Exercise for all the right reasons, but not for fat loss

Exercise for all the right reasons, but not for fat loss

Fuelling Your Body


Sunday, October 13, 2019

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THERE is an old, counterproductive belief that exercising harder will make you lose more fat. However, in the long run, the only thing you will lose is focus on what is important.

So, what exactly is important? Putting energy into changing your old, damaging eating habituations for an intelligent, moderate, balanced, planned, committed, healthy lifestyle. Exercise has a myriad indisputable wellness benefits. In fact, InteKai has its own five fitness essentials:

• Walking;

• Progressive resistance weight training;

• Cardiovascular activity;

• Stretching; and

• Balance and coordination/ agility.

If you live a normal lifespan, you will pay a price if you consistently omit any one of the five activities from your weekly schedule — they are that important. But, when it comes to weight management, none of these activities will help you.

Of course, if you are a muscular, high performance, competitive athlete, and exercise intensely for four to five hours per day, five to six days per week, your level of caloric consumption will make a dent in your fat stores — assuming you are not severely overeating. However, nothing will completely negate the need for proper nutrition.

If nutrition is not properly managed, even competitive athletes are susceptible to high cholesterol, stroke, heart disease, inflammation, cancer, and neurological and autoimmune illnesses. Proper nutrition is king.

The rest of society — the people who are not or cannot exercise 30 hours per week — do not have the luxury of imagining that exercise will make a significant dent in their weight maintenance and fat loss goals.


You may have heard some numbers being thrown around in relation to weight loss, such as nutrition is 80 per cent and exercise is 20 per cent, or nutrition is 90 per cent and exercise is 10 per cent, and sayings such as, “You can't outtrain a bad diet”.

Sadly, most people hear but still don't understand, holding on to the belief that exercise plays a larger role — distracting themselves form the importance of excellent nutrition. The reality is simply a matter of arithmetic, biological adaptation and metabolism.


• Most activities, moderate to vigorous exercise activities, metabolises 220 to 350 calories per hour.

• The most competitive, high-intensity sporting activities metabolises 500 to 600 calories per hour.

• When you have become more proficient at these activities, you will become more efficient as your body adapts to your routine. That is, you will be able to do more while consuming less energy.

• Over time, caloric consumption in exercise can drop by as much as 25 per cent, reducing your caloric usage to as low as: 165 to 263 calories per hour for moderate to vigorous exercise; 375 to 450 calories per hour for high-intensity sports. Now it is becoming obvious why, after six months of exercise and an initial five- to 10-pound loss, your weight is not budging.


One pound of stored fat is about 3,500 calories worth of fat, marring some advanced physiology. To lose a pound of fat, you must ingest 3,500 calories less than you “burn”.

• For the average person, exercising away 3,500 calories (one pound of fat) will require 17 hours of exercise.

• One week's exercise may result in less than four ounces of fat loss. That is not even a quarter pound.

• To lose one pound of fat, the average person who exercises an hour per day, four days per week, will have to exercise unfailingly for one month and a day. After a week of exercise, the following will replace any fat lost (and don't say you don't eat these things, they are just examples, other foods are similar or more in calories):

• 2 tablespoons of salad dressing;

• 1 cup of coleslaw four days per week;

• 1 grilled chicken Caesar salad;

• 1 taco salad;

• 1 large banana per day;

• 48 ounces of soda;

• 48 ounces of unsweetened orange juice;

In other words, to lose a pound of fat per month with nutritional management, all you have to do is reduce your intake by:

• 8 tablespoons less of salad dressing per month;

• cutting out coleslaw;

• or eliminating/reducing any food or additive of equal caloric content, etc.

In the 1970s and 1980s, the fast food and sugar industries shifted the blame for obesity away from themselves to the people, saying that they are not the problem, the people are too lazy and exercise will solve the problem.

Stop believing this nonsense, it is distracting millions from focusing on the details of their nutrition, leaving it open for consumers to ignore labels, facts, advice, and stay entrenched in their habituations.

Exercise for all the right reasons — for health, mobility, strength, cardiovascular health, and more, but not for fat loss. Stop thinking, 'I should have lost more weight, I exercised so hard this week', learn to focus on your nutrition and augment your total wellness with exercise.

Fitz-George Rattray is the director of Intekai Academy, which is focused on helping people live a healthy lifestyle through nutrition and weight management. If you are interested in losing weight or living a healthier lifestyle, give them a call at 876-863- 5923, or visit their website at intekaiacademy.org.

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