My stomach is grumbling. Right about now is when I start foraging for “a little something.” However, this year I traveled a lot, and added a few pounds as a result. I am trying to cut back, and although my snacks are usually healthy, they aren’t necessary.
I could increase my exercise, but although being active is great, it won’t help me lose weight. Studies repeatedly show that exercise alone is not an effective way to lose weight. The human body adjusts to increased activity, and we end up burning the same daily total of calories.
The saying, “You can’t outrun a bad diet,” is true. When it comes to weight loss, it’s all about the food.
The best explanation for this concept was in The Exercise Paradox by Herman Pontzer Scientific American February 2017 (www.scientificamerican.com/article/the-exercise-paradox). As I read the article, I found my lazy-self cheering, “No more Fitbit or trips to the gym.” Wrong. Exercise is critical, even if it won’t trim my waistline. The benefits of exercise are seemingly endless. It reduces our risk of multiple diseases, improves sleep and circulation, lowers inflammation, and improves our moods. Exercise is essential to good health.
Back to the food. In my case, it may be about eating too much of it. I love rich avocados and fresh fruit, but if I am going to fit into my wardrobe again, I will have to cut back. I enjoy a quarter of an avocado as much as I do a half. Eating less has the added benefit of saving money. Have you seen the cost of avocados? I thought I would have to take out a small loan to afford them.
Naturally, I wondered if the problem was what I was eating, rather than the amount. I can list a litany of diets, but I am sure you’ve heard them. But scientists haven’t found a diet that works for everyone. Weight loss and gain may be affected by genetically differences. Some people do better on Paleo diets while others fare well on vegan diets. Everyone does well if they eat less. Melinda Irwin from the Yale School of Public Health said, “A person can eat almost anything if the portion size is appropriate.”
The trick is finding a diet you can stick to. The bottom line is to avoid being too hungry, as that will test our resolve. So, on that note, I am going to make a cup of tea and think about fitting back into my clothes.