Since you know that to lose weight requires you to burn more calories than you consume, you might wonder, “is exercise necessary for weight loss?” The answer might surprise you.
The quick and easy answer is no. Exercise isn’t necessary for weight loss. A person, without exercising at all, can lose weight. But it certainly won’t be easy, and it’s certainly not healthy.
For someone who’s completely sedentary to lose weight, they have to take in fewer calories than they burn just like anyone else. And without any form of exercise, they’re not burning many calories. That means eating very little food would be necessary to lose weight.
For someone with no appetite, this won’t be a problem. But for most people, eating amounts of food so small as to allow them to lose weight would be a challenge. Exercise lets you enjoy food more, which is a benefit few people really talk about.
You can diet to an extreme. If you’re taking in a very small amount of calories compared to how many you are burning, you’re not doing yourself any favors. You need to reach a minimum number of calories per day. For most people a 1200 calorie diet is close to starvation.
But if you’re not getting any type of exercise at all, you may not be able to eat even that much in this way. Getting regular exercise allows you to take in more calories while still losing weight. This is a true benefit for anyone who wants to be able to eat normal meals.
You won’t be able to eat anything you want. You can’t enjoy lasagna five times a week or have ice cream every day even if you’re exercising. You have to make wise choices. But you do need to take in enough calories to put your intake in a healthy range.
Without exercise, the number of calories you can eat goes down. That severely limits the type of food you can eat. Most people couldn’t maintain that level of dieting for very long.
So while you can lose weight without exercising, why would you want to? Only in the most extreme situations where exercise isn’t possible, would this even be advisable. And even then, for most people there is some form of exercise they can do.
Someone even confined to a bed may be able to move his or her arms and do a form of strength training to help build endurance. So there are very few situations where no exercise at all is the only choice.
Exercise offers other benefits besides weight loss. It tones not only your muscles, but your circulatory system and your respiratory system. Our bodies are designed to move, so exercise is necessary for good health no matter what weight you are.
And while it is possible to lose weight without exercise, losing weight becomes much easier when you do work out. So, “is exercise necessary for weight loss?” No, it isn’t, but it is necessary for the most healthy type of weight loss, and for overall good health.