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Exercise and Lose Weight

Updated on March 4, 2013

Exercise to lose weight, there is no secret formula

What a difference exercise makes
What a difference exercise makes
Under control but plenty of work to do
Under control but plenty of work to do

The Secret to Weight Loss

If you are considering the best way to lose weight and were wondering if there is some secret formula available to help you do that, then you have arrived at the right place, there is a secret formula or certainly that is what a lot of people would like to have you think.

But before I start, I don't want to place you under any illusions. I am not a doctor and I never have been. I am not an expert on diet or exercise regimes and have never studied any of these subjects.

So, I hear you asking, what qualifies me to even broach the subject of weight loss?

Well I have been around for quite a while now and have in my life been stick insect thin and fit as a flea, but I have also, over a period of time, managed to gain quite a bit of weight. Actually to the point where if you believe the BMI (body mass indicator) chart I have officially been considered to be obese. Or short and cuddly, as my wife prefers to refer to me.

Now I think I know where this change occurred and what triggered it, and because I am of a generous nature I thought I would share my little secret with you and give you access to the secret formula that I believe governs weight change based on my life's experience.

So are you ready for the big weight loss secret, are you ready for the truth. Can you handle it and are you going to do something about solving your weight problem.

Here it is then, the secret to weight loss or more specifically weight change: -

Weight Change =

(number of calories absorbed) - (number of calories burned)

Does that seem a little too straight forward, well I guess it does but then you have to consider these elements in practical terms.

Integrating a regime of regular exercise into your normal daily routine is much easier said than done for the vast majority of people. In other words, it is much more difficult to get that 'calories burned' number to be bigger than the 'calories absorbed' number. Which is, of course, where you need to be to lose weight.

To successfully control your weight you really need a sustainable lifestyle that includes a fitness program that ensures overall that the number of calories you absorb each day is equal to or smaller than the number of calories you burn every day.

It is for the majority of people all about routine, if you can change your habits and start to walk or cycle instead of using the car, if you take the stairs instead of the lift or elevator, if you join a sports club and participate in a competitive or team based sporting activity. These are all things that contribute to burning calories.

Competitive or team sports are important because you are not doing these on your own, in other words if you don't turn up you will be letting someone down. You will be amazed at how much this motivates you to get out of your chair to go and participate in an exercise program.

I have lost count of the number of times that I really didn't want to get ready and go out, but because I knew that someone was relying on me to turn up I actually made the effort. Once you have done it, I can almost guarantee you will realise it was actually very enjoyable and you will end up being very glad you made the effort.

The second part of the equation is the food you eat, I actually don't think I need to tell you what food you can or cannot eat in detail.

The fact of the matter is that if you eat a diet of which fresh fruit, vegetables, fish and some meat forms the basis, then you are not going to have a problem and you can occasionally give yourself a treat. i.e. by eating reasonable sized portions of lots of different foods regularly, starting with a good breakfast, and understanding a little of what you fancy occasionally does you good as long as you don't overdo it.

The problems come from constantly over indulging and excessive overeating of similar or the same food types. Which of course is exactly what most of us who are a little or a lot overweight do. I know as well as anyone how easy it is to just eat convenience food or the food you really enjoy and in some cases crave for.

As for the exercise regime, you have to find a way of changing your habits and adopting a different diet that is healthy and promotes weight loss. This may mean spending time finding and preparing food types that you enjoy but are good for you and offer variety. You need to enjoy the food otherwise you won't stick to it and you will revert to your old habits.

You can enlist the help of family and friends, learn how to prepare your own food or if you don't have the aptitude see if a family member is prepared to help you out. There is always someone who enjoys cooking and take it from me, something as simple as a home made soup can be delicious with ingredients that you can decide on and like.

I think most people will recognise what I have written here to be common sense and yes it is possible to get into the science a bit more and search out foods that increase metabolic rate and avoid those that slow metabolic rate or tend to promote fat retention.

But the bottom line is that you want to live and enjoy life, and part of that is not having to endure mundane routine or eating food you simply don't like.

What I am saying is that there is a form of exercise for everyone and options for varying your diet so that you can eat healthily with ingredients you like. Just make the effort to find out what suits you and change your routine to accommodate exercise and healthy eating. If you can do that and balance the equation in your favour, you will stop weight gain and you could start to lose weight routinely over a long period without making a conscious effort .

Before I sign off on this subject, I guess I should tell you what has convinced me that the formula I have illustrated is the secret to weight control and what I think triggered my weight gain. I do have to qualify these words after all.

I used to be very much the sportsman and had an exercise program that involved me taking exercise pretty much every day of the week. I am not talking about going for a walk or a bit of gardening but serious physical exercise including, running, circuit training, squash, badminton, football, rugby or any other sport that reared its head.

I couldn't get enough sport, just loved it, and guess what, during this period I could eat and drink pretty much anything I wanted without gaining any weight whatsoever. Now the truth is that as you get older your exercise regime starts to drop off a little but usually slowly; which is a little indiscernible.

But in my case I had a little bit of an accident during a rugby trial when I was 33 years old and snapped my Achilles tendon.

The end result was that I could not train for a full year and, having got out of the routine, that year turned into 2 years and was accompanied by a 40lbs weight gain; I went from 180lbs to 220lbs.

Now I had modified my eating and drinking habits over the period but I simply didn't change them enough. I had gone from an extreme exercise program to a no exercise program overnight, but I didn't really change my diet significantly or fast enough to prevent serious weight gain.

The same can happen when you slow down as you get a little older but would obviously take a little longer. The cause is the same, just not quite so dramatic, it kind of sneaks up on you; so be wary, understand whats happening and take corrective action before it is too late.

The process can be reversed, its a little more difficult to lose weight that is already gained because of the catch 22 affect, i.e. the less fit and active you are the harder it is to get a real exercise program up and running. More difficult but not impossible.

As I said at the beginning of this hub, I am not a doctor, so if you are planning on changing your lifestyle to include an exercise regime. It might be worth consulting your doctor before you start so that you can ensure you don't overdo anything and do yourself more harm than good. Especially if you are not used to regular exercise.

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The Eat, Fast and Live Longer Diet

I Eat, Fast and I Have Lost Weight

The reason I included the long version of this video interview is because I think everyone that is struggling to manage their weight should discover this new system highlighted by a British journalist.

I have adopted what is virtually the same program that is described in the video by Dr Michael Mosely. I fast on a Monday and a Thursday but eat and drink normally for the rest of the week, so for 5 days a week I eat and drink what I like and on fasting days I skip breakfast, have a single piece of fruit for lunch, usually a banana, and then have a reasonably sized meal in the evening. The target intake on a fasting day is 500 calories for a woman and 600 calories for a man.

My evening meals for fasting days are typically a piece of fish, I have a taste for blackened fish which is spiced and very tasty, accompanied by a decent portion of wild rice and some green beans or other suitable vegetable. I do not drink any alcohol on fasting days and I do stick rigidly to ensuring I have no more than 600 calories. It doesn't have to be fish any suitable low calorie food will work and it is a good idea if you feel really hungry to eat vegetables that fill you up. If you still feel hungry then you can simply drink water, a couple of glasses of water will take the edge of any hunger pangs.

It is tough the first few times you do the fasting days, probably because of the mental affect of denying yourself, but you do get used to it and when you get on the weighing scales, after a couple of weeks ideally, you will be both shocked and pleasantly surprised. I lost 14lbs with very little trouble the first time I did the diet, then Christmas came and I was travelling in the UK for several weeks and went off the program.

No surprise then that I stuck about 5lbs back on. Then I decided to go back on it when I got back to a normal routine and yes I am loosing weight again and I am, as I write, rapidly approaching the 14lb loss target once more (about 2lbs off at the moment).

A few home truths then:

  • if you stop following the program you will put weight on again
  • the fasting days become much easier the more times you do it, you just get used to it
  • this is a lifetime program but one that really suits people that like to eat
  • you can't eat ridiculously on non-fasting days, but then you really don't want to anyway
  • you need to resist the urge to weigh yourself every day, once every couple of weeks will let you know what kind of progress you are making and give the program time to work
  • I also walk and take exercise everyday, that's got to help

With respect to the accompanying health benefits, all I can say is I do have to go to my doctor regularly because I do have a medical condition. On my last visit my blood pressure level was perfect and my doctor was very happy with my weight loss, she didn't feel it was excessive.

I am now scheduled to have cholesterol and diabetes checks in June. But when you think about it, how could it be worse than previous visits. Blood pressure is normal, I am now classed as overweight rather than obese in the BMI scale and I am giving myself a minimum of two days a week off alcohol which has to be of some benefit. Not that I drank excessively but I did drink most days, usually with my main meal.

If you are on any kind of medication or health program, it is always a good idea to check with your doctor before starting a new program. Just make sure you do and if agreed then you could be starting the eat, fast and live longer diet the day after. From my perspective, with regard weight loss and feeling healthier, I wish I knew about this years ago.

Weight loss through exercise

Let us know your weight loss secrets

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    • BrianS profile imageAUTHOR

      Brian Stephens 

      5 years ago from Castelnaudary, France

      An established dieting system receives a little bit of publicity and goes off like a rocket. Probably because it works!

    • Lgali profile image


      8 years ago

      very nice tips thanks

    • profile image

      Bodybuilding Kleidung 

      8 years ago

      I have problems with my knees and my lower back, but still I find a way to excercise daily. No more Bodybuilding, but still some kind of Fitness every day.

      Great writing!

    • Winsome profile image


      8 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas

      When I was one-and-twenty

      I heard a wise man say,

      Eat pounds of pasta and guineas

      But don't let your heart run away

      Give desserts a try and pizzas

      But keep your radicals free

      But I was one-and-twenty,

      No use to talk to me.

      When I was one-and-twenty

      I heard him say again,

      'The heart needs lots of exercise

      And no gain there is without pain;

      'Neglect leaves pounds a plenty

      When you eat and sit and stew.'

      And I am two-and-twenty,

      And oh, 'tis true, 'tis true.

      Apologies to A.E. Housman =:)

    • habee profile image

      Holle Abee 

      8 years ago from Georgia

      Like the above poster said, it's hard to exercise when you have certain physical ailments. Great info, though!

    • wearing well profile image

      Deborah Waring 

      9 years ago from Lancashire U.K.

      It's so easy to put on weight when your incapacitated. I had an accident that caused herniated discs 2years ago and prior to the accident,I use to have a quite physical occupation as a massage therapist.I found that after only 3months I had gained 21lbs purely by being inactive as my healthy diet remained the same!Great Advice.

    • profile image

      david stillwagon 

      9 years ago

      This is a good time of year to start exercising and losing weight!

      great hubpage!


    • mulberry1 profile image

      Christine Mulberry 

      9 years ago

      Absolutely true. Losing weight is VERY simple, but not easy. Changing habits or lifestyle is the key.

    • BrianS profile imageAUTHOR

      Brian Stephens 

      9 years ago from Castelnaudary, France

      Thanks for the comments guys, exercise certainly helps with weight loss and lack of exercise certainly promotes weight gain. So I guess at this time of year a little reminder does not hurt.

    • quicksand profile image


      9 years ago

      Although I don't need to lose weight, I believe regular exercise helps a great deal. Thanks for the great tips! :)

    • Bo Heamyan profile image

      Bo Heamyan 

      9 years ago from Lincolnshire, United Kingdom

      A very timely article Brian, seeing as most of the Western world will have gained a few pounds over Christmas and New Year.

      A good, positive hub.

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 

      9 years ago from London, UK

      Great inside information and great tips. Thank you.


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