The “Simple Truth” About Exercise and Weight Loss (Losing Body Fat)

Before we start, I have to briefly blow my own horn. Check this out:

First, I have a 4-year degree in Fitness and Health obtained from San Diego State University in 1977.

Second, I’ve trained or have been trained by some of the biggest names in bodybuilding (in my era), namely Jack LaLanne, Steve Reeves, Earl Clark, Chuck Norris (No Joke), and others.

Third, I have been active and productive in this field for 57+ years!

Fourth, I was the fitness consultant for the United States Marine Corp based at MCRD San Diego for 15 years.

Fifth, I am a certified personal trainer with American Council on Exercise (ACE)

Alright …let’s get down to facts:

First fact, A pound of fat is equates to 3500 calories, pure and simple.This fact has been known in the fitness and health industry for decades. It follows then, if one is 10 pounds overweight, then one has 35,000 stored calories in the form of fat concentrated in various locations on the body.

Fact #2, Exercise (activity) burns Calories. But so does watching Television, washing dishes, and sleeping.

The following is a list of some of the highest calorie burning exercises (activities) known.

Activity Calories spent per hour

Running (8 mph) 1075

Jumping Rope 1075

Vigorous Swimming 892

Running Stairs 819

High Impact Aerobics 665

Rowing (machine) 550

Hiking 550

Water Aerobics 500

Running on Crosstrainer 455

Brisk Walk 390

Easy Cycle 365

Slow Walk 255

Wash Dishes 150

Watch TV 75

Sleeping 65

OK. If one is trying to lose weight it’s a simple matter of burning stored calories. Folks have been told forever that exercise is the key…this is simply NOT TRUE. If I’m going to rely on exercise to reduce body weight; I have an immediate problem when I connect the dots between the facts shown above. To lose a single pound of stored fat (3500 calories) You have to burn or subtract 3500 calories from your storehouse. Where on the above list of exercise activities does any exercise even come close to doing me any good. Check it out: If you ran at 8 mph for 1 hour you would burn approximately ⅓ of 1 pound of fat. You would have to run for 3 hours to lose 1 single pound. Very few people are going to be able to use exercise as a cornerstone to losing body fat.

Exercise is important…but it is not the key to weight loss.

Fact #3. You can lose (fat) weight without ever doing any exercise…how do you like that?

I hate to say it…But Diet is the key; I know your not going to like this, but the simple truth is calorie control is the only way to control fat stores. It’s simple math…calories in vice calories out Period! If more calories are consumed then are spent one will eventually get Fat. Conversely speaking if the opposite is true one will get skinny.

Let’s hypothetically figure this out:

2000 calories daily needed to maintain current fatness (maintenance caloric intake varies)

Minus a 500 calorie cut per day bringing down daily consumption to 1500 for 7 days

This equals a total deficit (removed from the fat bank) of 3500 calories for the week (7 days)

This of course results in a loss of 1 pound for the week, since 1 pound of fat equals 3500 calories. Incidentally, losing 1 pound of fat per week is safe , healthy and manageable.

It even gets simpler. Myself and other experts in this field have noticed a generalization of the above example: Most any overweight woman who adheres to a 1200 calorie daily “Diet” will eventually find her desired weight, and most any overweight man who adheres to a 1500 calorie daily “Diet” will eventually find his desired weight.

So what about exercise? How does it fit really into the scheme of things? I said that exercise is not the key factor in achieving desired body weight, but it is still important. Here’s why: Daily exercise produces muscle tone, improves circulation and raises one’s fitness level (also has an effect on metabolism but let’s don’t go there now). If one left out exercise altogether and after losing significant weight one would most likely still look like s..t.

So there it is. The simple truth. That’s it. Don’t let anybody sell you any ridiculous expensive nonsense. Eat a balanced diet and… sorry…but you have to count every calorie. You have to be accountable to yourself.

Some notes:

Ladies, don’t ever go below 1200 calories

Men, don’t ever go below 1500 calories

Everybody don’t eat later than 6 pm