Want to lose weight? Stop exercising!

I know, weird right?

I never would have said that a month ago.

But then I started reading Penn Jillette's new book "Presto", about how he lost over 100 pounds following a self-proclaimed crazy diet (he ate nothing but potatoes for two weeks at one point).

While I don't think a two week potato fast is necessary to lose weight (it probably won't hurt), I did find one idea amazingly insightful.

He said that he was instructed NOT to exercise when trying to lose weight.

I don't think I've ever heard that advice before.

Not that I'm complaining, it's pretty fun advice.

But the more I think of it, the more it makes sense.

Exercise makes you hungry.

Really hungry.

Hunger is the death of diets.

If you diet, you're going to be hungry. It's part of the deal.

It helps that your stomach shrinks (or at least it seems like it does) during dieting and you're not as hungry after a few days, but it's still a thing.

So hunger is a real battle to fight during dieting.

And exercise just makes it 100%* worse.

It turns your hunger up to 11.

So don't.

Isn't that easier?

Not only do you not have to deal with the pangs of hunger, you also don't have to feel guilty for not exercising.

God the guilt, it can really lay itself on.

Not exercising makes things so much easier.

You don't make deals with yourself that you end up breaking.

"Well, the team is going out to lunch to my fave place. I have to have the really good stuff or I'm missing out. I'll make up for it by exercising later."

Except it doesn't happen. Something comes up and you don't exercise later.

Then, not only do you have to deal with the guilt of not exercising, but you've also busted your diet for the day (and maybe the week).

So I'll say it again.

Don't. Exercise.

Just diet. Just worry about that tiny HUGE detail.

You're going to have to track EVERY SINGLE MEAL you eat and make sure you're keeping your calories low. That's so annoying to do.

To add exercise to that? And trying to guess how many calories you actually burned? That's crazy.

That's all I wanted to say.

If you're trying to lose weight, try not exercising.

And don't worry about being out of shape. Losing weight is so much greater than building muscle (at this point in time).

I know from personal experience that being 10 pounds lighter is so much better than having run everyday for weeks.

So let it go. Let exercising go and just focus on the hard part.

Dieting sucks. Trying to lose weight sucks. You have to try and try and try again and again and again.

Don't make it harder on yourself than you need to.

Don't exercise while trying to lose weight, m'kay?

  • Not actual data

Photo by Joshua Earle on Unsplash