When it comes to losing weight there certainly are a lot of voices clamoring for your attention.
Not to mention “fad diets” and those “magic” diet pills advertised on TV everyday.
Typically overlooked in the equation is the need for some physical activity. And yet, many people who do work out on a regular basis struggle to lose weight as well.
So in the debate of diet versus exercise let’s take a look at some facts to determine what’s required to lost weight safely and effectively.
A recent study tracked the physical activity, diet, and calorie expenditure of a “hunter-gatherer” tribe in Tanzania.
What were they looking for?
The common belief is that frequent physical activity should make us slim.
In other words, if our lifestyle required more day to day physical activity (say similar to that of a tribal people) than it does now, the idea was that Americans would, quite naturally, be thinner than they are now.
So what did the study find?
Though the people studied did walk much more on average than we do each day, they were not burning off more calories than we do.
It confirmed what repeated studies have shown in the past.
Namely, many people who begin an exercise program lose little or no weight. Some even gain weight.
In other words, the conclusion seems to be that an active lifestyle, on its own, is not enough to protect against obesity. That is, even active people will pack on the pounds if they eat like most of us “typically” do in America.
So if exercise is not enough, surely that means that dieting alone is the answer?
According to Dr. Timothy Church of the Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Louisiana:
“it’s been known for some time that, calorie for calorie, it’s easier to lose weight by dieting than by exercise.”
So that ends the debate.
Or does it?
If it’s true that diet enough helps us lose weight more readily than exercise alone, why is it that so few of us stick to a diet? In other words, how can we get off the lose weight – gain weight – lose weight roller coaster once and for all?
Studies seem to indicate that people stick with low-calorie diets more readily than they continue with exercise to drop pounds.
The question is why…
And the answer may surprise you.
People will stick with a program that provides them with results.
The key is to have realistic expectations AND emotional support while changing diet — which involves a change in your lifestyle. And though studies seem to indicate that diet is more of a factor for losing weight, a combination of both promotes a healthier lifestyle.
Sure, we like to find — and hear — easy answers.
And if you had to choose just one option it would have to be diet versus exercise.
However, the benefits of an exercise program are more far reaching than simply losing weight. Exercise gets our bodies moving which promotes better circulation, and helps create a better quality of life as we age.
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Our FitMD program combines supportive nutrition counseling and personal trainers in Westchester helping you to lose weight, get in better shape, and lead a healthier lifestyle.
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After all, it’s your health and well-being…