regularly exercise be the fattest? Obviously that isn’t the case.”
Dave Mugavero, one of the owners of Custom Bodies Fitness in Irvine, called the premise of the article preposterous. He said he works with all his weight loss clients on what they’re eating, not just how to burn more calories.
“We were having the debate this morning. We pulled up the article and were saying, ‘How ridiculous.’ Working out is not making America gain weight. It’s lack of knowledge about diet and nutrition. You can work out all day and if you eat horribly you’re going to gain weight. If you don’t change your diet, you’re going to be an in-shape overweight person which is better than being an out-of-shape overweight person.”
Mugavero said exercise may increase appetite but disagreed with the article’s suggestion that people are less active after working out because they feel tired.
“It has the opposite effect,” he said. “It gives you a lot more energy. If I’m exercising, I’m increasing my endorphins. Most of my clients when they work out, they feel like working out more, not less.”
What do you think? Is the gym partially to blame for bigger waistlines? Do you reward yourself with extra calories after a workout? What do you think is the best way to maintain a healthy weight?
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