It was in the beginning of a consultation that the prospective client said “I want to lose weight” slightly looking away in embarrassment, as if this was hard for her to admit. “I totally understand that” I replied, and then inquired, “and you intend to do it with exercising?” She looked right at me and stated, “Yes, of course…everything that I read tells me that if I want to lose weight I have to exercise” I could tell that she was waiting for me to agree with her.
About 80% of all prospective clients I talk to, want to hire a personal trainer to help them lose weight. (Remember this statement)
And herein lies a huge problem and misconception.
I looked her straight in the eyes, “If you want to lose weight diet, it’s that simple!” By the look on her face I could tell she really did not believe a word I just said.
Yes exercise burns calories, and burning calories helps you lose weight. Nice and easy, but not really.
Lets take a closer look at this. Every person need a certain number of calories to support their daily activity. Every person is different, and therefore, how many calories we need depends largely on sex, weight and how man calories we burn doing what we do every day. I am going to create a imaginary person. She is female weights about 150 pounds. Her daily activity requires about 2100.
If she eats the same each day, and does the same routine each day she maintains her weight. She decides she wants to lose 10 pounds, and she is going to do with exercise. Her exercise of choice is walking about 2 mph, she is going to do that for three days a week, for about one hour each day. That exercise burns around 189 calories per hour so she is going to burn around 567 calories per week.
Here comes the chilling fact…..It takes about 3500 calories to support a pound. This means for each pound she wants to lose, she has to burn 3500 calories. We now devide 567 the number of extra calories she will burn each week with exercise. We divide that in 3500 calories, which is the amount of calories she needs to burn one pound, and we see that it will take her 6.17 weeks to lose one pound.
OK then she is going to do a more intense exercise. She is going to join a gym and work out on an elliptical trainer for one hour a day, three days per week.
She is going to try to go at a moderate clip, that will cause her to perspire quite a bit, and will probably burn about 700 calories per hour, or 2100 calories a week. Keep in mind this is a good clip, and a lot of hard work.
Once again we divide the calories burned via exercise which is 2100 into the amount of calories it takes to burn a pound 3500, and we find that it will take 1.6 weeks to burn one pound.
Are you getting the picture? Exercise on it’s own is not the way to lose weight. Exercise with the proper diet is. The same person, now decides she is going to diet, and cut back on her calories. She is going to cut out 500 calories per day from what she now eats. If we do the math we find that she will eat 3500 calories less per week, and lose about one pound per week. Remember everyone is different and this is just an example. Now she is going to exercise to help her lose more weight. Now she intends to jog for an hour three hours per week. An hour of average jogging takes about 450 calories per hour. That burns about 1350 calories per week. That will add up to almost another pound lost about every 2.5 weeks. Between diet and exercise she will lose about one pound to 1.5 pounds per week. A very healthy amount to lose every week.
Weight loss is an industry that sells billions of dollars worth of product and services every year. They want you to believe that you can lose all the weight you want, with just exercise…and you probably could, but it would take a very long time to do. The more you exercise the more money you will spend with gyms, home equipment, personal trainers and coaches, low fat foods, and what ever the current fad happens to be.
The whole point here is, if you want to hire a personal trainer to lose weight, read the above article again. If you want to hire a personal trainer to help you get healthy, stronger, and lose weight you are on the right track. There are many other goals a personal trainer can help you with in addition to the above. You can lose weight if you understand how. What are you waiting for, take the first step, cut 500 calories each day, find an exercise and start doing it, locate a good certified personal trainer and have a consult with him/her to see if they can help you put it all together for a long and healthy life style….