Sunday, September 30, 2012
One of the topics that I vacillate over is whether exercise, diet or both are more important for weight loss/maintenance.
We can cite all the studies and research we want, but I maintain a high degree of skepticism due to my personal observations that contradicts most of the accepted standards.
Calorie in - calorie out does not work for me. Either variable - exercise expended or calories consumed - does not result in better weight loss for me in isolation.
I got a lot of exercise when I lived in WA - hiking, biking, and kayaking - but I reached a limit where I lost no more. Adding more exercise was not feasible - I was already exercising 1 hour per day and 4 hours on the weekend. More exercise meant overexercising and fatigue.
I had the most success losing weight with minimal exercise by eating low-carb, but a diminishing return was eventually reached.
As I've mentioned before, my mom worked a manual labor job for more than 20 years and remained thin. After retiring, she put on about 30 lbs in a year. A clear result of less exercise and probably more food. When she's home all the time, there's a tendency to munch even when not hungry.
I remain of the opinion that diet and exercise are both required, and there is an optimal balance. More exercise will not fix a bad diet. In tandem, a good diet will not reap benefit unless there is regular activity.
Exercise also has benefits beyond that of weight loss or maintenance, as I learned with my dad. My dad's lung capacity is reduced because of his extreme inactivity over the decade. My advice if you want to live to your golden years without carrying an oxygen tank: get regular exercise and don't stop, even as you get older.
With this in mind, I'm starting my fall goals tomorrow, which I'll write about later.