When you think of exercise, do you see it as a tool you can use to get fit and increase your energy levels, or are you thinking of it primarily as a weight loss tool? The truth is that most of us think of doing exercise as a means of losing weight or speeding up fat-burning. That’s how we’ve been trained to think over the course of our lives, thanks to the fact that exercise is always related to weight loss and weight management in every article, blog post, and book we’ve read. But what if I told you that was the wrong way to think about it?
Exercise DOES Help Weight Loss
Let’s be clear: exercise can help you to lose weight. You’ll find that working out regularly can be a great way to burn fat and excess calories, which in turn stops you from gaining weight. If you’re lucky, you may even find that you burn a few pounds of fat while gaining muscle. The term “weight loss” usually means more “fat loss” than anything, so that’s the kind of results we want when we exercise. If you work out the right way, exercise can help you burn fat.
Exercise is Primarily For Fitness
But, the truth is that exercise is mostly focused on your fitness levels. By fitness, of course, I mean your muscular strength, muscular endurance, cardiovascular endurance, and mobility and flexibility. Exercise does burn calories because it uses up the energy in your muscles, but it’s not going to target any specific fat store or calorie source to help you lose weight. It’s all about getting stronger, going harder, lasting longer, and moving more easily. Any weight loss benefits are just secondary to the #1 benefit of getting fitter.
Not Getting Results From Your Exercise?
Most of us who get discouraged from our daily workouts tend to do so because we’re not seeing the results we want as quickly as we want. Sadly, instead of focusing on the results we are getting—such as growing stronger or having more energy or stamina—we focus on the fact that we haven’t lost any weight or started looking better in the mirror even after weeks or months of working out. But that’s the wrong mindset! Exercise is focused on fitness first, and you can easily quantify the improvements in your fitness every time you go to the gym. That’s the real results you want to get!
Time to Shift Your Mindset
Stop thinking of exercise as the weight loss tool that will give you the results you want. While it will provide some results in terms of fat burning and calorie burning, the truth is that the main results you’ll get will be in terms of your fitness and overall energy levels. After a few weeks of working out, you’ll notice that you have more energy during the day, and you don’t get as easily tired during your activities of daily life. You’ll also be a bit stronger, last a bit longer, and go farther. That’s what you should be looking for when quantifying your exercise results. Don’t treat exercise like a weight loss tool—start using it to be healthy and get fit.
Take the Pressure Off Exercise
If you don’t see weight loss results, don’t quit the gym. Instead, accept that your weight loss is chiefly going to happen outside the gym—mainly in the kitchen, through your diet. All your gym time will do is give you that increase in fitness that will help to keep you healthy as you try to lose weight.