Health

Why You’re Not Losing Weight

No amount of exercise will help if you're not doing this as well

You’re trying to shed excess pounds and have not faltered on your New Year’s resolution to get to the gym. So why isn’t the weight dropping off?

You can work out all you want — but unless you cut back on calorie consumption, you’ll continue to struggle with the scale. “You cannot outrun a bad diet,” say the authors of a new editorial in the BMJ.

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“U.K.’s Academy of Medical Royal Colleges described ‘the miracle cure’ of performing 30 minutes of moderate exercise, five times a week, as more powerful than many drugs administered for chronic disease prevention and management,” the authors wrote. “Regular physical activity reduces the risk of developing cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, dementia and some cancers by at least 30 percent. However, physical activity does not promote weight loss.”

It’s true, said Maryland-based fitness trainer Alex Haschen.

“If you trying to lose weight, relying 100 percent on exercise will not help you reach your goal,” said one fitness trainer.

“There are two main pieces to the weight-loss puzzle — exercise and nutrition. If you’re trying to lose weight, relying 100 percent on exercise will not help you reach your goal,” he told LifeZette.

He added, “You can reduce your caloric intake and still eat a terrible diet. A diet lower in calories but consisting of low-quality foods will not make you healthy, nor will it help you lose weight as quickly either.”

Here are the two most important things people need to keep in mind as they attempt to lose weight, according to Haschen:

Exercise
It helps improve the health of your heart, lungs, and muscles. It leads to an improvement of every process in the body. You burn calories — and if you burn calories, you can lose weight; however, the main function of exercise is to tune up your body.

Nutrition
If you fuel any machine with low-grade fuel, it will perform less than optimally. If you over-fuel by overeating, you will also operate poorly.

“In order for our bodies to ‘let go’ of stored fat, we need to provide high-quality foods in appropriate amounts. There’s no need to starve yourself, no need to count calories — just listen to your body,” said Haschen. “Hunger is and always will be the best indication of how much you should eat, but oftentimes we mistake hunger for other emotions.”

If you think you’re hungry, go for a walk or eat a few raw veggies. Then wait 20 minutes and see if you are still truly hungry, advised Haschen.

Related: The Number One Rule of Weight Loss

Portion control is also directly related to this sensation of hunger. “Put less than you normally would on your plate, eat it slowly, wait 10 minutes, and evaluate your hunger. A portion that is ‘too small’ at first will soon become your new normal once your mind stops intervening with your hunger,” he said. “Eat less, eat slowly, wait and evaluate.”

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