Diet vs. Exercise

By: Rick Bellanti – Feb, 2016

bellantiI received a great question this week: Rick, I go to the gym five times a week I do plenty of cardio and work out all the time and yet I can’t seem to lose weight, what gives?

First, you have to take a look at what you’re eating, it really is the most important part of any health and wellness program and there are a couple of quotes that come to mind: “You cannot out train your diet” and also “Abs are made in the kitchen”. Food consumption has a larger impact on your wellness goals more than working out does if you are trying to lose weight. Think of it as the new 80/20 program.

When you are trying to get healthy and lose weight, what you do in the kitchen with your meals has 80% influence over your weight loss success and the other 20% would be your workout routine. For example: You want flat abs? Everyone has abdominal muscles (abs), they are just covered by a layer of fat in most people. What you need to do is get your body fat percentage down low enough to reveal them and it’s not by doing hundreds of sit-ups anymore, it’s by getting the proper nutrition in your system. Your abs are really made in the kitchen not in the gym.

Keep a daily log of as a Food Diary and a Physical Activity Diary. While exercise will help with weight loss, most people will tend to overestimate the amount of calories they burned while working out and then adjust for what they think they burned off exercising and then eat more then they should in return. Also, some people will underestimate what they are taking in for calories when eating and then overeat throughout the day, keeping a log of what your taking in for calories each day will help you stay on track. You can always go back and look at your records if you are not seeing progress and find out what needs to be adjusted.

Everybody is unique and may have different caloric needs and a healthy lifestyle requires balance, in the foods you eat, and in the amount of physical activity or exercise you include in your daily routine. While counting calories is not necessary, it may help you in the beginning to gain an awareness of your eating habits as you strive to achieve the balance. The ultimate test of the balance is whether or not you are losing weight and making progress.
For better results it’s always best to incorporate both, healthy eating and working out into your wellness routine. I didn’t start working out until I was into my sixth month of my weight loss and wellness journey and I started out by just walking. It wasn’t until my seventh month that I started to workout out and build lean muscle.

Building lean muscle in your body also helps burn fat and is highly recommended when you start to get near your goal weight and to help push you through any plateaus you might have. Remember whichever you choose stay hydrated with lots of water, start a Food Diary and a Physical Activity Diary, even if it’s a short walk for thirty minutes daily.

Rick Bellanti is a wellness coach and is on a journey himself to lose 240lbs. and has lost 125lbs since the start of 2015. If you have any questions or comments please post them to his Getting Healthy with Rick Bellanti Facebook page and once a month he will address a few of the topics here.