Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Is Exercise all You Need?

For five years I was in martial arts. I earned a couple black belts along the way. However, I never lost much weight. I was “fit fat”; I could kick you in the head, but I didn’t look like it!. I was in shape but still overweight. It is easy to get the impression that if one simply exercises he/she will get the body he/she desires.

This mindset appeals to our instinct of “no pain, no gain”; however, exercise is not enough. In a recent sixteen week study two groups were tested. Group one did no exercise while group two exercised for three hours per week performing strength training with an Olympic weightlifting coach and they engaged in two hours a week of circuit training with a group exercise instructor. At the end of the study, the results were unimpressive:

  • The Non-exercise Group gained 1 pound of lean mass, lost 0.5 pounds of fat, and lost 0.5% body fat. 
  • The exercise group gained 3 pounds of lean mass, lost 2 pounds of fat, and lost 1.5% body fat. 
Yes, the exercise group did better, but given the amount of exercise, the results were not as good as one might think. Think about it, if you paid for those 80 exercise sessions (16 x 5), you would have paid anywhere from $1,600-8,000 dollars for a net loss of 2 pounds of body fat! Many dieters overestimate the amount of calories burned by working out! A 150-pound person who walks two miles in 30 minutes burns just 150 calories. As a point of comparison, an average six-inch bagel is 350 calories. You cannot out-exercise a bad diet.

The reality is that nutrition is 80% of the battle. I am all for exercise, but I know-from experience-that changing one’s nutrition is the biggest component in the weight loss battle.

At Achieve Weight Loss we supply that nutritional component by educating people about how to make the food from their grocery store work for them. Once you start making your food work for you the weight will start to come off. If you add exercise to the mix, you are going to experience even more benefits.

 Before you start an exercise program, make sure you know how to make your food work for you. (Hint: it is not just eating more fruit and vegetables! There’s more to it than that!). Make sure you understand how your body is using the fuel you are feeding it. Learn about the options from your grocery store that fill “voids”. Gaining knowledge about how to make your food work for you coupled with exercise will put you on the road to the best health possible.

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