If we know that losing weight is all about being in a caloric deficit, then why is exercising so important?

Is it because it burns calories?

Well that would be a very inefficient way of weight management, being that for half of a chocolate you would have to run for an hour, or hike for like half a day.

So why is it so important if not because of the calories it burns?

Ok here it is:

  • Builds lean muscle mass which speeds up all the metabolic processes in our body.
  • Muscle mass is a big energy consumer – 1pound burns 69 calories. Consequently, the more muscle mass we have, the more food we can and need to consume.
  • Improves insulin sensitivity, which means that our bodies will make better use of glucose (carbohydrates we consume) This means less stress for our liver, more glucose for our muscles. Moreover, it means better nutrition partitioning which is basically what the body does with the food. People with better nutrition partitioning will build muscle and replenish muscle glycogen from a same meal at a higher rate than those with worse.
  • It’s a natural stress reduction mechanism
    • Exercise changes leptin and ghrelin signalling which are the satiety hormone – less    hunger, drives up endorphins less depression and adverse moods which generally means less binging and less psychological eating.
  • Speeds the process of energy production, so the mitochondria (power houses of the cells) works faster. Consequently, less citrate leaves her consequently less de novo lipogenesis! It, hence, prevents fat storing form a cellular level.

It has very little to do with how much calories you will burn, because you will always be able to eat more than you can burn! Unless you are an ultra-marathon runner doing races year-round (which they don’t even do)