Do you go to the gym to lose weight? Do you overeat because you exercise? Do you reward yourself with crappy food after a workout?
Diet vs Exercise
Your waistline is 70% diet and 30% exercise. Exercise alone without changes to your diet will not make you lose weight.
In order to lose weight you have to create a caloric deficit – that is, take in less energy than you put out. And the only way to achieve this is by making changes to your diet.
It is impossible to workout all the extra calories you consume through overeating or eating the wrong foods.
Did you know that an average portion of chocolate cake gives you twice the amount of calories needed to cycle for 30 minutes? A scientific study carried out by Dr John Briffa in 2010, shows that it takes 77 hours of exercise to lose one kilogram of body fat.
How can you lose weight?
Don’t think for one minute I’m suggesting you do not exercise. Those of you who know me, know I’m a firm believer in regular exercise and will always encourage it. The gym does not appeal to everyone, but there are other forms of activity, such as walking, swimming or taking part in a sport you like.
Regular exercise has a number of benefits. It reduces stress and anxiety; increases energy levels; helps with digestion; promotes a general sense of well-being and much more.
It is true, regular exercise increases your metabolic rate, however your diet is the main factor leading towards weight loss.
In simple terms, weight loss is caloric consumption vs expenditure.
Diets vs healthy lifestyle
Diets are useless. I hate diets with a passion and think they’re a pure waste of time and money. How many fad diets have you seen come and go? Low carb; low fat; protein diet… they were all out there at some point.
Yes, it’s true; if you eliminate certain food groups from your diet, you lose weight. But what happens when you re-introduce those foods? If you’re not super careful, the weight creeps back and you end up heavier than before you started.
Change your lifestyle instead.
A healthy lifestyle guarantees a normal, healthy weight without too much effort. It is made up of a balanced diet plus a regular level of activity. It is sustainable and you do not “come off it” like you would a diet.
A balanced diet
- provides you with sufficient nutrients – carbohydrates, protein, fats, minerals and vitamins
- balances your energy intake and consumption so you maintain a healthy weight
- provides you with enough fluids, especially water
- is not high in salt and sugar.
Next week, in part II, we look at changes that can help you lose weight in the kitchen.
My thanks go to
Dr Briffa – A Good Look at Good Health