Historically, we have always been told that losing weight and keeping the weight off is a matter of “diet and exercise”. The thought process behind this recommendation is by lessening caloric intake (“diet”) and burning off more calories (“exercise”) this becomes the formula for successful weight control. The concept of “diet and exercise” almost makes this sound like a see-saw type of situation where both ends of the see-saw carry equal importance.
Clearly, the components of “diet” and “exercise” do not carry equal importance as this relates to achieving and sustaining an ideal weight. Often, people will make the mistake of thinking that if they exercise lots, they can basically eat what they like and still control weight. Personally, it takes me 90 minutes of a pretty intensive elliptical workout to burn off 1000 calories. Eating a McDonald’s hot fudge sundae accounts for 370 calories. The consumption of this sundae would take me less than 5 minutes. So, 30 minutes exercise-caloric burn off is destroyed by 5 minutes eating that sundae.
Another point: With current technology, people proudly display on their smart phone apps how many “steps” they have taken in a day. When these numbers come up to the thousands, this provides some false sense of security that aggressive physical activity has been performed. This translates into the thought process: “I can now liberalize my diet because of all of the activity I am doing”.
Most people can lose aggressive amounts of weight only by working on the dietary part of the equation with little-no exercise. The same cannot be said for the reverse, i.e. most people will not control weight even if they are exercising lots but not following a prudent dietary approach.
So, today’s message: Please do not be lulled into a false sense of security if you are exercising daily…you still need to adhere to the high protein-high vegetable/low carbs/fruits/alcohol dietary approach.