We all know that increasing your physical activity should lead to weight loss. Even walking at a slow pace can burn 3 or 4 more calories a minute than just sitting. However, some people simply cannot lose weight like others when exposed to increased physical activity. Why is this?

Physical Activity for Weight Loss Success

The key to successful weight loss is finding your body's balance of physical activity and healthy diet.

Research shows that some people can lose a significant amount of weight by increasing their physical activity alone, without changing their eating habits. The difference seems to be in HOW your body utilizes energy- by burning fat or carbohydrates. People prefer to work out for a short amount of time at a very high intensity, but this burns mostly carbohydrates. To burn fat, you need to do a less intense exercise for a longer time.

The problem is the balance. In an exercise session, you burn 200-300 calories. You can replace all of that with drinking one bottle of Gatorade. However, if you burn fat calories, you should be able to trim down even if those calories are replaced. Just be sure not to over consume because you feel like you banked a lot of calories. Many people overestimate how much they actually burn.

When your heart rate is between 105 and 134, this is the fat burn zone. It is probably better to work out toward the top of this zone, because you will burn more calories overall.

It is also important to keep in mind that exercise has more benefits than just waist line reduction. Even overweight people who exercise have an increased aerobic capacity, decreased blood pressure, and an increased work out induced positive mood! In addition, for those who have lost weight, exercise increases your chances of keeping it off for good. Even low intensity activity can reset metabolic pathways in an increased manner.

So when your kid says that they don’t want to participate in PE simply because it doesn’t help them lose weight, just remind them that it is still good for their body, and their healthy lifestyle, in the long run!

Written by Amanda Yazbek, Nutritionist at Camp Shane weight loss camp for kids