Exercise is essential.
You need muscle mass for healthy longevity and to boost your metabolism. However, the time in the gym doesn’t negate eating junk food or food that does not feed your metabolism.
For example, you may walk briskly on a treadmill for 30min and only burn off 180 calories.
A small serving of drive-through French fries can exceed 300 calories.
Lifting weights for 20 min might only burn around 80 calories.
The average fast food burger is 300cal and is up to 700 calories.
A Starbucks latte is 190 calories. Add cream and syrup and turn it into a decadent drink and you could be consuming over 300 calories.
If you believe in counting calories, this is a good way to realize that you may not be seeing a decrease in body fat because of your diet, despite exercising.
What is more important than all of this is the hormones of metabolism.
Insulin is the hormone that balances your blood sugar.
It rises when you eat carbs. The more carbs you eat, the more your insulin levels rise. Once it rises, you are in a state of super-efficient fat storage.
There’s a vicious cycle that occurs: you eat carbs/ high sugar food -> insulin rises -> blood sugar is stored as fat -> blood sugar drops -> hunger is stimulated -> you crave carbs to increase sugar levels -> you eat carb -> insulin rises -> you store fat… and so on it goes.
One other important occurrence is that insulin levels ramp up after a carb-heavy meal/ sugar intake and remain elevated for 6+ hours when you have insulin resistance.
If you snack between meals, you store the snack as fat more efficiently.
This is why we recommend no snacking when you have insulin resistance.
You must exercise. It’s very important for health. It is vital for healthy aging and longevity.
But exercise is not as important as diet when it comes to burning fat and keeping it off.
You need both. However, for fat burning, choosing the right foods trumps everything.
Dr. Natasha Iyer, MD
*This article is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to diagnose or treat medical conditions and should not be used for medical advice. Seek proper medical consultation with a medical professional.