The Gym is Not the Answer – By Dr. Abdullah Bahi


Many people think that the answer to their miseries and their nightmares of standing on a scale is going to the gym.

“30 minutes on the treadmill and 45 minutes on the elliptical and I will be in shape in just 6 months – my friend who lost 30 pounds told me that!”

This idea is not entirely correct. There is definitely a piece of puzzle missing in that advice.

There’s no doubt that the gym, or rather physical exercise in general, should be a lifestyle, a routine and something you shouldn’t ignore. It has been proven that the longer, harder and more frequently you exercise, the greater the health benefits, which include reducing the risk of diseases such as cancer and diabetes, according decades of scientific research.

However, believe it or not, the gym plays a role of less than 20 percent on your road to success and the body you want and, in the case of some, the dream of having a two-digit reading on the weighing scales.

Logically speaking, if you keep pouring water at a certain speed into a bucket that has a small hole in the bottom, the water will leak from the hole at a smaller rate than the water you’re pouring in, and there will be a point at which the water would overflow. If you make the hole a little bigger, the water will leak at the same speed that the water is being poured, and this way the water would remain at the same level in the bucket. Figuratively, the bucket is your body, and the pouring water is the food you’re pouring into your body throughout the day in terms of calories. And I’m sorry to inform you, but it is this small hole that leaks the small amounts of food your body is burning through the day and through your long and exhaustive journey at the gym, where you burn your heart out and feel like death is reaching for your throat.

“It’s clear that you need to restrict calories in your diet to lose weight—and exercise to keep it off,” says Tim Church, M.D., the director of Preventive Medicine Research at Louisiana State University. “Most people who exercise to lose weight and don’t restrict calories shed only 2 to 3 percent of their weight over 6 to 12 months.”

So, before having a bite of that brownie, which by the way contains around 450 calories per 100 grams (which won’t even feed your cravings!), be informed that you will convert the number of calories that you’ve consumed into long hours on the treadmill and many liters of sweat that you’ll produce in attempt to burn that brownie. Yes, I’m talking about a hardcore 45 minutes on the treadmill just for a piece of brownie that you’ll make disappear within less than 45 seconds. After doing the math, ask yourself, is it really worth it?

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