Ever wonder if too much exercise can prevent weight loss in an individual who’s trying to shed pounds?
First of all, just what is “too much”? This is subjective. Is it merely the time spent doing exercise?
Or should we define “too much exercise” as overtraining, which can cause physical symptoms such as an elevated resting pulse, mood disturbances, insomnia and persistently sore muscles?
The answer to “Can too much exercise stall or prevent weight loss” is NO, NO and NO.
I’ve preached that certain kinds of physical activity are better for fat loss than others.
For example, want to get rid of the fat in your stomach? Do squats and deadlifts, not endless walking on a treadmill and thousands of crunches.
Want to strip the fat off your legs? Do high intensity interval training and plyometrics, rather than steady state, lengthy sessions of aerobics.
Few people exercise literally all the time. They have to work, raise their kids, tend to their spouses, etc.
However, there are people whose jobs involve a lot of physical activity.
When’s the last time you saw a fat landscaper or arborist? When’s the last time you saw a fat roofer or fisherman?
Though overweight people aren’t drawn to jobs involving a lot of physical labor, you have to ask yourself why all of that physical labor—in the people who get these jobs—doesn’t eventually cause them to GAIN body fat.
It’s no coincidence that farmers, construction workers and military personnel are rarely obese. You won’t find a professional basketball or soccer player who’s chubby.
Why would burning a lot of calories prevent weight loss?
What prevents or stalls the losing of body fat is a storage of calories, not an expenditure.
How do we store calories? By being sedentary or by eating more food than our body needs. Unused calories will be stored in the form of fat.
Our ancient ancestors were near-constantly moving.
They walked everywhere, on rough terrain, on hills, across rivers. They paddled canoes, speared at fish, chased after other prey, climbed trees and built huts with their bare hands.
Picture primitive peoples carrying buckets of water, pushing wheelbarrows, surviving without motors, engines and electricity. They didn’t lounge around watching TV or have computers.
There are modern-day peoples who live just like this. They are called modern hunter-gatherers.
It’s unheard of to be a fat or even overweight hunter-gatherer. In any hunter-gatherer society, you’ll likely never find an overweight individual.
Their very physically active lifestyle keeps them from gaining excess body fat.
So to believe that “too much” exercise could hinder weight loss is a very erroneous way of thinking.
Lorra Garrick has been covering medical, fitness and cybersecurity topics for many years, having written thousands of articles for print magazines and websites, including as a ghostwriter. She’s also a former ACE-certified personal trainer.