I can only speak for myself but I think I have been lured into thinking that simply a little exercise the days I could not fit in my 60 min intense walk would do it.
Seems that lots of the reports, etc. on exercise etc relate to minimum levels of health versus weight loss. Burning calories is HARD--no matter how you do it. We have to burn 3500 calories to lose a pound. That's not the same as walking a bit to get our blood flowing, etc. I wish it were easier but I suspect this is why it's so discouraging for many of us--and pretty bloody complicated.
But, I'm only interpreting what I think I'm hearing.
I think you have it right. I think the "majority" of folks even on the McDougall boards have fallen prey to thinking a trip to the gym 3 or 4 times a week is exercise that will drop pounds.
Steady "industrial stength" movement in a constant direction is about the only thing I believe will let you know if you are doing enough. Not videos in the living room, not station to station in the gym.
No, simple physics........moving a mass so many miles in distance and up so many feet in elevation is the only true criteria.
For the lucky, they can do it with 30 minutes. Most others need 60 minutes and as we know, life can be harsh, some folks need to face up to the fact they need 90 minutes each and every day to actually lose rather than maintain.
But I think it can be said, that at some level, every person will indeed lose.
I do well over 60 min. average per day. It takes time. More than most are willing to spend.
BTW, you'd better like what you do, because on those cold days, and rainy days, you aren't gonna feel like it even if you normally like it.
Make that, "you'd better love it".
Alternatively, a person could get a job that had movement as part of its duties. Not too many jobs have that kind of movement.
Bicycle messenger? Utility meter reader?
Some times genetics are cruel. I have become more and more convinced from reading posts here, that some people may need 90 minutes to maintain and perhaps 2 hours daily to lose.
I'm so sorry that is the case, but all the wishing and hoping won't change it.
I don't think its many people, but there are some facing that reality.
Good luck.........to all in these areas.
My advice in whatever you choose, is to build the mileage up slowly.
Abrupt increases in physical activity often end up in injuries which compound the problem. Slow and steady increases are especially critical in anyone over 40.