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

Calories in – Calories out = Calories stored.

Simply put, to lose weight you need to eat less, exercise more, or both. What if you could only use one method? There are many meal plans/diets out there, 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 one should you take?

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 lifelong fitness fanatic and strength and conditioning coach. Why do I say this with such confidence? That is easy! It is extremely difficult to beat exercise from your diet! Let me give you a couple of vivid examples.

If you had a 140 lb 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 off, you’d have to run 10 minutes for 1.5 hours! At the height of my career days as a youngster, I couldn’t do that and I highly doubt you can either.

Here is another vivid example of this. According to Malia Frey, a weight-loss expert who writes in About Health, cutting out a daily large McDonald’s cola altogether (if you drink one a day) would result in reducing your annual calorie intake by more than 200,000 calories, or about 60 pounds, in a year. Substitute that soda for water and overcome obesity. That’s just a large 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 to just skip the soda and have a glass of water instead?

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

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