When you exercise to lose weight fast, you're doing a lot more than just burning calories. You're actually recalibrating your hormones and body to be more relaxed and actually want to be thinner. No, it's not magic or BS. Just good science. So, in addition to burning calories, an exercise program to lose weight…
1. Increases Muscle Insulin Sensitivity
Dr. Robert Lustig, a UCSF Professor of Pediatrics in the Division of Endocrinology, in a 2007 interview on ABC health radio made it clear why exercise is so good for weight loss – and it's not about the calories. Why?
"…why does exercise work in obesity? Because it burns calories? That's ridiculous. Twenty minutes of jogging is one chocolate chip cookie, I mean you can't do it."
Insulin is the hormone that is primarily released when you eat carbohydrates. And it's the major hormone responsible for fat storage. Exercise increases your muscles insulin sensitivity, so that it's easier for your muscles to absorb nutrients – great for when you're exercising! And also for weight control, since it means that your body releases less insulin to lower your blood sugar. And less insulin means that you store less fat!
2. Decreases Cortisol, Your Stress Hormone
Exercise is one of the few activities that naturally lowers your stress hormone, cortisol. Most people these days have chronically elevated cortisol because of chronic stress, which is really bad for tons of reasons – and not just because it causes you to put on fat.
Cortisol is a catabolic hormone, meaning that when it's in your system all the time because of chronic stress it wears down your muscle mass. And it causes you to develop visceral fat, body fat of the worst kind that contributes to your risk of heart attack. Your muscle mass is essential for keeping you burning fat and and for supporting your ability to exercise, run, jump, and have fun.
So move around and have fun! Exercise will not only make you stronger, but it will also decrease your cortisol. It'll preserve your muscle mass, and with the added bonus of making you more relaxed.
3. Uses Up Time
When you're at home in the evenings, why not have that extra slice of cake? After all, there's nothing else to do. Many people eat for reasons other than hunger. They eat because they're bored, because they feel lonely, or because they're depressed. So fix those problems! If you do boxing or practice jujutsu, grappling, running or weight lifting or anything that gets you active in the evenings, this will keep you away from your house – and you'll probably avoid eating for reasons other than hunger. Also, an exercise program to lose weight may give you a new interest and broaden your friend group! All of these will help you lose fat and keep it off.
4. Makes You Feel Good!
Exercise, whether you're just starting a beginner weight training program or doing cardio like running, causes you body to release endorphins. And these hormones just make you feel good! Feeling good because of the endorphin release from exercise does tons of good stuff for you. But the most important part is that when you exercise to lose weight fast, you feel good – which helps prevent binging and other emotionally based eating.
When you exercise regularly and feel good about yourself, you start to eat not because you're bored or feel crappy or for any of those reasons. You start eating because you need more fuel, which is really the only reason you should be eating in the first place.
When you exercise to lose weight fast, you're not just burning calories. You're actually changing how your body regulates its fat stores so that it's easier and more pleasurable to eat less. And when this dovetails with the calories you're burning when you exercise, and a healthy diet, your whole body starts to change for the better – fast!
About The Author: Aaron McCloud is an American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) certified personal trainer and has been writing about strength training, diet, and fitness at his website Complete Strength Training for two and a half years. He has practiced martial arts for 10 years, focusing on Battojutsu Japanese swordsmanship, as well as experimenting a variety of styles and exercise methods.