COVID "19" and more -- exercise question


LSS, Went from 260 past goal weight of 190-ish to 179 pre-covid… Then crawled back up to 218 and since I had the tailor take in all my clothes it was a problem… plus I felt terrible. I only walk as exercise and when I was really losing the lbs I would walk 5 miles a day (not fast) and I think that is essential for me to lose weight… I get into ketosis quickly (per ketomojo) but I can stay there eating low low carb, high fat and protein and barely lose weight. It is only when I add the exercise that I make any progress.

Your experience with/without exercise? I know some people dont exercise and stay thin… what controls who needs it to lose ?


Yeah, for me exercise really helps with weight loss. I see all the videos from Jason Fung and Dr. Ken Berry - don’t count calories! I love those guys, and they both are a wealth of info, but having videos titled like that is misleading because come on, seriously…you cannot consume 10k “keto” calories a day and have a prayer of losing weight.

Are calories the only thing? Of course not. But, how can they not enter the picture at all? So, exercise for sure is a factor in the grand scheme of things. Human beings evolved with locomotion at the forefront. We chased food. We moved to avoid inhospitable climates, etc. As the centuries have passed and modern inventions have made things easier and easier we move less and less. We have to move.

(A fool and his bacon are soon parted) #3

Dr. Phinney said, in an interview with Richard three years ago, which they just re-ran in a recent podcast, that people on an ad libitum ketogenic diet generally lose an amount of fat equivalent to 10-20% of their body weight (assuming they have that much fat to lose, of course).

I seem to be a bit atypical, since I lost close to 25%, and Richard likewise. But the observation makes sense, since no human body is going to sacrifice too much of its reserves without extreme measures’ being taken. (I am thinking, for example, of Angus Barbieri, who lost a considerably greater percentage of his body weight, by fasting for so long.) How to reset the body’s maintenance mechanisms to allow further fat lost is a question that I don’t think anyone really knows.

Don’t assume that the standard mantra of “eat less, move more” is 100% accurate. It is true that one can manipulate the gap between energy intake and energy expenditure to some extent, but it has been demonstrated that the body can adjust its energy expenditure up and down to compensate for changes in intake.

Of course, there are limits, the lower limit being death by starvation, the upper limit being weight gain. But not all the weight gain need be in the form of fat, since the body is capable of adding lean tissue as well, which is what happened to Sam Feltham on his 5000-calorie low-carb, high-fat diet experiment (he gained some lean tissue, while losing some fat). From what I have read, it appears to be premature to think that we have it all figured out yet. “Eat less, move more” seems simple and intuitive, but we already know the real situation is more complicated than that.

(Laurie) #4

In my 40s, I lost 30 pounds in 6 months through exercise alone. So I know it is possible. Now, however, in my 60s, I can’t (or at least don’t) exercise that strenously.

I agree that it is complicated. When I moved to Mexico, I quickly and magically lost weight. When I moved back to Canada, I quickly put it all back on, even though I was more physically active. Climate? Stress? Who knows?

(Robin) #5

If I feel like I am stalling…I stop going to the gym for a week or so! Then I start seeing the scales move again. So I guess the answer is it depends on the person.

(Little Miss Scare-All) #6

My opinion is that everyone should be doing some form of exercise just for health’s sake. I don’t go through that many lulls in my workouts, but during an injury, I couldn’t go to the gym, modified my intake, and the fat loss seemed to stall.

Also something interesting is sometimes the type of exercise you do can kick up your cortisol and stall you. Non-fast walking is great because you’re keeping your heart rate low, which is said to primarily fuel you through your fat stores, and it doesn’t trigger cortisol.

I went through a period of experimenting with types of cardio. I did 2 days a week of HIIT and 3 days of walking longer distances. Great success for me. But if I didn’t go for long distances IE 4-5 miles, the effect was stalling. Of course, I also lift weights 3x a week as well. I’m rambling now.

But yeah, I would say for a lot of people, exercise is going to bolster their fat loss efforts pretty hardcore.

Also, you can tell the difference between a lot of people who exercise along with modified diet, or just do the modified diet and lose weight. I find that people who don’t exercise and up losing weight but are just smaller versions of what they were; barely any body recomp. They’re the same shape, they just take up less space.

(Bob M) #7

I started exercising (body building, jogging) when I was 15 or so and have never stopped exercising, 2-3 or more days per week. Went through a phase where I rode my bike in the summers 60+ miles a week, building up to one summer of two centuries (100 miles) at the end of the summer. Still gained 90+ pounds.

Just for reference, when I was around 20 and in the military, I would go to a gym for 60-90 minutes to lift weights. I’d then have a double espresso and a bran muffin, then a huge burrito that was white chicken meat with beans and rice. I was on a low fat diet back then. Then, I would meet some friends and we would go mountain biking all day. That was common for me.

Fast forward 90+ pounds later, and I was still exercising. But, as soon as I stopped eating carbs (while lowering the amount of exercise I did), I lost weight. Not until then.

I don’t think exercise = weight loss. If anything, even now, if I exercise, I’ll eat more. Every time.

Having said that, I like to exercise, as it makes me feel better. And I look better if I do “weights”, which now is body weight training, with some dumbbells thrown in.

(Bob M) #8

When you start looking into this, too, it gets complex. For instance, I was on a treadmill back when I went to the gym. A guy came on a treadmill next to me, and he got in a conversation with me. He said he lost quite a bit of weight by walking on the treadmill. I thought that was cool.

Then he told me, oh yeah, I also cut out sugary foods and breads.


Gary Taubes has brought up the subject of exercise and weight loss. He says people who want to get “healthy” begin to exercise, but invariably also change what they eat. Is it the exercise or the change in eating or both?

Unless you keep what you are eating exactly the same (and I don’t mean “calories”, I mean the types of food) and start an exercise routine, such that you change ONLY one variable, you can’t tell what is causing weight loss (if you get that). If you change another variable AT ALL, you can’t say what’s happening.

And if you wade into the evidence, you can find what you want to see. If you firmly believe in CICO, you can find plenty of studies that support that. Just ignore all the ones that don’t. If you believe exercise causes weight loss, there are tons of studies that support that. Just ignore all the studies that don’t.


I am pretty sure I need exercise as my sedentary energy need is about as much as a barely enough meal if I do everything right, avoiding (or seriously minimizing) everything that isn’t a proper protein source, among others… And I regularly want to eat more than that and mess up this and that… :smiley: I don’t lose fat either way but I want to avoid overeating at least as that isn’t fun.

But I never lost far just because I exercised more, ever. It would be possible but I never was THAT active and I can easily eat twice as much if I need it (even if I don’t, actually, maybe not on keto every day… ;)). I need to focus on eating as little as I comfortably can - and exercise too. But I actually lost without exercise in the beginning, no wonder, my energy need was higher then and low-carb was novel and not eating without a proper urge was more natural as I was more driven… Good old days, years before keto.

I actually need strength training as I eat much anyway, I want to get some muscles out of it at least! :smiley:
And muscles are pretty and useful.

I exercise for health, energy and similar reasons. I stall either way so it would be pointless to do it for fat-loss. It doesn’t happen.

My SO is the one (on high-carb but it doesn’t really matter) who needs an active lifestyle to avoid fat gain (he gains easily so his 2 weeks long not very active holidays in December always resulted in sudden and noticeable fat gain. he is like me, activity or lack of it does very little to his energy intake or food choices unless we are active all day so the deficit would be huge without an unusually high-cal day). So he has that, a somewhat active lifestyle. I am mildly active, I only walk an hour a day at most, tiny runs, weightlifting… It can’t help much with fat-loss unless I do my eating VERY well. Like, carnivore OMAD with only satiating items, that should cut it. But activity makes my minuscule energy deficit a tad bigger… Or at least my tiny muscles very, very slowly bigger, that helps too, eventually… :wink:

So nope, exercise doesn’t automatically cause fat-loss. Just like keto or IF don’t.
But it may help, it may have zillion other benefits… And for some, it may be needed for fat-loss (or avoiding gain).
But I’ve heard exercise goes against fat-loss for some as they get more hungry or maybe their body decides to do something else than losing fat…?