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Weight Loss Without Nutrition?

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I felt like I needed to write this post because over the last year or so, I’ve talked to hundreds of people about their weight loss goals and the number one thing that people are focusing on is exercise.  Now exercise is very important in weight loss and maintaining proper weight but remember its only part of the equation.  You’ve heard me say it over and over 70 to 80 % of your weight loss will come with eating a clean diet.  Beware of anything that promises weight loss without providing a nutrition plan.  You may lose weight initially, but what’s going to happen 6 months, 12 months later.  Without the proper nutrition plan the weight will just come right back.  Do it the right way.  Exercise and proper nutrition.  There is no “magic pill” or “incredible gadget” that is going to do the work for you.

Can you lose weight without having to exercise?  Yes, you can, but the best strategy is a combination of cutting calories and exercising.  Exercise has other benefits that can help with weight loss.  It improves mood and self-esteem, as well as reduces risk for heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes Between 75 and 95 percent of people who go on a diet regain the weight, reports Dr. Sylvia Karasu in “Psychology Today.”  Constantly losing and regaining weight  affects your health, long-term weight loss and your psyche.  Major health organizations such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the  American Heart Association recommend combining exercise and a healthy diet to  lose weight for a reason.  Both exercise and diet are essential components of a  successful weight loss and maintenance program.

I hate to say it, but math needs to enter the equation at some point here too.  As I’m sure we all know by now, losing weight is a numbers game:  more calories out than in.  Each pound equals 3500 calories so that in order to lose weight, a calorie deficit must occur.  This article favored an approach of diet being more essential to weight loss than exercise.  As I mentioned earlier the benefits of exercise are numerous, including enhanced heart and mental health, it takes a heck of a lot of it to burn off enough calories to lose weight.  Plus, it appears that we humans have a tendency to underestimate what we consume in food and overestimate what we expend in exercise.    Exercise burns fewer calories than you might think.  Walking 1 mile burns about 100 calories and 1 pound of body fat is a storage depot for 3,500 calories. You’d have to walk 35 miles to lose 1 pound of fat!!!

A recent study cited that a reduced calorie program – regardless of its emphasis on fats, carbs or protein – caused weight loss in overweight adults.  It made the point that food should be eaten more slowly so as to allow the food to be digested and signal your brain that you are in fact being fed; which takes about 20 minutes to register.  Also, certain foods should be avoided because of their effect on certain brain chemicals which cause us to want even more of them.  Care to guess which ones?  Sweets, fats and salty foods – my three favorite food groups.

You can easily out-eat your exercise efforts.  Without dietary control, weight  loss will not occur.  If you do not exercise, you can only cut calories so much before you start to starve your body of essential nutrients.  Of the members of  the National Weight Control Registry, a group of more than 5,000 individuals who  successfully lost an average of 66 lbs. and have kept it off for over five  years, 10 percent used diet alone.  Another 1 percent succeeded with exercise  alone.  The remaining 89 percent combined exercise and diet to obtain results.

The bottom line:  Focus on your nutrition before starting any exercise program.

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