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Exercise does not guarantee weight loss. Here’s the protocol that does

“Work for that slice of pizza, people! Sweat is just fat crying while leaving your body!” My spin instructor shouted at us.

I looked around and saw a bunch of red faces (I admit mine was red, too) huffing and puffing, moving as fast as they could. It seemed like the idea that they could actually “burn” the pizza they had the day before motivated them highly.

I subjectively estimated that 99% of them believed that exercise is actually a solution to the excess fat they were carrying around. Which I learned myself the hard way – was not. 

Just a few years ago, I was overweight (205 lbs) at the threshold of going from prediabetes into diabetes which is well known to lead to many serious diseases. By doing one simple thing (and it’s not exercising), I could reverse that bad trend. I’m now 152 lbs and actually about to become a Ph.D. in Exercise and Nutrition(!). 

Throughout the years of a personal battle with excess weight and then studying the subject, I learned why you shouldn’t exercise to lose weight and what actually works for weight loss. 

Exercise is excellent for health but almost useless for steady weight loss

There is one very important thing to get out of the way before I start. Please understand that despite the effect exercise has (or doesn’t have) on your waist, it has many benefits to your physical and mental health. 

It’s well known that regular exercise can1:

  1. Reduce your risk of chronic disease 
  2. Help your brain health and memory
  3. Help with your sleep quality
  4. Increase your mood and energy levels
  5. Reduce pain 
  6. Help build and maintain strong muscles and bones

I’m not discouraging anyone from exercising. Please do it, and do it regularly, even if it’s a light exercise like walking. Moving your body is one of the best things you can do for yourself. 


  • Don’t expect to lose weight solely through exercise. Here’s the example of what I mean: based on rough calories in/calories out calculations, if a 200-pound man added 60 minutes of medium-intensity running 4 days a week while keeping his calorie intake the same, and he did this for 30 days, he’d probably lose 5 pounds.
  • If this hypothetical man ate a bit more than usual because of the intensified hunger after the added exercise, then he would lose even less weight. Or, as it happens most of the time – he wouldn’t lose any weight at all. So if a person is overweight and is trying to lose tens of pounds, it would take an extremely long time and an incredible amount of effort to lose weight solely through exercise.

That’s why exercise can help maintain weight, but it’s not the best idea for more substantial weight loss. 

Another important thing is…

We’re given unscientific advice about weight loss. And we blindly believe it

It’s also about me. I grew up with the thought that all can be “fixed” through exercise. Including lousy eating habits, and there’s no better way to put it but to say that you can’t outrun a bad diet.

That’s actually how I came to be overweight. I absolutely ignored the fact that I was constantly overeating simply because I was active. I thought that it’s almost impossible to gain weight if you’re doing even the slightest form of exercise. Oh, how wrong I was.

Woman in blue shirt sitting on a bench

This idea of exercising as a way to compensate for a bad diet is deeply ingrained in us. The food industry, especially the fast food and sugary beverages industry, had to find a way to convince us they’re not THAT BAD.

“It’s not the food; it’s the lack of exercise that’s making you fat” was the message many food industry giants pushed and are still pushing to this day.

This “philosophy” became even more active when obesity rates started increasing. Multiple programs since then started focusing on exercise as a way to get out of the “obesity rut.”

Don’t look far. Just remember Michelle Obama’s “Let’s move” as an obesity prevention campaign. 

I’m not saying encouraging people to move more is bad. Not at all. But by focusing solely on moving, we might miss the number 1 reason to weight gain – excessive food consumption. 

So what actually works for weight loss?

Based on the information I learned in my studies I’ve made some conclusions about people who lose weight successfully and keep the weight off.

  • 3 out of 4 people weighed themselves at least once a week. 
  • More than half of those who lose weight successfully do that with the help of some type of program.
  • Almost everyone modifies their food intake in some way to lose weight.

I’m not here to generalize, but if a person wants to lose weight, it’s obvious they should constantly track their progress, use a set program for accountability and guidance, and be conscious that the results will come by changing at least some eating habits. 

I did my best with a personalized program. Where I daily got emails about what and when to eat, it also included recipes and a very convenient shopping list. I got to track my results and reset goals every 28 days. It was simply easy. I didn’t have to worry about what and when to eat or if I was consuming enough calories. But the best part – that particular program did not require me to eliminate any food groups, so I didn’t feel deprived. 

With this type of guidance, I managed to lose the weight I wanted WITHOUT doing any serious exercise. And the reason why the weight stayed off was that I learned new habits that stuck through that personalized program. Also, the eating protocol eliminated the cravings for good, so now controlling my appetite is just easy. 

As a future Ph.D. in Exercise and Nutrition, I often get asked about the optimal approaches to weight loss, and knowing what I know now and having tried it myself, I always recommend fasting programs. 

What effects fasting has had on the people I know, including me

Fasting broke my personal food addiction. Honestly, at first, that was not what I expected. At some point in life, food was my only consolation after a series of heartbreaks. So for a long time, I was an emotional eater and didn’t believe this could change. But it did through intermittent fasting.

Smiling woman in grey blouse

Fasting helped me drop the weight I gained when I was “eating my pain.” I dropped it at steady rates rather than barely losing it. 

Intermittent fasting might not be for everyone, but for me – it’s everything.

Could fasting help with weight loss and improve health? 

Intermittent fasting is for anyone who wants to lose weight healthily. There’s a chance to reduce the risks of chronic illnesses, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease with intermittent fasting. I’ve done so much research about it, and there are numerous benefits.

It positively impacts your energy, mood, sleep, and brain health. Add a few brisk walks to your week, and you’ll probably start seeing and feeling the difference in a month or two. 

For the correct fasting protocol, overall guidance, and information, I always recommend personalized intermittent fasting programs. The one I used was MyFastingChallenge. They offer a short risk-free quiz to help you understand if fasting is for you. And you’ll get to see the predictions on the possible weight loss. Give it a try!

Take this 1-minute quiz and discover what results you could expect with MyFastingChallenge!

Results may vary due to personal features.


  1. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28507196/


  1. I’m so happy I found this plan. I’ve been straining myself in the gym for the last 2 months and the results are just not there. As soon as I started with this plan I lost 3 lbs in the first week. And that’s without hitting the machines, just changed eating protocol according to what I received in my inbox. Perfect. Thanks and good luck to anyone who’s trying this!

  2. I’m getting the plan and starting right away!

  3. Great story. I’ve experienced this myself. Diet is everything and to see the results a plan is absolutely necessary.

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