Why Aren’t I Loosing Weight?: Nutrition vs. Exercise
Currently, an astonishing 2/3rds of our country is considered overweight, while 1/3rd is considered obese. Therefore, it seems reasonable to consider that a majority of our population is interested in weight loss. The issue is that with hundreds of different so-called “solutions” out there (ie. trending exercise programs, diets, weight loss supplements, etc.), people don’t know where to begin.
A common response is to turn to exercise.
A recent video said that 31% of Americans think that exercise is the best way to lose weight. As a trainer, I of course am a huge proponent of consistent and appropriate exercise; I could go on and on about both the physiological and psychological benefits that it provides. However, I am also not blind to the fact that if significant weight loss is your goal, exercise is simply not enough. Not to say that it won’t result in some weight loss as well an ongoing list of other benefits (see “benefits of exercise” blog). But if a lifestyle change is in the cards for you, it is crucial that exercise be paired with a change in diet.
The term “diet” should also be taken lightly. Americans have adopted this term to mean “restricting themselves to small amounts of special foods in order to lose weight.” However, the original meaning of the word is simply “the kinds of foods that a person habitually eats.” So, the expression “change in diet” does not necessarily mean you should go on a specific diet. Although that option may be appropriate in some circumstances, a majority of people would benefit most from altering their current eating habits to a place where they are consuming an overall healthy and balanced diet. With this, people are more likely to make a lifestyle change which will ultimately lead to longer term weight loss and weight maintenance.
If you’re looking for some ways to do this, here are some suggestions below:
- Eat more fruits and vegetables! Shoot for 5-9 servings/ days - these foods contain loads of essential nutrients and a high amount of fiber to aid in digestion and help keep you full.
- Switch to whole grains - also high in fiber!
- Avoid drinking your calories - people don’t realize that a glass of juice can contain almost as much sugar and almost as many calories as a can of soda!
- Follow the 80-20 rule: 80% nutritious and healthy foods, 20% less nutritious foods that you enjoy. Going cold turkey can sometimes result in unhealthy binging. With this, you can eat healthy while also treating yourself to your favorite foods every once in awhile!
Stephanie Spoto, CSCS