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We have all said it at one time another. Ask someone who is out of shape or overweight why they aren’t doing anything to fix the problem, you will inevitably hear “I just don’t have time to exercise!” I mean we are all busy, right? No argument there!

Here’s why you’re right! You do not have the time!

I’m going to keep this very simple using the “calories in / calories out” philosophy, which is not 100% accurate, but it is simple. In order to lose weight, you must create a calorie deficit. That means you must burn more calories that you take in. Let’s be conservative and use the “self-reporting” numbers from the 2010 “Dietary Guidelines for Americans”. Men ages 19 and older reported consuming 2,640 calories a day, and women reported 1,785 calories a day. Remember, these are “self-reporting” numbers (kinda like asking your husband how many beers he had last night, just saying .) An average woman of 30 who weighs 150 pounds burns approximately 1,500 calories per day simply by staying alive. A man of 40 who weighs 200 pounds will burn about 1,900 calories to just be. At absolute best, the average man has a surplus of 740 calories a day and the average woman has a surplus of 285 calories a day. Let’s average it out to 500 calories a day extra to make it simple.

You may have heard that a pound of fat consists of 3,500 calories. In theory, you can drop 1 pound of fat per week by having a calorie deficit of 500 calories a day. If you eat 2,000 calories a day and burn 2,500 calories a day, in a week you’ll lose one pound of fat. (500 cal deficit per day x 7 days = 3,500 calorie deficit per week = loss of one pound of fat)

Now your mission is to create a 500 calorie a day deficit so you can lose a pound a week. Assuming you burn 2,000 calories just by “living”, what are your options for the remaining 500 calories? Well, in the best case scenario you’ll have to do about an hour of exercise every day, seven days a week. Not too bad, right?

Here’s the problem. If you only make it to the gym 3 times a week, then it takes you more than two weeks to lose one pound of fat. That’s motivating, right? How long are you going to continue doing that? What if your normal caloric intake is really (honestly) 1,000 calories extra a day? Now you have to burn 1,000 calories a day to create a 500 calorie deficit! That’s TWO hours a day, seven days week to lose ONE POUND in a week or, that’s two hours a day, 3 times a week to lose ONE pound every two weeks! Here’s more bad news. What about those days where you “treat” yourself and add an extra 500 calories? It’s not hard to do. One frappe mappe, two more pieces of pizza, one small desert and you’re done! Now you are at three hours a day, seven days a week to lose one pound a week!

See, you were right all along! You do NOT have time to exercise!

If living a healthy lifestyle is 80% nutrition and 20% exercise, let’s start by focusing on the most important part, that solves the biggest part of the equation, that you already make time for…. NUTRITION !

Kevin Sender

Author Kevin Sender

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