Achieving long-term weight loss can seem like a difficult goal to reach for many. With so much information available online, the general public is often more confused than ever on the best ways to lose weight.
You may already know that diet and exercise are the two most talked about ways to lose weight, but is it possible to achieve weight loss without exercise?
If losing weight is simply a matter of how many calories you consume in relation to the number that you burn, then maybe exercise doesn’t really matter.
But there’s more to it than that. The following will shed some light on the role of exercise in weight loss and whether or not it’s necessary for you to meet your fitness goals.
Caloric Deficit and Weight Loss
There’s no question that managing your caloric intake is critical to achieving your weight loss goals. A calorie is a measurement of energy, and whatever energy isn’t used by the body is stored.
Consistent consumption of excess calories leads to weight gain. On the other hand, when you consume fewer calories than your body requires (creating a caloric deficit), your body must mobilize its own energy stores for use.
But this is an overly simplified explanation of a complex process. There is another side to the equation that must be considered: your body’s own metabolic rate.
Enhancing Your Metabolic Rate
Your metabolism represents the rate at which your body converts food into usable energy.
Your basal metabolic rate (BMR) relates to the amount of energy required to maintain basic physiological functions without considering physical activity or other additional demands.
This includes the energy required for digestion, breathing, and brain function.
Your metabolic rate is dependent on factors that include total muscle mass, age, gender, and overall health.
Creating too much of a caloric deficit can negatively impact your metabolic rate. Other health problems are also detrimental to your body’s ability to burn energy.
Metabolism is just one component of your overall health. But it is a critical part of regulating your weight, hormones, and other biological processes.
Muscle Mass and Metabolism
The fact that muscle mass has a direct relationship with your metabolic rate sheds light on the role of exercise in weight loss.
Resistance exercise like strength training, yoga, and Pilates stimulate the muscles of the body. This enhances the body’s ability to produce energy while at rest.
Research has shown that women who participated in resistance training three times a week experienced an increase in the number of calories they burned each day.
Also, muscle mass begins to decrease as people age. Exercise prevents the loss of metabolically active muscle as time goes by.
Resistance training also benefits many health conditions such as arthritis and diabetes. For those who have issues managing their blood sugar, exercise and diet are important components to regulating the body and preventing weight gain.
Long-Term Weight Loss
Losing weight without exercising is possible when you consider the effects of creating a caloric deficit. But maintaining your results over time will require a multi-dimensional approach that includes exercise as a regular part of your healthy lifestyle.
Using both aerobic and resistance exercise in addition to a caloric deficit provides better results when compared to dieting alone.
But there are some additional strategies you can use to ensure that you lose weight and keep it off.
The first step is to set realistic and achievable goals. Having a clear weight loss goal in mind makes it easy to measure your success.
Large goals can be broken down into smaller milestones. This makes them more achievable and builds momentum and confidence as you reach each goal.
You should also have a system in place to track your weight loss progress. Whether you’re using exercise or not, monitoring your progress lets you determine if what you’re doing is actually working.
This is especially important when determining what program you should be following. Losing weight without exercise may work in the long run, but your results may reach a plateau over time.
By incorporating resistance exercises into your routine, you maintain an optimal metabolic rate to continue your weight loss and maintain the results you achieve.
Weight loss can be achieved without exercise. But it isn’t the ideal approach for achieving the best results.
Understanding the importance of your metabolism in regulating weight, and knowing how to support it with a healthy diet and lifestyle are key. You can also use a caloric deficit to ensure that you are burning more energy that you’re taking in.
But exercise offers an additional level of metabolism-enhancing benefits that will help you lose weight for a lot longer. By incorporating regular resistance exercises into your routine, you’ll be on your way to leaner, healthier, and fitter body.