A survey in the UK last year revealed that more women preferred liposuction to exercise. According to the article, “Specifically, 34 percent of women said they would elect to lose excess weight through liposuction, another 26 percent would choose a gastric bypass, and just 14 percent would consider cutting calories. Only two percent of respondents said that they would exercise more to reduce their weight.”
Whoa. Do people really hate exercise so much that they are 17 times more likely to opt for lipo than additional exercise? Not good.
Well, let’s pick this apart.
First off, not everyone agrees with me, but I personally believe that exercise is the most important part of losing weight, but for indirect reasons rather than direct ones. Yes, exercise does burn calories, but you have to do it for several hours each week to make a considerable dent in fat stores, and most people just aren’t up for that. Calorie burning is perhaps the least important result of exercise. Instead, exercise is very good for you physiologically speaking; the health benefits are myriad.
However, it also is a great tool for improving your diet. Exercise has been show to be a gateway behavior to healthier eating, as long as you don’t fall for that reward mentality where you feel like burning 300 calories on a treadmill entitles you to 500 calories worth of cheesecake. What’s more, for people who seek that neuro-chemical “high” from eating junk food, know that exercise works on the same reward pathways in the brain, and can be a satisfying alternative to cookies and ice cream. There is also the fact that exercise reduces stress, and stress can lead to poor impulse control around eating.
Yes, cutting calories is really the key, but becoming a regular exerciser first can make you much better at this.
As for gastric bypass, remember that this is an invasive surgery fraught with risks. It’s proven to work well, but there is also a lengthy waiting list for the procedure in Canada, and it is used as a last resort.
And as for the liposuction? Besides being expensive, the fat comes back! Not in the same spot, but it comes back. If you get lipo on your thighs, then expect within a year to have a flabbier upper body. That doesn’t sound like it’s worth it at all to me.