Exercise Can Be Making You Fat

Physical activity is crucial for a healthy body and mind but it doesn’t equal weight loss. Those that exercise deliberately or have an active job or lifestyle than sedentary, have lower risks for many diseases – less heart/cancer/diabetes – and experience less mental decline (especially the dementias).

However exercise as a method to lose weight is virtually useless. The irony is in the process of burning calories, hunger is stimulated. Think of the frequent habitual behavior of going to the gym and then stopping for that favorite high calorie snack or beverage or both. One blueberry muffin (approx. 360 calories) requires 1 hour plus of medium exertion mowing grass, biking, vacuuming, or jogging for 30 minutes. Even weight lifting can take approximately 2 hours to lose a muffin! Image the 1000 calorie Starbucks or Timmie drink?

Losing weight is complex and is at odds with the “exercise reward” psychology and the physical hunger that sets in.

Genetically humans didn’t evolve to get rid of calories beyond what was needed for sustaining life; excess is stored in fat cells.

Depressing research shows the energy gap – that being the calorie difference between calories used and calories eaten lessens with exercise. In other words, exercise leads to eating more calories than burned!

Obesity researchers suggest frequent low level exercise, such as just basic fast walking through a day, is kinder to muscles and increases that energy gap far better than exercise binges which are stressful to the body structure.

Obese people are often burning more calories hauling excess weight around. The bottom line? Is what you eat not how hard you try to work it off. Metabolism can be tweaked by diet/exercise and sleep habits. This gives one some control over what genetics and aging effects influence. Especially after 40, it is possible to negate the normal slow-down that happens.

The basal metabolic rate is the number of calories a body burns at rest and if effected by age/body/type/height. Skipping intake on rising creates a metabolic freeze and energy is stored in fat cells instead of burning. So eat! One half of that intake needs to be protein to jump start critical body functions.

Eating small intakes 4-5 times a day with protein (beans/dairy/meat) keeps the calorie burning turned on. Food high in fat and carbs effects the sugar processing causing the body to store calories in the fat department.
Exercise does stimulate metabolism and has an after effect up to 24 hours post exercise. Activation of fat burning genes happens but be aware appetite stimulation is the spin off. Again, regular low intensity movement such as walking, swimming, yoga frequently helps when the best weight loss is the goal.


Lack of sleep is a huge player in managing weight. Those that sleep 5 or less hours eat 25% more calories or approximately 550. What you eat becomes really important in weight management with sleep deprivation. It’s still recommended to aim for 7-8 hours. This lack of sleep effects the balance of appetite controlling hormones and negatively impacts general health along with dysfunctional burning of calories.

Laser and Skin Care Medspa offers a safe, natural hormone based weight loss program that works! Exercise is optional but helps tweak those with slower metabolisms. Your call and questions are welcome. Your consultation is free for those with Alberta Health Care.