To Lose Weight, Eating RIGHT Is Far More Important Than Exercise

A recent NYTimes article, To Lose Weight, Eating Less Is Far More Important Than Exercising More, made the compelling point that exercise is NOT the most important aspect of weight loss.  Aaron E. Carroll says, “Exercise has many benefits, but there are problems with relying on it to control weight.” I agree 100%, exercise is important but it isn’t the key to weight loss.  The author also suggests that to lose weight we must eat less, here is where I disagree.  

The benefits of exercise are almost too numerous to mention, but I’ll try. Exercise is a miracle cure for heart disease, diabetes, neurological disease, some types of cancer, arthritis and depression.  However, exercise does not make us lose weight.

If you want to lose weight you must pay attention to WHAT you eat.  Focus on quality not quantity.  Enjoy almost unlimited fresh vegetables and fruit, simply cooked organic, grass-fed meat and fish and pastured eggs and dairy.  Your body knows when it is full.  Nobody over eats grilled salmon and vegetables.  Counting calories while continuing to eat processed, foods, soft drinks and sugar doesn’t result in long-term good health or weight management.

Getting to YES

On her way out the door, a friend who wants to lose weight asked me, “Do you eat bread? Carbs are bad right? What about pasta?” As a health coach I get questions like that alot. I suggested she focus on including more nutritious foods IN her diet, not on what is bad. Put your energy towards what will make you feel good and spend less time worrying about restricting yourself.

In a way, she’s right. I don’t eat highly processed breads and other  carbohydrates often because they aren’t nutritious, as far as our bodies are concerned white flour is sugar. I do eat carbohydrates such as whole grains regularly especially oatmeal, quinoa, millet and more. But, that’s a blog for another day.

Restrictions and lists of taboo foods usually only work temporarily and tend to make us feel deprived. Many of us are more receptive to the positive. What will make you feel good? What should you be eating? What should you include in your routine? I tend to think more about what I need to add to my diet, not what I should take away.