Everybody knows that exercising will make you lose weight. The problem is that what everybody knows is not necessarily true.

When someone hasn't exercised in some years and then starts a heavy regime, they risk doing themselves some serious damage.

You may be thinking that incoming energy minus your outgoing energy is your fat reserve, this is only a very basic understanding though. In actual fact when you suddenly start exercising, you will send your body into survival mode. As soon as you do this you will start to have trouble losing weight.

While you will start building muscle you won't really notice any weight loss because your body will panic and start to hoard its reserves.

Consider in nature when a person would have traditionally started to push themselves to their limits. It would be in an extreme survival situation or war, and as these are the signals you're sending your body. It reacts accordingly.

If you want to actually lose weight then you need to make sure you don't panic your body. Start exercising very gradually, while paying extra care to only increase your regime by a very small amount each day.

Remember that the human race has evolved very slowly over a long time to function in a certain way. Don't try confusing it just because the television's latest trend says so.

Be aware that you were designed to survive under vastly different circumstances than we experience today.

When your body finds you're spending all day running and struggling it thinks you're in danger. What do you think happens then? Yes, you got it. Your metabolism undergoes a huge change and starts desperately saving its reserves.

Don't start exercising too fast. Only exercise very lightly to start with. You shouldn't start doing a proper exercise routine for quite some time. To start with you should be doing very light exercises or possibly even just stretches. Over a period of several weeks you should slowly add a few minutes extra, until finally you are doing a full exercise routine. This way your body won't start to panic and genuine weight loss can be achieved.

The other thing that can easily stop your weight loss attempts from working, is dieting.

If you suddenly cut the amount you eat, you will send your body into survival mode which will lead to a change in your metabolism. This change will take the form of a sudden belief within your body that it needs to hoard fat reserves against an uncertain future.

It is a standard famine control method that the body has always used. Strangely it seems in recent times people seem to have forgotten this necessary survival method of ours.

Mix crash dieting and exercising and you know what you get? Very briefly some weight loss, followed quickly by weight gain or hunger cramps.

These hunger cramps are also a method by which the body tries to spur us on to search out food.

When you're considering any kind of weight loss program, I would strongly urge you to consider whether the method is for or against our basic animal design.

Like many, Michael Mosley want to get fitter and healthier but can't face hours on the treadmill or trips to the gym. Help may be at hand.

He uncovers the surprising new research which suggests many of us could benefit from just three minutes of high intensity exercise a week.

He discovers the hidden power of simple activities like walking and fidgeting, and finds out why some of us don't respond to exercise at all Using himself as a guinea pig, Michael uncovers the surprising new research about exercise, that has the power to make us all live longer and healthier lives.

Check Out This BBC iplayer episode Horizon - 2011-2012 - The Truth About Exercise

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