How Much Do You Need To Exercise To Lose Weight?

A new study performed by the American College of Sports Medicine pooled all of the data to date on exercise and weight loss to determine their new guidelines. According to Melinda Manore, one of the lead researchers, their research determined that a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise was needed each week just to maintain current weight. This amounts to just 20 minutes of moderate activity each day if you exercise 7 days a week. Their findings also determine that a lifestyle of diet and exercise amounting to 250 minutes per week would be necessary to achieve appreciable weight loss. This recommendation amounts to 35 minutes per day if you exercise 7 days a week or 50 minutes per day if you workout 5 days a week.

Dr. Ray’s Notes:
I am glad that researchers are revamping their erroneous “20 minutes 3 day per week” recommendation to a level that is much more likely to provide benefit. With that said, I still think that researchers are being too wimpy with their recommendations. The researchers comment that we once believed that a 10% reduction in weight was necessary to decrease risk of disease and now we believe that just a 3-5% decrease is necessary to achieve decreases in disease risk. It is almost as if the researchers have given up in trying to decrease weight by 10% and thus exchanging this goal for a more moderate and “achievable” and less effective goal. We have to stop acting as though the population is made up of inept human beings, why not aim for the stars? I have always told people who want to lose weight, “It is time for you to become a FITNESS EXPERT! 20 minutes of exercise three days a week is not going to do it! Learn EVERYTHING you can about fitness, immerse yourself in the fitness lifestyle. If people are not coming to you for advice about fitness, you are doing something wrong!” Look…weight loss, or more accurately fat loss, requires tons of effort and self discipline! But before even that, it requires a belief that you can succeed, how can we expect our patients to succeed if we start them off with an expectation of failure. When we evaluate the records of the National Weightloss Registry, we find that people who successfully lose weight, and more importantly keep it off, include at least 60 minutes of exercise into their lives every day. If you are sitting here, reading this and saying “60 minutes?!?!? Impossible!” Well…you are not getting a free ride from me! You CAN do it and if you are serious about getting healthy then you WILL do it!

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