Lets say you want to drop 10 lb or so (around 5 kg) for that special event coming up in say 6 weeks. How far would you have to run to lose 5 kg of fat?
Lets assume you’re me and you weigh around 70 kg. If you run at a moderate pace for 5 miles you’ll burn around 600 calories. But for most of us (working at a moderate pace for an hour) around half the calories are going to come from carbohydrates in our system and only half from stored fat. So for me 5 miles equals around 300 calories from fat.
So if each 1 kg of fat has 9,000 calories, to burn the 5 kg of fat you would have to run 750 miles (that’s about 150 hours on the treadmill for the average gym visitor).
Sure you can you can do it, but not in six weeks (unless you can run no stop for three and a half hours a day, seven days a week).
Ok but what point am I trying to make? Well 10 lb (5 kg) for most larger ladies is about one dress size, and that’s a pretty common goal. If you’ve ever visited the gym in January you find the place heaving with lots of new faces. All wanting to shift those excess pounds. They jump on the treadmill for 20 minutes, lift a few weights (but spend more time chatting) and then hit the hot tub. And after six weeks they wonder why they haven’t lost any weight.
The gym manager wants to keep them coming back – lets face it they’re spending a fortune on cappuccino in the coffee shop owned by the gym. So they tell them things like – “stick with it, the results will show eventually”, or how about this one “muscle weighs more than fat”. But the reality is they’re not being honest.
The amount of energy that these newbies are burning in their 45 mins in the gym is trivial. Maybe 300 calories (maybe 150 cals from fat – tops). If they are hitting the gym three times a week then the only have to mis calculate their calories by an average of 100 calories a day and that will wipe out any fat loss from the exercise. 100 calories is nothing. Most people can’t estimate their calories to within 100 calories a day, even if they are keeping a meticulous food and exercise log.
Now I’m not saying that exercise is a waste of time, obviously there are a whole host of benefits, but surly the gym industry needs to be more honest with its client’s.