Diet or Exercise to lose weight?Sep 28, 2023
What should you do to to lose weight? The age old question ... "do I focus on Diet or Exercise."
Let's dispel a big myth right now. You cannot out-exercise a bad diet. What do I mean?
If you eat highly processed foods, have no set schedule for eating, and no idea what portion sizes are appropriate for you....there's a good chance you have a poor diet. There's a really good chance you're out-of-shape, feel like crap, and are one phone call away from taking depression medications.
Today more and more people who are over-weight are taking depression medications. That's a whole other topic right there!
But, what about a non-diet approach? Aren't diets bad for you? That's why you're thinking "maybe I should just focus on exercise."
Every single person on the planet is on a diet. Even the "non-diet health coaches." Even the "non-diet dietitians," or "non-diet what ever they want to call themselves." A diet is nothing more then a description of the pattern of foods and types of foods you eat. Period.
If you only eat during a certain window of time, then you might call it intermittent fasting diet.
If you avoid eating meat, you might say you're on a vegetarian diet. Or various types of vegetarian styles of diet(s). Yes there are more than one.
If you wake up have Fruit loops. Drive to work get a big ass mocha-frapu-sugar-coma-vanilla-almond milk latte in a grande cup for a snack...with a gluten free bagel and your favorite nut butter. Then a leafy salad for lunch, with shredded vegan cheese, gluten free croutons, and a pear for lunch. Then some other over-priced confusing dinner choice, .... you're a walking marketing label for consumer dieting products. You think your diet is paying for consumer confidence ... but in reality you're on the confusion and no results diet.
Regardless of what type of pattern you eat. Or what foods you eat. The description of the pattern and types of food equals your diet.
"Is there then a bad diet or a good diet I should follow?"
No food is bad, unless you're allergic to it, or it would make you sick. So there's no bad diet or good diet.
There are just dietary patterns (diets) that support your goals and lifestyle and those that don't.
Most people have a diet that supports bloated, inflamed sedentary bodies that don't want to exercise. Their diet is a product of the lifestyle they live.
If you want to be strong, healthy, and active, and that is your goal, then your dietary pattern (diet) should support that.
If you want to lose weight, and be healthy as your children graduate high school....then the choices you make each day and every day should support that outcome.
If you want to be an athlete who focuses on performance, then what you eat should support fueling your day AND your workouts!
So which diet is right? The dietary pattern (diet) that if you stuck with it would create the health outcome goals you want .....AND BE ABLE TO SUSTAIN THEM for long term!
Most of what I do in my dietary practice as a dietitian is help people recognize the pattern of eating they currently have, and then provide them education and skills to change their pattern towards the goals they want. Yes, some of it also working with clinical disease, but that's really a small part.
Let's be clear, this is not about creating short term diets that achieve a goal, and then you go back to eating as you did before.
Why bother start something and then quit.
Decide what you want.
Learn how to do it.
Then stick it out.
This is where the professional counseling comes in.
We help lay out the process for change. Create Awareness. Provide Education, and then teach how to Apply what you learned to succeed.
Without it. You're stuck in the current pattern you have. I often hear, "I know what to do, I just need to do it."
I'll go back to the original statement and ask, Is your dietary pattern a must for achieving your goal in weight loss, and then maintenance. YES IT IS!
That does not excuse exercise. Food and exercise are two parts to healthy living. Not one or the other. Our bodies are meant to move. A body in motion stays in motion. -- It's easier to keep going once you start. It's easier to stay fit once you get fit. Motion is lotion. If your body hurts to move now, it will hurt less as you get your body moving again.
In some way or another we're all like the Tin-Man from Wizard of Oz. We need to get moving and stay moving. Otherwise we'll rust in place, and stop moving....or stop being able to move.
To achieve your weight loss goals, you need a Balance Nutritious Diet + Regular Exercise that you Enjoy doing!
Say this each day:
"Eat to Perform vice Live to Eat."
"Train with purpose vice Exercise to lose weight."
Do these together and you're living with purpose, and feeling awesome doing it!
Share this message with someone you know needs to hear it.
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