Can you lose weight without exercise?
This was a question I was asked over the phone on a recent inquiry !
Of course I answered . Just be sure you have a dietary-induced calorie deficit. Is it the best way? Not by a long shot.
We’ve known for some time that when you restrict calories, your level of non exercise physical activity (non exercise activity thermogenesis or NEAT), drops spontaneously, even if you don’t realize it’s happening.
Your physical activity energy expenditure (PAEE) also tends to drop when you restrict calories.
Basically, when you cut calories, you get sluggish, you move your body less, you don’t feel like exercising and if you do exercise, you do it with with less “gusto.”
This means that unless you intentionally counter this tendency by pushing yourself to keep active and keep up the intensity, despite your low calorie intake, your weight loss will slow down automatically as you continue with caloric restriction. (can you say, “fat loss plateau?”)
The new twist to this story is that in this latest study the researchers followed up on the subjects through the maintenance period – with 6 month and 12 month checkups.
This is significant, because most of our fat loss “success stories” are reported immediately after the weight loss phase,
The surprise is WHY some clients regained back the weight and WHO regained the most after leaving our facilities.
What I found was the drop in physical activity during the diet was directly related to the weight regain after the diet !
“The greater the decrease in physical activity energy expenditure (PAEE) during the energy deficit, the greater the weight gain during the follow up.”
“That won’t happen to me,” you say? Think again. That drop in activity usually happens unconsciously. It’s part of the “starvation response” (or “weight-regulating mechanism” if you prefer). Your body tricks you in countless ways, in order to restore energy balance and stabilise your weight.
Bottom line: If you want to MAXIMISE your fat loss, and keep fat off permanently, it is imperative not only to keep up a high level of energy expenditure (BURN calories not just cut them), but also to make a conscious effort to make sure your activity level does not drop as you lose weight during the calorie deficit.