ExerciseHow to Avoid Unnecessary Exercise in Weight Loss

March 1, 2022by Mike Phoutrides0

As you begin your weight loss program, how much time are you dedicating to the gym on day one? How much volume do you plan on doing? How long has it been since you’ve worked out, and how much of that old workout are you now carrying over to your newest weight loss program?

Whether you’ve been a total couch potato for the past year(s) or have only taken a short time away from your goals, this blog post will show you an easy way to avoid unnecessary exercise while simultaneously achieving the weight loss you deserve.

First things first, this is an opinion piece. Feel free to say no to anything and everything in this particular blog post. If you do disagree, however, leave a comment or email us at info@cornerstoneweightloss.com. (You can also leave a comment or send an email if your agree and just love what is said here)! The more we can come together and discuss effective, longterm weight loss tactics, the better all of us will be. Furthermore, it will get us closer to accomplishing the mission of better understanding how food affects your body in a common sense way that will put you in control of how you look.

There seems to be this idea that when you begin a weight loss program you hit the ground running at full speed. This seems to mean that at the start you couple very restrictive dieting with the maximum amount of exercise your current level of fitness will allow.

This may work for some and may be an option you would want to consider. This is totally understandable and will most likely give you results.

Before you use those tactics, however, how about considering something just a little different?

A tweet was made a little while ago outlining two hypothetical scenarios for someone beginning a weight loss program. 

One scenario was someone who was eating low calories and exercising a lot.

The better scenario was someone eating higher calories and exercising little. 

For the sake of the tweet’s brevity, part of the greater philosophy was left out. One of the tactics for your longterm weight loss strategy is to do the minimum effective dose of exercise while eating the most you can, all the time.

In order to achieve this somewhat lofty sounding goal, starting out on the right foot in your exercise program is essential. 

Avoiding unnecessary exercise in weight loss can be achieved by a three-step process:

  1. Determine where you stand metabolically with a Metabolic Snapshot
  2. Develop and work your weight loss program with the goal of dropping 1-1.5 pounds per week, reducing calories over time as necessary to maintain your aforementioned weight loss rate. 
  3. As weight loss inevitably plateaus, incorporate exercise conservatively to maintain your weight loss rate at 1-1.5 pounds per week.

The first two steps have been discussed at length in previous blog posts (link above), however more information seems to be needed on step three, and you deserve it.

The first principles of the conservative incorporation of exercise is to understand why you’re doing it

Think back to the first questions you were asked at the beginning of this blog post. From experience, the number you gave as an answer will most likely end up doubling as your weight loss program progresses.

Did you plan on dedicating one hour to the gym at the beginning of your weight loss program?

Then you’ll probably be inadvertently losing two hours of your day in the gym in just just a couple months of starting.

If you didn’t have two hours to lose at the gym at the beginning, you certainly won’t have it when you’re hungry and losing energy due to your caloric deficit that is required for sustained weight loss.  

The second part of the conservative incorporation of exercise is to understand how to do it.

*Side note: what you’re about to read is an example set of tactics on how to incorporate exercise conservatively while achieving effective weight loss. This is just one example that you can use for conceptual understanding. Please do not think that this is the only way to go about this for yourself.

Imagine you and your weight loss professional have developed a weight loss program using your accurate Metabolic Snapshot and you’ve been losing 1-1.5 pounds per week on average for two weeks. (Steps 1 and 2 mentioned above).

During week three it seems like your inevitable weight loss plateau is on the horizon as your weight loss begins to stall. While incorporating all the nutritional tactics to combat this weight loss plateau, you and your weight loss professional deem it necessary to begin conservatively incorporating exercise.  

You devise and execute an exercise plan in the middle of week three that begins with 10 minutes of cardiovascular training (cardio) and 20 minutes of resistance training.

Imagine now you’re at the beginning of week four. After conservatively incorporating exercise into your weight loss program, It looks like you’re now on track to be losing 2 pounds per week. 

In order to get back into your acceptable weight loss rate of 1-1.5 pounds per week you have a few options:

  • Increase caloric intake.
  • Reduce your volume of exercise.
  • Hold everything steady until you begin to plateau at your current caloric intake and exercise volume   

End scenario.

Of those three options, there is no “correct” answer. Any of the three will keep you on the right path in the framework of the three step process used to avoid unnecessary exercise in weight loss.

When you increase caloric intake you get to eat more (duh)! This means you get more longevity out of your initial weight loss program before you need to begin your preventative maintenance program.

When you reduce your volume of exercise you’ll get more of your time back. You seemed to have overestimated the volume of exercise needed to achieve your acceptable weight loss rate of 1-1.5 pounds per week. This gives you a little more of your time back and reduces the volume of exercise you’ll be doing near the end of your weight loss program.

When you hold everything steady you’ll be losing more than your acceptable weight loss rate of 1-1.5 pounds per week, however, over time, you will see that weight loss rate go down as you begin down the road to your next inevitable weight loss plateau. 

The last part of the conservative incorporation of exercise is to do it

If you take away anything from the example above let it be these two ideas: the conservative incorporation of exercise allows you to put in the minimum effective amount of exercise while still achieving weight loss and gives you tactical options as you progress through your effective weight loss program.

Understandably, it may be mentally taxing to avoid exercise when beginning a weight loss program. It seems like it’s just wrong to think that your aim should be to do the least amount possible while getting to the weight you want.

What I have found and have shown to many satisfied clients is that this method seems to feel wrong in the beginning, but becomes a no-brainer with life-changing impact when you have achieved your weight loss goals without spending hours and hours locked in a gym like a prisoner. 

At Cornerstone Weight Loss we help you better understand how food affects your body in a common sense way that will put you in control of how you look. In order to get in touch with a professional who can help tailor your weight loss plan to you, click below, fill out the information, and a member of the Cornerstone Weight Loss team will reach out to you to get the results in weight loss you deserve. 

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