Can You Lose Weight By Exercise Alone? (Eat 7,658 Calories a Day & Lose Weight)

A Man and a Woman Who Have Lost Weight

I guess if you’re asking, “Can You Lose Weight By Exercise Alone?” the idea of having to go on a diet doesn’t appeal to you in the slightest.

To be honest, I’m completely with you on this one.

I don’t agree with “diets” in the traditional sense, and the way most people go about trying to lose weight.

You know what I mean – either having to starve yourself or eating certain foods that you can’t stand.

Plus, I’m not going to lie, I do love my food.

I’m not adverse to stuffing my face with pretty much anything I can lay my hands on.

So, I want to show you how to lose weight by simply exercising, and without having to pay any attention to what you’re eating.

However, there is a Twist at the end (there’s always a twist at the end).

Can You Lose Weight By Exercise Alone?

I’m Going to Take You on a Journey

If you’ll allow me, today I’d like to take you by the hand and walk you through an entire journey.

Firstly, I’m going to take you through a day of eating – this is going to be a total pig-out of a day.

Eat what you like.

Anything goes.

No Holds Barred.

Then I’m going to show you the exercises and workouts that I would recommend if you’re going to eat this way.

I will provide you with the exact calculations, in terms of calories consumed and calories burned, so you can see exactly how you’re going to lose weight.

Just in case you weren’t aware:

When you ask whether you can lose weight by exercise alone, the answer is a definite YES.

As long as you’re burning more calories on a daily basis than you’re consuming, then you’ll lose weight.

So, please allow me to show you how.

And then of course, The Twist.

All will be revealed very shortly.

A Day’s Eating (Eat What You Like)

McDonald's Breakfast

Okay, I’m going to take you through a day’s eating now.

There’s no holding back.

This is going to be a real fast food fest.

You’re going to eat whatever you want.

I’m going to take you through the meals now and the number of calories that are being consumed.


I think it’s going to be McDonald’s for breakfast.

And remember, “No Holding Back”.

We’re going to have:

  • Sausage and Egg McMuffin – 470 Calories
  • 2 x Hash Browns – 294 Calories
  • Pancakes and Sausage with Syrup – 612 Calories
  • Large Strawberry Milkshake – 800 Calories

Mid-Morning Snack

Well you have to have a mid-morning snack, don’t you?

I’m thinking Costa Coffee:

  • Large Hot Chocolate with Marshmallows and Cream – 587 Calories
  • Lemon Muffin – 399 Calories


I fancy KFC for lunch:

  • KFC 3-Piece Variety Meal – 1,275 Calories

I think that will do for lunch.

Chicken Tikka Masala

Well, we don’t want to be greedy do we?


It has to be an Indian takeaway:

  • Chicken Tikka Masala – 1,249 Calories
  • Pilau Rice – 499 calories
  • Bombay Potatoes – 350 Calories
  • Peshwari Naan – 748 Calories

Do you think we should end the day with a little sweet treat?

Yes, why not, let’s do it.

Let’s not be too greedy though, we’ll just have 3 scoops of Ben & Jerry’s Cookie Dough ice cream, which comes in at 375 calories.

I think we can all agree that we have been well-fed for the day, so it’s time to look at our total calorie consumption.

That gives us a grand total of 7,658 calories consumed for the day.

Not bad.

You’ll note that I didn’t include any drinks for the afternoon or evening, but it was probably best to stay “healthy” and just drink water.

I Only Ate Fast Food For a Month

Let’s Create The “Average” Person

I’m going to base my calculations on the region with the highest average weight in the world.

This happens to be North America.

The average weight among the 263 million adult population of North America is 80.7kg (177.9lbs)

Okay, I have also used a male for my calculations (yes, it makes a difference), as well as the average height (175.4cm or 5ft 9in), and the average age (39) in North America.

So, our 39-year old man, who weighs just over 80kg, and is 5ft 9in tall has a Resting Metabolic Rate of 1,789.8 calories.

The resting metabolic rate (RMR) is the number of calories the body burns while it is at rest.

That’s right, we ALL burn calories on a daily basis, even when we’re doing absolutely nothing.

The RMR is often used interchangeably with the Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) which is the number of calories the body needs to function while it’s at rest.

So, basically our “average” man is automatically burning 1,789.8 calories while at rest.

I’m going to be a little generous here and say that he actually burns 2,000 calories a day because of all that chewing he has had to go through eating the above meals.

Therefore, in reality, Mr. Average will need to burn 5,658 calories through activity (exercise) in order to maintain his weight.

And obviously he’ll need to burn more calories than this if he is looking to lose weight

So, let’s have a look at what exercise he will need to do.

If you want to know how many calories YOU burn a day, based on your age, height, weight, and activity levels, then I’ve included calculators for these in my article, “How Many Calories Does The Average Person Burn in a Day?

A Day’s Exercise

A Man Running

As you can probably guess Mr. Average is going to have to do a fair amount of exercise.

So, let’s start off with a morning run.

My regular readers will know that I’m not a fan of running for many, many reasons, but I wanted to keep things as simple as possible, in terms of calories consumed and calories burned.

Unfortunately, due to the number of calories Mr. Average is consuming on a daily basis, this is no ordinary morning run.

Oh no, if you want to lose weight from exercise alone with no care or thought given to what you eat, then you have to pay the price somewhere along the line.

Mr. Average will be running for two hours (every morning) before his McDonald’s breakfast.

He’s fairly fit, so he will average a conservative 8mph.

So, his daily 16-mile run will burn a total of 2,007 calories.

He’ll certainly be wolfing down that breakfast, that’s for sure.

Mr. Average will then hit the gym for 2 hours.

This will occur sometime between his mid-morning snack and lunch.

He may not be burning as many calories during his weight-lifting session, as he did while running.

However, the more lean muscle he has, the more calories he will typically burn while at rest.

So, in effect, over a period of time by lifting weights he will actually increase his RMR, the amount of calories he is burning while at rest.

Mr. Average is going to go hard in the gym

He is going to pick the 5 big barbell exercises, namely the squat, bench press, deadlift, overhead press, and bent-over row.

He is going to complete some German Volume Training.

Oh yes, that is 10 sets of 10 reps for each exercise.

100 reps per exercise, so 500 reps in total.

This equates to 1,021 calories burned during the two hours.

I am also going to include the additional calories he will burn from a raised metabolic rate (commonly associated with lifting weights), which will typically be in the region of about 200 calories over the next 14-15 hours.

So, that’s 1,221 calories in total.

You will not get this “additional calorie burn” from normal running/jogging (which is part of the reason I’m not a fan).

I’m sure lunch is going to be consumed in less than a minute at this rate.

I bet Mr. Average wishes you ordered a bigger lunch now.

I would also suggest a little rest/snooze after lunch.

Just before that feast of a dinner it’s time to hit the rowing machine.

Mr. Average is going to have to row for two hours once more.

He’s going to go at a fairly moderate-intensity, well you know, the energy levels may have suffered somewhat from all that running and weight lifting (and probably eating too).

He’ll row for 16 miles again, but it will probably feel a lot easier than the morning run.

Mr. Average can expect to burn 1,232 calories from his early evening row.

Unfortunately, he’s not quite done yet.

After that beautiful and tasty dinner it’s time to jump on the bike and go for an outdoor cycle.

Guess what?

That’s right, 2 hours on the bike again.

A Man and His Mountain Bike

Mr. Average lives in a hilly area and owns a mountain bike.

So, over the course of his two-hour bike ride he can expect to burn a further 1,508 calories.

He’s finally done for the day and can enjoy that wonderful Ben & Jerry’s ice cream once he gets home.

Mr. Average has burned a total of 5,968 calories through exercise during the day.

We know that he also burns a further 1,789.8 calories while at rest, i.e. his resting metabolic rate.

Therefore, in total Mr. Average has burned 7,757.8 calories for the day.

We know that he “only” consumed 7,658 calories during the same day, so he has managed to burn 99.8 more calories than he has eaten.

Mr. Average will lose weight.

Granted, it won’t be a great deal, but he will lose weight nonetheless.

I’m guessing approximately 1lb a month.

However, let’s say Mr. Average decided to forget about his mid-morning muffin.

I mean, come on, he’s having a hot chocolate with marshmallows and cream, surely that’s enough of a “sweet treat” anyway.

So, he could still eat his McDonald’s, KFC, Indian takeaway, while enjoying a milkshake and ice cream.

This would equate to 399 fewer calories a day.

Keeping with the same exercise plan, Mr. Average is now looking at losing 1lb in weight every single week.

Now we’re talking.

QUICK TIP: If you’re someone who enjoys a mid-morning muffin, or some other type of sweet with your coffee, such as a pastry, simply cutting this out of your life could POTENTIALLY see you also losing 1lb a week in weight.

The Twist

Mr. Average is now losing weight through exercise alone.

However, here’s a few important points I want to make:

Even though Mr. Average can lose weight following this eating and exercise plan, he still looks pretty terrible.

Basically, the numbers on the weighing scales look great, but his body doesn’t.

Due to his high intake of saturated fat his body is a mess.

Mr. Average has rolls of fat everywhere, and while he looks “acceptable” with a top on, as soon as he removes it there’s a horrific surprise for everyone.

He looks skinny-fat and out of shape.

By eating the foods that he is, once again especially due to amount of saturated fat, Mr. Average is a prime candidate for diabetes or heart disease.

How long can he realistically keep eating like this?

Mr. Average has terrible skin and he actually looks very unwell.

This of course is down to his nutrition, but there are always various other factors to take into consideration.

Mr. Average is well into the realms of overtraining (if there is such a thing).

His cortisol levels will be through the roof, so his body will typically also be holding onto stores of fat, notably around the belly area.

Through a combination of so much exercise and horrible nutrition he is sleeping terribly.

This simply adds to how bad he looks.

A Man Trying to Sleep

It also means that he is potentially missing out on various stages of deep and REM sleep.

This means that he may not be getting the proper doses of Human Growth Hormone (HGH), which is typically released during these stages of sleep.

Additionally, the lack of HGH means he isn’t recovering from his daily exertions and he isn’t getting the benefits of muscle repair and lean muscle growth.

His metabolism has probably ground to a halt, as the body is under so much stress from food and exercise.

This will actually make it a lot harder for him to lose weight, and indeed to keep it off as well.

The food that Mr. Average is consuming, as well as the huge amount of strenuous exercise is affecting him mentally.

His levels of concentration are poor and he feels constantly moody.

If he doesn’t get injured simply through the amount of training he is doing, then he’s likely to cause himself a mischief due to his lack of concentration.

In reality, he wouldn’t have the energy to complete the workouts, and he’s likely to only make it through a day or two of exercising this way.

The food we eat is what fuels us in our daily activities.

So, while we can get away with eating crap every once in a while, a constant and prolonged bad diet will mean that your workouts get worse and worse, until you reach the point of no return.

Mr. Average is no longer losing weight.

A Reality Check

My Reality Check Bounced

Okay, I’m hoping that you get that all the above was a little tongue-in-cheek.

I think we both know that no-one is really going to eat or exercise like this on a daily basis.

However, I just wanted to prove the point that you can lose weight with exercise alone.

You don’t have to worry about what you’re eating if “weight loss” is your goal.

You simply need to ensure that you’re burning more calories a day than you’re consuming.

With that said, I don’t believe that anyone should focus on “weight loss” unless they are severely overweight.

In fact, as you’re here reading this, my guess would be that you exercise regularly, and perhaps you even enjoy it.

The reality is that you probably have a few extra rolls of fat, or a muffin-top (no pun intended), or that you would like to be in slightly better shape.

I’ve already said that I’m not a fan of “diets”, and I’m not exactly strict with my own eating on a daily basis.

I’ll typically eat well-balanced and nutritious meals about 85-90% of the time, but I too like to gorge on absolute rubbish every now and then.

Admittedly, I’m not in Mr. Average’s league, but funnily enough the meals that I have mentioned in his daily eating plan, are all things that I will eat.

However, rather than on a daily basis, the above list is probably the “crap” that I’ll consume over the course of a month.

It works for me, and it keeps me sane.

There will be people out there who eat an exact scientific split of macronutrients every single day, with every single meal, and without fail.

I’m afraid that’s just not me.

I know what food I need to correctly fuel my body for the workouts I do (yet again, I’m not in Mr. Average’s league, but I’m still pretty hardcore compared to most), and to keep me in great shape.

So, the occasional treat does me no harm.

Final Thoughts

Here’s hoping that you get the point I’m trying to make

You’re here to discover whether you can lose weight simply by exercising and completely ignoring what you eat.

Once again, the answer is a resounding yes.

But, as we can see from Mr. Average’s example, it’s not doing his health any good, mentally or physically.

Additionally, weight loss and fat loss are completely different things.

You can lose weight and look absolutely awful.

You can lose fat and look sleek, sexy, and athletic.

The choice is yours.

As I’ve said, “dieting” really isn’t my thing, and I’m sure it’s not yours either.

This is why I really liked the “Not Dieting” eating plan created by Mike Whitfield.

Mike’s has created something that goes against conventional dieting and ensures that you can still enjoy your favourite foods on a regular basis.

There are certainly no restrictions here.

So, why not take this opportunity to see what I thought about Mike’s eating plan in my Metabolic Reboot Review.

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12 thoughts on “Can You Lose Weight By Exercise Alone? (Eat 7,658 Calories a Day & Lose Weight)”

  1. Hi Partha,

    It was so much fun to read and yet it’s so simple isn’t it? 😀

    Yes you can lose weight on a bad diet but you will look ugly, sick and nearly dead 😀

    I had a colleague, who ate McDonald’s good 4 -5 times a week, had rash all over the body and was complaining that the doctors don’t know anything 😀 When I suggested it could be the diet, I was the crazy person 😀

    Each to their own, for sure. But it’s so simple, there is no crazy science in this. This person I mentioned wasn’t fat at all, in fact. Just looked incredibly unhealthy. I loved this article and I think I will share it with that person and see what they say 🙂

    Sometimes people are more likely to listen to a stranger, rather than a partner or a friend.

    • Hey Silvie,

      Always fantastic to hear from you.

      For sure, share the article away, that’s what I’m here for.

      Hahaha, I kinda get what you mean about being the “crazy person”.

      It astounds me the number of times that people ask my advice, and once I give this, they completely disagree, and say that I can’t possibly be right.

      Unfortunately, many friends and family get into bad habits, and in truth they know what they are doing wrong, but they just don’t want to hear it.

      Such is life.

      Without doubt, what we put into our body has a massive impact on how we look, how we feel, how we act, pretty much everything you can think of.

      I know myself, even though I enjoy a “treat” every once in a while, I usually don’t feel too good after “enjoying” it.

      I love the idea of a big piece of chocolate cake, or an Indian or Chinese takeaway, or even a McDonald’s breakfast, and even though I love it at the time, I typically feel pretty awful an hour or so later.

      You know what I mean, bloated, feeling ill, unable to move, and I even feel as though I have a “food hangover” the following day.

      However, me being me, I’ll probably still keep treating myself on a regular basis, LOL.


  2. I have learned so much from reading your article, Partha! While we can certainly lose weight by solely exercising everyday, it’s hard to believe that most of us will engage in 6+ hours of physical activity on a daily basis (2-hour morning run, 2-hours in the gym, a 2-hour bike ride, etc.). As you alluded to, such a weight loss plan can cause strain to one’s body, cause one to lose meaningful sleep, as well as contribute to one’s poor physical appearance (especially if a person consumes large amounts of fatty foods on a daily basis). I definitely see the value in exercise, but I would never solely depend on it to lose weight or fat. I would eat well, drink plenty of water, exercise, get plenty of sleep, as well as eliminate stress factors. I find that this combination works much better for weight and fat loss! Haha. Great read! God bless you!

    • Hey Carletta,

      Great to hear from.

      That’s it, you’ve absolutely nailed it.

      That’s the point I was trying to get across – a combination of exercise and sensible eating is always going to produce the best and healthiest results for anyone who is trying to lose weight.

      Okay, I guess my technique in getting this point across was somewhat crude, and a little tongue-in-cheek, but I was amazed by how often the question, “Can you lose weight by exercise alone?” is actually searched for online.

      And obviously while this possible, you have to be wary of what unhealthy eating is dong to your body.

      I actually think the main reason the question is asked is because there are people who want to lose weight, but don’t want to follow a “diet” in the traditional sense of the word.

      They typically view this as having to eat salad and by starving yourself.

      However, even this approach to “weight loss” is extremely unhealthy.

      I’ve written many times about how I don’t agree with these types of starvation diets, and all it take is sensible eating.

      I’ve even listed 44 of the Top Belly Fat Burning Foods in another article, which goes to show that there are many more options than people think when it comes to eating healthily.


  3. Hey Partha,

    This is one of your most informative, terrifying and inspirational articles I have read. I didn’t know that you can eat crap, exercise, lose weight but still look terrible. At the moment, I am not exercising anywhere near as much as I should be. I eat crap at the weekend too, because I treat it as part of a celebration for what I had achieved in the week. I don’t drink as much as I used to, in fact a goal for next year is to go the whole year sober. I want to include a good diet and a good exercise regime in that goal too.

    I am planning on having a good year next year, so to achieve this I need to be healthy in mind and body.

    Thank you for frightening me, seriously. It’s what I needed.

    Keep up the amazing work you do.


    • Hey Tom,

      Always good to hear from you.

      Yes, indeed, I completely agree with you – it is very frightening.

      As you mentioned yourself, the best combination in terms of health is to eat a well-balanced, nutritious diet and regular exercise.

      I have no issues with “eating crap” at the weekend, or at least one day a week, as it’s something that I do myself.

      However, with this article I just wanted to get across that you could actually eat crap every single day, and still lose weight.

      It’s highly unlikely that someone would be able to keep up with the this type of eating, and there’s definitely no way that you’d have the energy to perform the exercise routines I was talking about here, espcially with all that crap in your body.

      With that said, I think one of the points I was also trying to make is that many people are so focused on “losing weight” that they completely forget about their overall health and wellbeing.

      It sounds as though you’ve got your 2021 sorted Tom, and are focused on what you want to achieve health-wise (and probably career-wise too knowing you).

      I’ve never actually gone an entire year without the booze, so this something I may actually consider myself.

      I have on a number of occasions gone 3-4 months without a drink and the difference I’ve felt is amazing.

      In fact, I often wonder why I start drinking again, LOL.

      Much like yourself, I don’t drink anywhere near as much as I used to, perhaps 2-3 times a month nowadays (although it’s certainly been a little different with all the lockdowns of 2020, LOL).

      However, the difference you feel both mentally and physically after around 6+ weeks and beyond of not drinking, well it’s fantastic.

      I wish you the best for the coming year Tom, and obviously please keep me up to date with how things are going.


  4. I do hope you got paid for that ad of the yellow M, Partha?! Or KFC for that matter. ROFLOL.

    Well, you don’t seduce me with that, but you didn’t expect it to, did you. 🙂 I will follow along with the Indian takeaway and the Cookie Dough though. Ohhh, cookie dough ice cream, I LOVE that. Can you bring me some?

    But what a life you describe. That poor soul, Mr Average. Only eating and exercising. Doesn’t sound very appealing. In a sense thanks goodness it doesn’t help either, because otherwise, who knows how many people would do that. It is better to give some meaning to life. 🙂

    Thanks for making me laugh, Partha, you owed me that, as you know. 😀

    • Hey Hannie,

      Always fantastic to hear from you.

      You’re right, I should go and ask for some McDonald’s and KFC sponsorship money, they owe me, LOL.

      Oh yes, I get you, some of the foods here certainly “seduce me” as well, and as I’ve mentioned many times before – there’s absolutely nothing wrong with the “occasional” treat, but always in moderation.

      You got it Hannie, there were a number of points I was trying to get across by writing this article, and the poor quality of life that Mr. Average is leading is definitely one of them.

      To be honest, irrespective of who you are, there is just no way that anyone could continue with this type of eating and exercise.

      The amount of saturated fat in this diet would not only make someone look terrible, but they would constantly feel awful as well.

      I can guarantee that someone eating like this would always be feeling ill, sick, and they would probably be on the toilet a lot of the time.

      So, there is no way that this type of eating could “fuel” the exercise routines I describe here. In fact, this diet wouldn’t fuel any exercise at all, because you just wouldn’t have any energy whatsoever.

      I’m glad that this type of lifestyle doesn’t appeal to Hannie, but I didn’t think it would anyway.

      And yes, you’re right, there was a little crass humour in this article as well, but I just wanted to get my various points across in the only way I really know how, LOL.


  5. “Mr. Average is well into the realms of overtraining IF THERE IS SUCH A THING????
    Ummmm, I don’t know any near as much about diet and training as you do, but I’m pretty sure there is such a thing. My wise mum always said “everything in moderation is fine” so I guess she would approve of your occasional McDonalds’ breakfasts….

    Good information once again.
    My regular food consumption is on a whole different scale from what you have described above, and I’ve never had a problem with excess weight. I am constantly surprised at how little I consume compared to other people, women included.

    However, I am fit, healthy, mentally stable (a matter of opinion), and enjoy life, so what more could one ask for?

    Thanks for sharing.

    • Hi Andrew,

      Yes, I’m starting to understand this about you, as in you probably don’t consume as much food as many.

      But, I guess if it works for you, then that’s just great.

      To be honest, I’ve always had a huge appetite, and even as a small child my parents told me that I was constantly on the look out for food, LOL.

      Not much has changed in my adult life either, hahaha.

      But each to their own I guess.

      The reason I mentioned whether “there is such a thing” about overtraining is because quite clearly there is.

      However, in truth, most people would have to do a hell of a lot to reach this stage.

      I think many people who believe that they may be overtraining are simply not getting adequate rest, or it could even be that their nutrition isn’t on-point, so the tiredness and lethargy they feel is down to this.

      I know as someone who has previously trained a couple of times a day for six days a week, as long as I was eating enough calories, and good calories at that, plus I was ensuring that I was getting a good 8-9 hours sleep a night, I was good to go again the next day.

      I do agree with your final sentiment though – that’s what life is about. As long as we’re fit, healthy, and able to enjoy life, that’s all anyone can ever ask for.


  6. Hi Partha,
    You actually delivered the most valuable piece of content in such a wonderful way. It’s true any individual can lose weight even on a bad diet but eventually one will realize the effects of it, each aspect of burning calories by specifying numbers was fun and made absolute sense.

    Productivity boosting foods provides necessary nutrients body requires but all foods are created equally our body needs a certain amount of nutrients such as carbohydrates, protein, fat, vitamin so we need to plan our intake accordingly.

    Embrace physical exercises as an essential part of our daily lives and it will surely do wonders.
    Very good work
    Have a Nice Day!

    • Hi Sam,

      Thanks for your comments and your kind words, it’s much appreciated.

      Yes indeed, you’ve nailed it here, and this is the exact point I wanted to get across.

      It is of course possible to lose weight through exercise alone.

      You can even eat whatever you want, and as long as you’re burning more calories than you’re consuming, then as I’ve mentioned, you will lose weight.

      However, it’s important to look at the “whole picture” and understand what this type of eating and exercise routine will do to your health in general.

      I think we can all clearly see that the results are not good.



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