Lose Weight While Saving

By Scott McKinney, MS

What is the most effective fitness regimen when it comes to decreasing fat mass while maintaining a healthy weight? If you answered, the shake weight, Hawaii chair, or some two-second-once-per-year-abs workout I encourage you to continue to the end of this column. The answer to this question is a holistic approach to fitness that involves much more than a “fad-diet”, time in the gym, or some “as seen on T.V.” miracle gadget.

Hopefully, you have already made the decision to do whatever it takes to reach your optimal state of health, and are now looking for the best way to do this. Good news for you, it is much easier and more cost effective than you might have thought. There are only two things you really need to focus on and they are diet and exercise. While there may be many components to health and wellness we will, for the purpose of this column and the weight-loss resolution, look at these two. I would like to note that the term diet is used interchangeably with well balanced nutrition and “fad-diets”, used for all other types.

If I asked ten people right now whether diet or exercise was more important to weight loss, I assume most would say exercise. Now, I do not want to create the assumption that exercise isn’t important because it really is but I think that people under-appreciate what a healthy diet can do to increase your productivity throughout your fitness quest. The following study from the International Journal of Obesity really says it all for me. Miller et al., noted that while compiling a meta-analysis of the past 25 years of weight loss research trends showed weight loss through diet, exercise, and diet and exercise were 10.7 ± .5, 2.9 ± .4 and 11.0 ± .6 kg, respectively. This shows that the research groups that monitored a healthy diet lost over 300% more weight than those with exercise alone.

Now I know what some of you are thinking and yes people do lose weight with Weight Watchers. My question to you is this; couldn’t I get all of my points by eating desserts alone? If so, is this a healthy diet that fuels my body with all the nutrients it needs? You don’t need to put yourself through that entire headache when it’s this easy. If you don’t believe me ask the men and women that do it every day. Through a balanced diet, exercise, and self-efficacy these individuals are able to lose significant amounts of unwanted weight in a remarkably short period of time. This may all sound basic, common place, or too easy. It is; it might even be easier than you think.

Scott McKinney is the Vice President at Midwest Institute for Addiction. He holds a Master’s degree in sports rehabilitation and a degree in exercise physiology. He is nationally certified in strength and conditioning and corrective exercise. Scott has directed fitness facilities, trained trainers, and taught as a professor in biomechanics.


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