Lie — Exercise is a good way to lose weight

The Story

People are continually going to the gym to burn off some calories.

If you eat too much for lunch, that's not a problem. Simply jog or do some other exercise in the evening and it won't matter.


It's true that exercise does burn calories. The question is, how much exercise is needed to burn a significant amount?

A Big Mac with medium fries and soft-drink provides about a thousand calories. No problem, you say, you can burn them off by walking on an elliptical trainer. Reality problem: you'll need to do it for five hours.

Even worse, many people find that exercising gives them an appetite, inspiring them to eat more calories than they just burned. Exercise can actually cause weight gain, not loss.

It's easy to over-eat, sincerely believing that you'll be able to burn off the calories later. But what if you had to do it in the other order? Sure, you can have a large meal, but first, run for ten miles. Most people would not think it a reasonable trade.

The best exercise is restraint. That's not to say that physical exercise and activity are to be avoided; they aren't. Physical exercise tones your muscles, strengthens your bones, and improves your general health. But unless you have a very physical job or run marathons every week, you really shouldn't be consuming thousands of calories. The only reliable way to lose and maintain weight is to eat sensibly.


If you believe that exercise is a good way to lose weight, you'll buy a gym membership, or buy your own exercise equipment, or buy those gimmicks they advertise on TV. It's likely you'll buy all three. The key word here is buy, so guess who it is that wants you to think exercise will help you to lose weight?