I was a recent college grad (in my early 20s) and I was living on my own in an apartment. My whole life had changed. I had left a small town where I would walk almost everywhere, grocery store, friend's house's, the bars...you get the picture :)
After graduation, I moved to a "big city" and was working out in the suburbs - walking was not an option 95 percent of the time. All socializing was happening around food or alcohol. All day at work was sitting at a desk. The only time I got any movement in was when I went to the gym, but problem was I wasn't doing the right movement when I was in the gym.
I began feeling my clothes tighten...started to feel uncomfortable and went to a trusted adult to tell them I was not loving how I was feeling. The advice they gave me was simple.
Here's what I was told:
You can eat whatever you want, as long as you exercise...
Yep, that was the advice. As simple as that. And man, I thought that was great. I could figure out how to get 30 minutes of exercise in a day and I'll keep eating all of the crap and drinking anything I want, but that did not bode well. Clothes got tighter. My skin broke out. My mental health began to struggle.
My trusted advisor meant well, and exercise is a great thing to encourage, but it's the wrong thing to encourage when you want to lose weight. What you need to do is look at your nutrition and science backs that up.
Here's what the experts say:
- To lose weight, people are better off eating less than being more active," said Herman Pontzer, an associate professor of evolutionary anthropology at Duke University Pontzer and author of, Burn: New Research Blows the Lid Off How We Really Burn Calories, Lose Weight, and Stay Healthy. “Really the only strategy that seems to work well is to focus on your diet,” he said. “We've known for decades that exercise is a really poor tool for weight loss.”
- According to mayoclinic.com, both exercise and diet are important, but diet has a stronger effect on weight loss than physical activity does; physical activity, including exercise, has a stronger effect in preventing weight regain after weight loss.
- According to time.com, exercise—at least the kind most of us do—is typically ineffective for weight loss. Take walking, for example. A 150-pound person who walks briskly for 30 minutes will burn, on average, around 140 calories. That’s equal to one can of soda—not exactly a great return on your investment of time and effort. It’s much easier just to skip the soda.
Exercise is important.
This is not to say that exercise isn't amazing and essential to our overall wellbeing, it's more that if your main goal is to drop some pounds the most efficient and effective way to do that is through your nutrition! I had to learn it the hard way! I gained weight before I was able to figure out how to lose weight!
Are you interested in learning how to take your nutrition to the next level? Are you interested in learning how to combine exercise and nutrition for the best results? Fill out this form to sign up for an upcoming one-week FREE Spring Cleaning/Clean Eating challenge! We'll share healthy recipes, keep each other accountable, and of course have a little fun along the way!