Today we are going to talk about the best exercise for weight loss.
First I’m going to tell you why I tell my weight loss clients to stop exercising, and then I will give you the two magic questions to ask yourself to determine you should exercise or not.
OK, let’s get started.
People are often shocked when I tell them that I recommend my clients DON’T exercise when they are trying to lose weight.
They look at me crazy, giving me the incredulous and suspicious side-eye saying “Whaaat?!?! You’re crazy.”
I get it. It’s crazy because it goes against everything we’ve ever learned about weight loss-- the whole calories in, calories out B.S.
But hear me out.
The reason I say ditch exercise while trying to lose weight is because for most of us overeaters we use exercise for transactional purposes.
For most of us overeaters we use exercise for transactional purposes.
Our thoughts sound something like this:
“I am going to eat a third piece of pizza but it’s OK, I’ll run it off tomorrow.”
We overeat or indulge in food and then we try to go “work it off”.
And that has never worked.
Berating yourself into running on the treadmill for 30 minutes, bored and miserable, is never going to burn as many calories as you overate.
And even if the machine did say that you burned the same amount as you ate, it still doesn’t seem to work.
Not to mention being bored and miserable on a treadmill is no way to spend your one, precious life.
But yet we keep doing it. Telling ourselves that we will be better, do better, eat better tomorrow.
It’s not necessary for weight loss.
Exercise can sabotage your weight loss efforts-- making you gain weight instead of lose.
Not only is it not necessary, exercise can actually sabotage your weight loss efforts-- making you gain weight instead of lose.
Haven’t we all had that experience? We sign up for some crazy intense sweaty hard class, go everyday for three weeks, and don’t drop a pound-- maybe even gain?
The reason is because for a lot of my clients, the transactional thinking about food and exercise goes both ways.
Our post-workout thinking sounds like this:
“Wow, I really worked hard and killed that workout-- I’m starving! I can have this pizza and beer now.”
But the workout, despite being hardcore and sweaty, didn’t compensate for the biochemical reaction the pizza and beer had-- so you don’t lose weight.
And let’s talk a little bit about self-loathing (because it’s me and I can’t seem to write a post that doesn’t include those words. ;)
Far too often women exercise because they hate their bodies.
They want to fix themselves.
So they literally pound the pavement and feel miserable before, during, and after.
I want you to know that that is not the purpose of exercise.
Exercise should feel good.
Exercise should light you up.
Make you glow.
Exercise because you love your body.
Not because you hate it.
That brings us to the criteria every MamaBoss should ask herself before she starts or continues any exercise routine.
In summary, if you are currently exercising for the purpose of weight loss, stop.
If you are currently beating yourself up because you think you should be exercising for weight loss, stop.
Explore movement that your body craves-- walks in the evening light with your loved ones, yoga for self-care (not exercise), strength-training with a trainer who you enjoy spending time with, Zumba classes with your bestie-- or better yet, go out dancing with your homegirls. Take walks throughout the day if you sit at a desk. Play with soccer or swim your kids.
Treat your body to movement.
But whatever you do, mama, stop feeling obligated to do one more thing that makes you feel miserable.
It is not getting the results you want anyway.
Lia Pinelli is a weight loss coach and educator who helps women put an end to emotional overeating and lose weight, permanently.