Thursday, September 15, 2016

Exercise Anyway!

For people trying to lose a lot of weight mostly by exercising a lot, the news has not been good. Evidence seems to indicate that, while exercise is certainly helpful for controlling weight -- and is absolutely excellent at improving our health and staving off the worst impacts of obesity -- it is not as powerful in terms of weight loss to try to expend more calories through exercise as it is simply to ingest fewer calories in the first place.

Here at Dr. Feiz & Associates, we understand why people are not thrilled by this. For many of us, it actually seems easier to increase our level of exercise than it is to eat a great deal less -- and that's because, as we've seen time and time again, while exercise tends to become a habit, curtailing our diet actually gets harder and harder over time for most individuals.

This is why so many people manage to lose a very large amount of weight ultimately regain their weight. It's very much as if the body and the brain, driven by certain key hormones, really wants us to regain the weight and will do everything in our power to persuade us to overeat so that we return to our prior weight. This is why procedures like the gastric sleeve have proven to be such a godsend to severely obese patients; they seem to actually change the metabolic processes that make weight loss so difficult for the large majority of patients.

Even so, whether or not you're are a candidate for bariatric surgery, we strongly advise everyone -- and especially those struggling with obesity -- to work exercise into their daily lives. (Though, of course, if you've been completely inactive, you should consult a physician before embarking on a vigorous new regime.) For nearly all of us, it's one of the best favors we can do for ourselves, with a lot of proven physical and psychological benefits. For those of us with obesity, however, it's one of the few countermeasures we can take that can reduce a great many of the worst impacts of being  overweight.

Health is not always an either/or situation. Sometimes it's more of a "yes, but..." In this case. it's "yes, exercise probably won't cure your obesity by itself" and "but, even if you remain obese, it will make your obesity-related health problems possibly a great deal less severe and, if you lose weight, it will help you stay that way and be as healthy as possible." In other words, just get out and do something. Regardless of whether or not you lose weight, you'll be a lot better off.

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