“Why Exercise Won’t Make You Thin”

Have you seen the cover of this week’s issue of TIME magazine?  If not, you should definitely check it out; it’s ALL about nutrition!

The article is titled, “Why Exercise Won’t Make You Thin”, and the writer’s conclusion is that “it’s what you eat that really counts”.  Below, I’ve listed the points I found to be the most interesting and have included my own commentary.  For the full article, related videos, and photo slide shows click here.

TIME: Exercise is good for heart health and cognitive functioning, but it won’t help you lose weight.

SWH: Exercise is great for toning, mood, and overall health, but it’s only 20% off the equation when it comes to weight loss.  The other 80% is – you guessed it – nutrition.

TIME: People usually compensate after a workout, eating more than they normally would.  “Says [Dr. Timonthy] Church, ‘I don’t think most people would appreciate, wow, you only burned 200 or 300 calories, which you’re going to neutralize with just half that muffin’.”

SWH: It’s a common mentality for most to want to “reward” themselves after a hard workout or feel more hungry after a good work out! Neither of these actions help weight loss.   Here’s a tip: Plan your meals before and after workouts so you’re not tempted to stray from your nutrition plan because of this “reward” mentality.

TIME: “The most powerful determinant of your dietary intake is your energy expenditure,” says Steven Gortmaker, who heads Harvard’s Prevention Research Center on Nutrition and Physical Activity.  “If you’re more physically active, you’re going to get hungry and eat more.”

SWH: This is true.  If you expend more energy, you’re going to need to eat more to compensate.  Cookies, muffins, vitamin water or fries are not meant to compensate for a good workout!  Eating more is not the issue; it’s timing (when you eat) and the quality of food (what you eat) that will catapult you to weight loss.

TIME: Being more active throughout the day may be better than rigorous exercise for a short amount of time.

SWH: I believe in both – 20-30 minutes of intense exercise 3-5 times a week, plus an active day is ideal.

More Interesting points…

TIME: Gortmaker, who has studied childhood obesity, is even suspicious of the playgrounds at fast-food restaurants.  “Why would they build those?…I know it sounds like conspiracy theory, but you have to think, if a kid plays five minutes and burns 50 calories, he might then go inside and consume 500 calories, or even 1,000.”

TIME: Muscle may burn more than fat, but at most, you may only be able to consume 40 extra calories a day (which is equiv. to a tsp of butter)


TIME: Exercise won’t help you lose weight; it may even be making it harder.

SWH: What you eat is 80% of the equation when it comes to weight loss.  Focus on this first – make nutrition a part of your routine and THEN build exercise into your life.  You’ll get more significant results and (be happy to be active.)


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