Why Exercise Won't Make You Thin

There is a rather lengthy article posted on the Time magazine website with the catchy title, “Why Exercise Won’t Make You Thin.” You can check it out if you wish, but it’s basically a fluff piece where the author whines about how hard it is to lose weight through exercise.

Two things stick out. First, it reinforces the false belief propagated by the fitness industrial complex that optimal human health is primarily a function of A) how much cardio/endurance exercise you do, and B) how much weight you lose.

The hard truth is that most people actually do too much cardio and not enough short-burst, high intensity exercise such as strength training.

In fact, nestled within the piece is a very telling nugget:

Another British study, this one from the University of Exeter, found that kids who regularly move in short bursts — running to catch a ball, racing up and down stairs to collect toys — are just as healthy as kids who participate in sports that require vigorous, sustained exercise.

The second point is that all the exercise in the world will make very little impact on your weight (or your health) if you continue to eat non-primal “junk carbs” such as sugars and grain-based products.

The key is, throw out your scale and stop using your weight as an indicator of your health. You are most likely stuck in the “more cardio = more weight loss = better health” downward spiral that leads to nothing but frustration, exhaustion, and illness. Focus less on the grinding treadmill workouts and more on strength training and high intensity interval workouts. And cut out the muffins, lattes, bagels, scones, soft drinks, pasta dishes, and anything termed “whole grain.” They add nothing good to your overall health and wellness.

But don’t just take my word for it:


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  1. Chris
    August 19, 2009

    Enjoyed your commentary on the recent TIME article that I did read a week ago!…….Jack is sure a classic Icon!

  2. diver dave
    August 11, 2009

    ? ? ? what about peanut butter and bacon bagels ???
    i would die without them……..

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