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To lose weight: if only you could choose one

Nothing about weight loss has changed since the beginning of time! The path to a healthy weight has always been the Second Law of Thermodynamics;

Calories In – Calories Out = Cumulative Calories.

Simply put, losing weight requires eating less, exercising more, or both. What if you could only use one method? There are many eating / diet plans, and good ones, Nutrisystem, Jenny Craig, and Weight Watchers, just to name a few. On the exercise side, some of the most famous or infamous exercise programs include P90X and Insanity. All of these programs are effective in their own right, but if you had to choose one direction, which direction would you go?

The answer is perfectly clear. If you could choose exercise or diet, you should choose diet. I say this with the utmost confidence. And this comes from the mouth of a longtime fitness fanatic and strength and conditioning coach. Why am I saying this with such confidence? That is easy! It is extremely difficult to exercise on your diet! Let me give you a couple of vivid examples.

If you had a 140-pound woman and she ate two slices of cheese pizza and one slice of cheesecake, that would be a total of 955 calories. To burn that, you would have to run 10 minute miles for 1.5 hours! At the height of my running days when I was young, I couldn’t do that and I highly doubt that you could too.

Here is another vivid example of this. According to Malia Frey, a weight loss expert who writes in About Health, dropping a McDonald’s daily large cola entirely (if you drink about one per day) would result in reducing your annual calorie intake by more than 200,000 calories, or roughly 60 pounds, in a year. Replace that soda with water and overcome obesity. That’s just a big soda. For the same 140 pound woman to burn the same number of calories, she would have to run 1.5 miles in 16 minutes EVERY DAY! Wouldn’t it be easier not to drink the soda and have a glass of water instead?

Fortunately, we don’t have to choose one. We can incorporate both a healthy eating plan and exercise to achieve and maintain a healthy weight. Experts say the contribution is 75% nutrition and 25% exercise. I will talk about both in future articles.

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