What Happens When You Try Losing Weight Without Exercise
While it might seem like the easier way to lose weight, attempting to do so will stack the odds against you. Not only will exercise make it easier for you to lose weight (and especially fat), but it has many numerous health benefits.
When you restrict calories, your body draws on its energy reserves to fuel itself. Many people automatically assume that fat is the fuel your body uses when you diet. Yes, your body does use fat stores, but the ratio of fat to muscle it uses is much higher if you exercise. In other words, you will burn more fat and less muscle if you provide a stimulus like exercise.
Without exercise, you give your body no reason to hold onto its muscle. Muscle is highly energy intensive to maintain, and it’s one of the first things to go on a calorie restricted diet if you do not provide a stimulus to keep it. You might be able to lose a comparable amount of weight through diet alone, but weight does not always equal fat. You will have a much higher percentage of weight loss come from fat if you hold onto your muscle.
The Importance of Exercise
Exercise increases your insulin sensitivity and boosts your natural growth hormone levels. These two things put your body into a perfect metabolic state to mobilize fatty acids.
I don’t think it’s any secret that exercise burns calories. However, by burning an extra 500 calories through exercising every day, you either enable yourself to eat 500 more calories a day, or you lose about an extra pound every week. On a calorie restricted diet, you’re already eating so few calories. Why not have a higher chance at success, and allow yourself to enjoy more delicious food, and eat more nutrients?
Muscle “eats” fat, and the majority of fat burning occurs in the mitochondria. Where are these mitochondria located – mostly in muscle. You can increase your total mitochondria and their density through exercise. You can also lose mitochondria through lack of exercise. The more mitochondria you have, the higher your metabolism can potentially be, and the easier it will be to lose fat.
Is Exercise Necessary For Weight Loss?
So to answer the question – yes you can, but you will:
- Lose muscle
- Slow your metabolism
- Have to eat less than if you were exercising
- Not be able to enjoy cheat meals to the same extent
- Not get the natural fat loss benefits of growth hormone
- Not have improved insulin sensitivity
- Have a much harder time getting a six pack
- Have increased hunger cravings
- Not be as healthy
- Have a worse body composition
- End up wishing you had exercised
You can lose weight without exercising. However, even though working out can be tough, in the end, it’s the easier way to achieve your goals. Find an activity you enjoy doing and push yourself at it. Have fun with it!