The recent Time story in which the author leads readers to believe exercise is really not beneficial for weight loss has certainly garnered its share of criticism. Health and fitness professionals are weighing in and sharing their thoughts. This past week, Registered dietitian, Keri Glassman offered some insight about weight loss and exercise on the Early Show .

"Exercise is important, but it may negatively affect your weight loss for three main reasons: Exercise makes you hungrier, causing you to eat more. Exercise causes feelings of entitlement and exercise does not necessarily burn the calories you think it does. Thus, people may be eating more than they burn." She went on to demonstrate the calorie intake versus exercise principle. Read it and weep:

Elliptical training for 44 minutes/500 kcal burned=1 Honey Bran Raisin Muffin from Dunkin Donuts
Kickboxing for 25 minutes and 272 kcal burned=Grande Starbucks café late with whole milk
Jogging for 60 minutes and 470 kcal burned=1 slice (1/6 of cake) of Sara Lee Cheesecake, chocolate swirl NY style
Pilates for 30 minutes and 119 kcal burned=5 pieces of hard candy

O.K., my turn. First, when are people going to stop exercising simply for weight loss? We KNOW that only exercising for the weight loss benefits is short lived. Hence, we need to start exercising for all the RIGHT reasons, a healthy, strong mind and body. Remember, our lifestyles have vastly slowed down and we NEED to exercise so the body can do what it was designed to do, MOVE. As long as people view exercise as a weight loss tool only, exercise will never get the credit it deserves.

Next, exercise gives people a sense of entitlement, "I exercised, therefore I eat." I totally get that mentality, I see it all the time at my studio, but again, it's because they tie exercise solely to losing weight. If we (meaning health and fitness professionals) are able to inspire their clients/patients to exercise for health benefits, my hunch is they will be eating better. Those that look for food as a reward for their exercise efforts need to be educated differently. I liken it to buying a designer blouse that you pay big bucks for and you throw it in the laundry vs. having it dry cleaned. Why go through the effort with no follow through?

The same goes with exercise and eating "carbage." Exercise because it will vastly improve the quality of your life, both physically and mentally. Why would you want to throw junk food or an overabundance of food in to your system to "reward" yourself for exercise? (Remember, diet food or low fat/ low calorie foods are not often healthy.) People NEED to be educated differently. Exercise is no longer a luxury, but a necessity for everyone given the current sedentary lifestyle of most Americans.

Finally, people are eating more than they burn. Duh! That's the whole problem with our country, we are led to believe that value comes in super size meals when in fact, the ONLY value to these ridiculous portions goes to the bottom line of fast food or restaurant conglomerates.

As a health and fitness professional, it is my duty to educate everyone I can about healthy living. We should not be "making deals" with food and exercise, rather we should make a concentrated effort to be as good to our body as we possibly can. Hey, we only have this one body and there are no "take backs." A healthy weight is simply the byproduct of healthy choices you make each day. The more you are able to choose health over calorie counting, you will make a dramatic shift in to the world of healthy living and your weight will respond in kind.

Here's to health,

Nicki Anderson

Author's Bio: 

Nicki Anderson has owned and operated the award winning Reality Fitness, Inc. Personal Training studio since 1991. As a successful business owner and sought after speaker, Nicki’s enthusiasm and business prowess on subjects including customer service, marketing and deconditioned populations, makes Nicki a sought after international speaker. Nicki is the 2008/2009 IDEA Personal Trainer of the Year, IDEA Personal Trainer of the Year Finalist in 2006 and 2007 and 2006 IHRSA Top 25 Fresh Faces. She is the author of numerous books, her most recent, Nicki Anderson's Single Step Weight Loss and 101 Ways to Motivate Your Clients and Increase Retention (Healthy Learning, 2009). Nicki is the health and fitness columnist for Chicago Suburban Newspapers, IDEA Editoral Board and contributor to numerous magazines and websites including,, and
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