Image Credit: YZ

Don’t get me wrong. I actually love exercising. There’s something amazing about feeling strong, being able to lift things and to run up the stairs without losing my breath. I go to the gym four to five times a week, but for someone who works out as much as I do, I don’t look like an athlete. I still have a tummy, hips a chest and slightly chubby arms that no amount of push ups can get rid of.

Then someone once told me… weight loss and fitness is 70 per cent what you eat and 30 per cent how you move. So I wondered: Am I giving exercise way too much importance? Should I be focusing on eating less? Should I even bother with exercise?

I decided to call up my go-to nutritionist Dr. Marilyn Glenville PhD is the UK’s leading nutritionist specialising in women’s health. She is Former President of the Food and Health Forum at the Royal Society of Medicine and author of a number of internationally bestselling books.

She told Gulf News, “Contrary to popular belief, I believe you can lose weight without exercising by changing your diet. However, weight-training exercises are helpful in the process of losing fat faster. As building muscles takes up 5 times less space than fat, you can change your body shape quicker while you look and feel thinner.”

The benefits of regular exercise cannot be exaggerated.  The older we get, the more important exercise is for our health.  Regular exercise has been linked to a lower risk of cancer, dementia, type 2 diabetes, depression, heart disease and a higher tolerance to stress. 

Exercise can have a powerful all-round positive effect on your health. Moderate exercise performed during the day improves sleep quality and can also soothe insomnia.  Exercise also helps to keep your bowels working efficiently and eliminates waste products your body doesn't need effectively.  It also improves the function of your immune system, your lymph system and the ability of your body to keep blood sugar in balance.  It stimulates the thyroid gland hormone production and helps to improve thyroid function, together improving your metabolism. This is especially important if you have an underactive thyroid.

So basically, you CAN lose weight without exercising, by decreasing your calorie intake and incorporating healthier foods into your diet, however working out speeds up the process and has an immense amount of long term benefits.

It’s day 6 of the Dubai Fitness Challenge and I’ve already lost 1 kg! my weight is currently at 76kgs and I feel like my stomach bloating is completely gone. I look much better in my jeans and that definitely cheered me up. I don’t know if it’s the act of exercising that makes me happy, or the result of exercising that completely brightens up my whole day.

Stay tuned to see if I lose any more weight in the next couple of days.