Which carries more weight: exercise or food choices?

A recent meal

A recent meal

I’ve always said that what we eat is 2/3 of the battle while exercise is only 1/3. Two recent studies stress my point that exercise alone does not guarantee weight loss, food choices carry more weight (pun intended :-)). One of the studies, discussed in NYT, concluded that ““active, ‘traditional’ lifestyles may not protect against obesity if diets change to promote increased caloric consumption.” That is, even active people will pack on pounds if they eat like most of us in the West.”

Another study, also discussed in the article, found that participants’ metabolic rates dropped as they lost weight despite the fact that they exercised every day. Exercise provides many health benefits, and should be used in conjunction with a healthy diet for an effective weight loss regimen. What I’m stressing is that good food choices make exercise pay off in terms of weight loss.

My diet consists of plants (1-2 lbs of veggies a day), lots of protein (keeps you fuller longer; I rarely eat red meat though), complex carbs (like sweet potatoes and brown rice) etc. Find my detailed eating plan of page 4 of our latest newsletter. I keep things simple: 1/3 exercise + 2/3 healthy food choices = 125 lbs lost and maintained 🙂

Dr John Ellis MD

Board-certified anesthesiologist, with expertise in cardiovascular anesthesia and the implications of obesity and sleep apnea in anesthesia. See vascularanesthesia.com for professional information. Dr. Ellis has used the strategies in here to: (1) lose 120 lbs over 18 months, (2) stop all antihypertensive medicines, and (3) no longer need CPAP treatment for sleep apnea.

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