Seriously, TIME, you were once a well-respected bi-weekly magazine in my eyes. I loved reading you as a kid in bathrooms and I continue to skim through you once a while. What caught my attention recently was John Cloud’s article “The Myth About Exercise: How exercise really won’t make you lose weight. It’s what you eat that counts.” Fact– exercise will make you lose weight, instantly. You sweat– you lose weight, albeit it’s water weight. This was found on the cover of the August 17th, 2009 issue.
On page three are these quotes:
“Not working out: Exercise is no way to lose weight.” I agree with this in that if you want to lose weight, you also have to eat moderately– that is eat healthy. Exercise can often lead to weight gain– but that doesn’t mean it’ll make you fat– lean muscle weighs more than fat.
Found on the same page is this Health: “Exercise seems a surefire– if painful– way to lose weight. Yet research is starting to show that it may actually be helping pack on the pounds.”
Seriously, TIME Magazine and John Cloud– you present us with research that states the correlation between exercise and wanting to snack on junk food. Hence, people actually gain more weight than they lose when they snack on the junk food. Does this mean exercise is making you fat? No, it just means you should stay off the junk food. There is no myth about exercise and it doesn’t take a whole bunch of specialists and top-notched researchers to tell us that junk food is bad for you– but why the heck do you have to correlate it to exercise? People who skim the article might immediately think that exercise is bad for you and resort back to their sedentary lifestyles. As a physical therapist, I am all about people exercising and losing weight. Do you know how many obese Americans I’ve had to lift with my 5’2 frame in the past? And do you know how many patients I’ve had lose weight with exercising? Come on, it’s no way to get good sales by dissing exercise. You might as well just tell people to starve themselves to lose weight instead of exercising. Besides, that’s the fastest, surefire way to lose weight– don’t eat. Then you just end up really sick, dead, or very fat again as you over-eat to pack the pounds back on.
Quote found on page 43: “Could exercise actually be keeping me from losing weight?” No, it’s not exercise. It’s your own willpower, smarty-pants. John Cloud states that he gets hungry after exercising and so he eats, and he hasn’t been able to get rid of his gut after exercising all these years.
Page 44, you have a diagram of a muffin and what you have to do to burn off the muffin: 360 calories. You have to either mow the lawn for 66 minutes, go skating fast for 21 minutes, lift weights for 115 minutes, etc… the real morale of the story is don’t eat that muffin, not skip the exercise like John Cloud is trying to say. Why are you giving exercise a bad name? By the way, you should also add, hours of sex to calorie burning, it’s a favorite amongst women now. You know, after vigorous sex, people get hungry too… so should they also avoid sex in order to lose weight? Why is it that “scientists” and “researchers” appear to be the dumbest creatures to walk the face of this Earth? Why not use the money you’re funded to do research like how we can stop global warming and save our planet?
Page 44: “it [exercise] can stimulate hunger. That causes us to eat more, which can in turn negate the weight-loss benefits we just accrued.” Of course you get hungry after a work out– your muscles need ATP to work and by exercising, you’ve burned sugar and energy that your muscles are crying for now. Research has also shown that exercising improves your metabolism, so that you of course get hungry faster– you also burn the food down faster. Think of it this way– if a patient with diabetes needs an insulin shot in the arm, you don’t exercise that arm immediately after the shot– exercise will cause the insulin to “work faster”, thus by burning the sugar quickly in the patient and the patient will be hypoglycemic– too low in sugar.
Page 46 brings evolution into the picture. “If evolution didn’t program us to lose weight through exercise, what did it program us to do? Doesn’t exercise do anything?” Don’t even get me started on evolution. When humans first walked the face of this Earth, we did not have cars and concrete floors. Humans had to hunt for a living. They were nomadic, they were farmers, they were constantly toiling. They ate fruits and fresh meat. They didn’t have junk food and processed saturated fats, cheese fries, and pizzas.
What did they do for fun? They had sex (hence your grandparents have so many children). They played primitive sports (Mayans played ball with decapitated heads). They ran away from predator animals. They built their own homes from scratch. They didn’t drink beer on Fridays, sit in front of computers typing all day, and stuff their faces with sweets and junk when they’re depressed.
Humans are programmed to hunt and gather. We’re programmed to walk on our bare-feet and we’re programmed to run, walk, jump, and move. Now that we have supermarkets, we don’t have to go hunting. We have concrete grounds we have to walk on. Why do we have messed up feet? We were programmed to walk on soft lands, not artificial hard floors. As we become sedentary, we pack on the pounds– and the more obese people get hip and knee pain sooner. But I digress…
People who exercise regularly, try eating an apple instead of fast food and ice cream after a work out. You’ll see the results fast. Exercising will tone your muscles and shrink the fat cells in your body.
Page 47: “Some research has found that the obese already “exercise” more than the rest of us.” How do they exercise? Because I see people who are obese everywhere I go, and they can hardly walk a block before they huff and puff. Their eating habits are horrendous. If they start dieting and not exercising, sure they’ll lose weight, but they’ll have skin hanging off of them. And if you don’t exercise, you’re muscles become atrophied, your joints stiffened. My patients are of the ages of 0-99 and exercise can do so much for you– more than just “losing weight.” Without exercise, my patients with stroke would not have recovered so quickly. My patients with knee replacements would not be able to walk so briskly and “normally.”
I am highly disappointed with the scientific mumble-jumble in this article. You’ve put the blame that should be on junk food on exercise. As a physical therapist, I see the benefits of exercise daily. It brightens a person’s mood. It increases their metabolism. Don’t you know people who are stick-thin and tell you they eat almost every hour? They eat more than their “obese” counterparts. It’s not how much they’re eating, but what they’re eating. And I have girl friends who all go to the gym. I don’t exercise regularly– ironic for a physical therapist– and thus, I weigh more than all my gym-going friends.
Case closed. I don’t understand how articles as silly as The Myth About Exercise can be published. It enrages gyms, shows like the Biggest Loser, physical therapists, exercise enthusiasts, and personal trainers all over the world!
TIME Magazine, you’ve hit a new low. And regarding the Swine Flu pandemic hitting America– I’ve already blogged about that in April.