When it comes to weight loss goals, I get asked by my clients all the time… “Which is more important-exercise or diet?” The answer is diet. While a daily bout of activity is phenomenal for strengthening the heart, boosting the mood and improving sleep, an exercise program alone will not sustainably offer the weight loss results you crave. You may be hitting the gym everyday, meticulously calculating calories eaten vs. calories burned and still be frustrated by the number on the scale.
QUALITY TRUMPS QUANTITY EVERY TIME
The documentary Fed Up explains that the food industry adds nutrient-void sugar to 80 percent of the foods found in a typical supermarket and wants us to believe that we can eat and drink the sugar-rich foods and beverages without gaining weight or developing health problems. Consequently, many people who want to lose weight ignore the quality of the food as they become all consumed by burning “their” number of calories (merely just an number).
With this in mind, you can see why I cringe when I hear people saying “eat everything in moderation” because the idea that we can out-train any diet does not bode well for any waistline. Yet this is a message food manufacturers have pushed and health practitioners, the media and television shows have accepted as fact.
The idea that we can out-train any diet does not bode well for the waistline.
THE COMPENSATORY EFFECT
While exercise offers numerous benefits such as keeping heart disease at bay, boosting mood and improving sleep an exercise program alone will not sustainably offer the weight loss results you may crave. In fact, research indicates that people who exercise strenuously, eat more throughout the day to satisfy hunger, re-energize the body or cash in a “reward food.” What if I told you that what you eat is far more important than how much you exercise and by making simple tweaks to diet, your exercise routine would no longer be driven by the scale but instead by pleasure? Read on….
Research indicates that people who exercise strenuously, eat more mindlessly throughout the day to satisfy hunger, re-energize the body or cash in a “food reward.”
BELIEVE IN THE DIFFERENCE
Switching your goals from time in the gym to what’s on your plate requires ownership. Six studies published in Psychological Science concluded that those who said it’s most important to exercise to prevent obesity had higher BMI than people who said eating right was the key. In two of the studies, when researchers offered participants unlimited chocolate, those who believed staying active is the key to weight loss ate more.
If you’re serious about losing weight effectively this year, restructure your beliefs, tasks and goals to reflect the evidence supporting food’s capacity to optimize metabolism. This simple shift may transform your best intentions to lose weight into a sustainable reality. In other words, you will no longer begrudgingly say “I did it” as you walk away from calorie-busting workout but instead start saying “it was worth it!” as you savor some colorful seasonal vegetables.
If this shift in focus has piqued your interest, let’s chat for a 10 minutes about what a personalized nutrition plan would entail.