Why Eating Less ISN’T Enough.

armin_gundel (86)

I came across an article this morning while enjoying my favorite morning beverage, and….

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It got me riled up.

 

The article in question:

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/16/upshot/to-lose-weight-eating-less-is-far-more-important-than-exercising-more.html?_r=1&abt=0002&abg=1

 

While the premise of this article is basically correct, the tone of it just PISSED. ME. OFF.

 

Why, you might ask?

 

First, it’s another all-or-nothing oversimplification of a complicated issue.

It’s not a diet-or-exercise question, the answer is BOTH have an important role to play in not only weight loss, but overall health and well-being.

 

Second, why does fitness always need to be about WEIGHT LOSS????

 

Fitness (exercise) is about SO MUCH MORE than simply losing weight or avoiding weight gain.
The physiological, psychological, social benefits are many, and not to be taken lightly or dismissed because exercise might stimulate your appetite.

 

Ask any 60, 70, or 80 year-old what their reason is for exercising–I’m pretty damn sure it’s not centered around weight loss.

 

 

*Fitness/exercise/movement make people feel more vital.
*Exercise relieves depression.
*Exercise promotes healthy bone density.
*Exercise promotes improved sense of self, belief in their own capabilities and competence and self-worth.
*Exercise help people maintain their strength and mobility throughout their lifetimes.
*Fitness connects people to their bodies.
*Fitness connects people to each other.
*Exercise improves a great many health conditions, and aids in the prevention of developing a great number of illnesses.
*Exercise makes life better.

 

 

Yes, I absolutely concur that exercise alone cannot effectively impact weight loss. What you eat, and how much of it, is at the heart of weight loss/maintenance and body composition change.

 

 

It’s just that diet alone doesn’t make a body and mind stronger, or more resilient. It doesn’t preserve bone density, or improve stability, or infuse one with the pride of having accomplished something great.

 

When was the last time you heard someone say “Man, I really killed it with that salad today!”?

 

But listen to someone who’s just achieved a new PR in the gym or on the road, or completed an event like a Tough Mudder or a half or full marathon, or whose team just won a major competition, or someone who’s just completed their very first unassisted bodyweight pull up…that sense of pride, of accomplishment, of self-confidence and improved self-concept–THAT’S what exercise is about.

 

Once again, it’s not a question of what’s more important, diet or exercise–because the answer is BOTH. The dosage of each just depends on the needs of the individual.

And fitness, my friends, is about SO much more than just weight loss. Don’t let anyone else tell you different.

 

One comment

  1. Ann says:

    Totally! As an over 65, mind and body love the results of daily exercise/workouts. Darn right ” fitness” means so much more. So much ignorance abounds in so many areas of life. I love your videos and posts. You work really hard to make our lives better, more informed and real. Thank you.

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