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Tom Venuto
I'm not real 'big' on exercise. Can I lose weight with just dieting...?
Tom Venuto
In a word, the short honest answer, would be "no", the Burn The Fat, Feed The Muscle program would not be suitable if you're "not big on exercise"...

However, let me qualify that answer and explain why you may want to consider changing your outlook on exercise and why exercise is superior to diet for permanent fat loss.

The entire premise behind my program is that conventional diets don't work and that it's better to BURN THE FAT than it is to starve the fat.

There's only ONE WAY to lose fat - and that is to create a calorie deficit. However, there are two ways to create a calorie deficit - one is to decrease your food intake so you are eating less than you burn, the other is to increase your exercise and activity so you are burning more than you eat.

Of the two ways to create a calorie deficit, burning the fat is far superior to starving it. You see, cutting calories too much causes weight loss at first, but it also causes muscle loss and it eventually leads to a decrease in metabolism, so the weight loss stops. This is very common on conventional diets, right? You lose weight in the beginning, but then you hit a plateau that you just can't break through. Cutting calories even more at this point only digs you even into a deeper "metabolic hole."

Eating more of the right foods (up to a certain point) actually increases your metabolic "heat" like putting wood on a fire. Food is energy; food is fuel, and it produces (metabolic) heat.

Exercise burns calories and creates a calorie deficit, but the real advantage of exercise over diet is that exercise increases your metabolism, dieting slows it down. Exercise also has major health benefits, while starvation can only create health problems.

So if you eat more (healthy foods) and exercise more, you get a double increase in metabolism. If you eat less and exercise less you get a double decrease in metabolism. That makes complete sense doesn't it?

So, if you're "not big on exercise," you can certainly lose body fat with diet alone, as long as you have a calorie deficit, but you're stacking the odds against you because ultimately, restrictive low calorie diets always cause metabolic damage. No matter how hard you try, you'll almost always hit a plateau before you reach your long term goal and you're likely to gain all the weight back (not fun!)

I'd suggest you re-examine your definition of "exercise." Fitness means different things to different people. Sitting on a bicycle in a health club might not be your idea of fun and you might not be big on that, but if you think hard enough, I'm sure that you can come up with some type of physical activity that burns calories which you can enjoy.

The IDEAL exercise program for fat loss has a combination of cardiovascular (aerobic) training and strength training. But ultimately, you're not likely to stick with exercise long term unless you choose activities you enjoy - so pick something you enjoy, even if it doesn't follow the guidelines of "traditional" fat loss programs. It's better to do something than nothing, and all exercise counts.

Some people may have orthopedic problems which limit the type of exercise they can do. But nearly everyone can walk. So if you can walk, then walk. And almost everyone can do some type of strength training. Instead of focusing on what you can't do or what you don't like to do, direct your attention to what you CAN do and what you would like to do.

Maybe you don't like being couped up inside all the time. Maybe you'd prefer hiking or jogging outside. Or maybe boxing or martial arts sounds cool to you. Maybe you like basketball or tennis. Maybe you'd enjoy classes, or yoga or pilates. Your options are nearly unlimited, but you have to do something or your body will begin to deteriorate.

The human body does not stay the same or "maintain" when you don't use it, the body falls apart from disuse. Anti aging researchers today are even admitting that genetics is only responsible for 30% of the effects of aging and that aging would be better described as the "disuse syndrome." Use it or lose it. The biggest factor that causes people to go downhill as they get older is the loss of muscle that occurs over time from inactivity, a process called "sarcopenia." However, that muscle loss is 100% preventable with strength training.

Strength training is extremely important and you can get results from as little as two or three workouts per week, with each session lasting 30-60 minutes. Most people don't think of weight training as a fat burning exercise, and technically, it's not. Strength training is anaerobic and your primary fuel source while lifting weights is carbohydrates. However, strength training workouts increase your metabolism for a short period of time after the workout. This is know as "excess post exercise oxygen consumption" (EPOC) and it means that you continue burning calories from body fat even after the workout is over.

As you increase your lean muscle mass, you'll also get a permanent increase in your resting metabolic rate. Muscle is what drives your metabolism, keeps you young and makes you look more physically attractive. Others will notice how good you look, and you'll feel better about yourself too. Yes, you may lose weight from diet alone, but you're likely to end up a "skinny fat person" with a slow metabolism and very little lean body mass (not to mention, you'll probably gain back all the fat)

Last, but not least, be careful what you say to yourself over and over because that tends to program your subconscious mind and create your self image. If you've been repeating to yourself for years, "I'm not big on exercise" or "I'm not an exercise person", that eventually becomes a part of your identity. You always tend to behave in alignment with your identity in order to stay "true to yourself."

If you've never exercised consistently before, then HOW DO YOU KNOW you're not an exercise person? Did you "try" once briefly and quit? How can you be sure you won't start to like it? It's often hard in the beginning and sometimes doesn't feel so good - especially if you haven't worked out in years or you've let yourself slip physically. But it gets easier and starts feeling better the more you do it.

Maybe when you look in the mirror after just a few weeks and see your body start to change you'll begin to like enjoy exercise a LOT. It can get addictive, you know. The endorphins that are released when you exercise are like opiates. Ever hear of "runners HIGH?" Ever hear of an "exercise addict?" What would YOU rather be hooked on? Forget about popping pills, Your body is the most exquisite pharmacy on the planet. Exercise is a better fat burner, health creator, energy producer and anti-depressant than any man-made drug will EVER be. Exercise can be fun and FEEL GOOD too.

Human beings were meant to move. Bodies don't lose their function by being used too much and "wearing out", they lose their function by not being used enough and "rusting out." So if the positive benefits of exercise don't motivate you enough, then just picture yourself 10, 20 years from now and imagine what will happen to you if you DON'T start exercising today. Just before you're about to "blow off" a workout, run a movie in your mind of what your life will be like when you're sick, wheelchair-bound, in pain and unable to enjoy your grandchildren... if you ever even get to meet them. Now... blank out that screen and imagine how amazing your life could be when you have all the energy, strength and vitality you ever dreamed of because you set aside a few minutes every day to take care of yourself first.

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