Throw Away Your Scale
As you know by now, I’m a big believer in science.
When it comes to exercise, nutrition and overall health, science beats theory every time.
That’s why I want to share with you the results of a study co-authored by scientists from the University of Virginia and Arizona State University.
In a nutshell, as reported in the New York Times, the study showed that “obese people typically lower their risks of heart disease and premature death far more by gaining fitness than by dropping weight or dieting.”
In pooling the results of more than 200 meta-analyses, researchers showed that overweight individuals were able to lower their risk of premature death more by exercising than by losing weight.
From the Times:
As a whole, the studies they cite show that sedentary, obese men and women who begin to exercise and improve their fitness can lower their risk of premature death by as much as 30 percent or more, even if their weight does not budge.
Of course, we’d all love to drop a few pounds and look better in our clothes, and out of them.
But there are two takeaways that I think are important here:
Nutritional intervention has been shown in study after study to be more effective for weight loss than exercise alone.
Weight loss isn’t the only benefit of exercise, if it’s a benefit at all, and so it shouldn’t be our sole motivation for doing it.
How about being stronger and more capable?
How about being more resistant to disease?
How about getting out of pain?
How about living longer, and better?
Those seem like much better reasons to me than dropping a dress size or fitting into skinny jeans.
So I don’t know about you, but I’m about to go knock out some deadlifts instead of stepping on the scale.