Oct 08

The Value of Nutrition Over Exercise in Weight Loss


The Value of Nutrition Over Exercise in Weight Loss

                Exercise is critically important toward maintaining healthy function in the human body.  Performing resistance training will help regulate certain hormones in the body and train the body to utilize fat as a fuel source more efficiently.  Performing steady state cardio for 20-30 minutes has been shown to utilize fat as a fuel source when performing this particular mode of exercise. And of course, don’t forget the HIIT training, which stands for High Intensity Interval Training can be found in almost every fitness bloggers site and Muscle and Fitness Magazine stating that HIIT is the MOST effective way to burn fat.  While these statements hold a fair amount of validity, there is a very pertinent piece of the puzzle of weight loss that comes into play…

You have to train your conscience and digestive tract as well.

                People seeking weight loss advice will approach me for nutritional consulting because I am a personal trainer and weight loss consultant.  At times, they are bewildered by the fact that they are exercising 4-5 times a week and not getting the results they want in losing weight.  Their workout routine could consist of performing a resistance training session and then going to an aerobics class taught at the gym… then add in 20 minutes of cardio after all that.  It sounds like a great workout!  I mean, they probably burn about 2000 calories in that whole routine.  Yet there is still no significant weight loss!

                So, I let them know that they have an awesome exercise routine and to not change it all.  Because at this point, the exercise portion is there.  Now there is a missing link and a very important question:

What are you putting in your mouth?

How much of what are you putting into your mouth?

What times are you putting how much of what in your mouth?

And… Why are you putting how much of what in your mouth?

                At this point, I have become the food detective.  If the goal is to lose weight, your diet must be put into check.  Think about it this way, you only spend about 6.25% of your day exercising ( equation derived from 1.5 average hours of exercise ÷ 24 hours in your day).  So the other 93.75% is left over for other stuff.  In this other 93.75% of the day, eating the right things will help you achieve your goals in weight loss.

                Another important component to losing excess body fat weight is to understand that only a certain amount of calories can be utilized within a certain time frame.  Looking at the other 93.75% of the average human day, we usually don’t raise our heart rate over 50% of our resting heart that often.  Therefore, we don’t burn as many calories as we do exercising.  So if we over consume during that 93.75% time frame, we won’t be able to utilize those calories as energy… and guess what happens to those calories?  Yup, they get stored as fat.  And our midsections seem to really like that type of fat.  So if you eat like you are going to be burning 2000 calories every hour and you are an ultra endurance event competitor, than that’s definitely the right diet for you.  BUT, if you are the 99.9% of the general population that exercises about 2% of a calendar week and consume a diet consisting of high caloric intake at erratic times, you can expect to stay at the same weight.

                So, moral of the story is that exercise alone is not enough to help lose fat and subcutaneous fat.  If you only exercise a small portion of the day, you can’t expect exercise alone to help achieve a goal pertaining to fat and weight loss.  Controlling what is consumed, how much is consumed and how many hours in between meals will give more steady results in losing body fat and weight.  While exercise plays a HUGE role in keeping the body healthy and losing fat, controlling your diet the other 93.75% of your day will give you the best chance to decrease body fat and lose weight.