While it’s obvious that exercising has a powerful impact on a person’s ability to lose fat, is it mandatory to see progress and get great results? The answer will probably be surprising to most people – no!
This may be good news if you hate the thought of spending 30 minutes on a treadmill or can’t stand sweating, but it’s important to understand how your body uses fat as energy – and why gaining muscle can help you reach your goals faster.
Why Does The Body Store Fat To Begin With?
Body fat is simply stored energy. It’s like a battery your body uses to stay running. Everything you eat is either used as energy that same day or gets stored as fat to keep the battery charged.
Most people are at a point where their batteries are at 100% and they’ve got some extra power packs that are charged up as well. In addition, what they eat every day goes into recharging the reserves or even adding more stored energy to the mix beyond where they started.
When trying to lose weight, the goal is to drain the battery. The only way to do this is by expending more energy than you consume on a daily basis and repeating this process over an extended time frame. This depletes the stored energy in your body (fat) and subsequently sheds it off your body!
Can You Lose Fat Without Exercise?
You don’t have to exercise in order to reach your weight loss goal but it does help!
One thing that exercise can do is increase the total amount of energy you burn on a given day. If you wanted to think of your body like a phone, the exercise part means that you’re using it more by making calls, playing videos, and having a bunch of apps open. This drains the battery very quickly. However, if you have your phone unplugged and don’t really do much with it, the base functions like staying connected to the network or displaying a clock will still slowly drain the energy reserves.
Even people who are completely sedentary expend energy. Basic functions like breathing, keeping your heart beating, and generation of body heat all burn calories. As long as you’re eating less than you’re expending you will STILL lose weight, even without exercising.
More Muscle, More Fat Loss
The main reason why exercise can be a powerful tool in your fat loss journey is that any kind of exercise that you do sends signals to your body to adapt to that movement more efficiently. For example, if you’re doing any kind of resistance training whether it’s lifting weights or doing calisthenic exercises, you are overcoming external forces with your musculoskeletal system (bones and muscles) and as such, you’re sending your body signals it needs to hold onto that muscle mass!
Another benefit of exercise is that muscle tissue sucks up more energy as you move about your normal day. The more muscle you have the more energy you will burn. This can speed up progress and makes life much easier, especially if you enjoy eating.
So if you haven’t been able to go to the gym (or never want to) don’t sweat it! Exercising does indeed increase the speed and quality of your fat loss results, it’s not an absolute necessity. What’s more important is focusing on the quality of your diet and remaining in a calorie deficit.
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