You Can’t Out-exercise a Poor Diet

You Can’t Out-exercise a Poor Diet

Have you heard the phrase, “you can’t out-exercise a poor diet”?

Let’s put this in terms of a recognizable food choice. Just one M&M candy is approximately three calories and in order to burn off those three calories, you would need to walk or run the length of one football field (100 yards). Ok– how about a peanut M&M? You would need to walk or run the length of two football fields to burn the calories from one peanut M&M.

The point? It’s a lot easier to eat calories than to burn calories.

It may be possible to exercise off a few discretionary calories. It’s nearly impossible, unhealthy, and to be honest, unrealistic to try and burn off ALL our “unhealthy” food choices.

Diet and exercise are extremely important parts of the puzzle when it comes to losing or maintaining weight but using a calorie deficit is the best way to achieve weight loss. Realistically speaking, it’s easier to lower the number of calories eaten than it is to spend excessive, far too much of your time exercising.

Multiple studies show exercise as the #1 predictor of long term weight maintenance. Most people who lose weight and keep it off long term are able to achieve weight maintenance with regular and consistent physical activity if mobility is not an issue. In addition to maintaining weight, exercise has lots of other benefits including better sleep habits, reducing stress, increasing muscle mass, decreasing body fat, increasing balance, coordination, confidence and self- image. For long-term success, physical activity also reduces risks of cardiovascular disease. All of these“non-scale” benefits are going to influence a person’s overall health making maintaining weight achievable.

The “what it takes” regarding your body weight comes down to at least 70 percent diet and 30 percent exercise. So at any point in your health and wellness journey, if you ever find yourself making inconsistent eating choices and favoring unhealthy foods with the assumption that an exercise class tomorrow morning will balance it all out: the reality is, it won’t. We see many patients who are overweight and exercising a lot, believing it will compensate for excessive and unnecessary eating. So, if you want to see a decrease on the scale, you need to take a closer look at the daily food choices you’re making and potentially get back to the basics in order to help you achieve your weight loss goals.

Remember to always reach out to your physician or behavioral health educator for any questions, concerns, or changes to your health while on the program.

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