Being healthy is easy, right? Eat more vegetables, no fried food and exercise every day. General statements like this are challenging to follow. Which is more important? Diet or exercise?

We're bombarded with a ton of information when it comes to losing weight. It's always a challenge to sift through the details for most people. What makes it even harder is that some of the information is incorrect.  

Everyone knows, though, that the basics to losing weight are a result of your diet and exercise. It doesn't matter if you're a fitness pro or a beginner. You just need to stick to the basics.

In this article and short 2-minute video, we want to first focus on diet. Let's begin by talking about calories in vs calories out. Science says to burn more calories than you consume.

However, most people prefer eating to counting calories. Let's make it easy for you. Focus on eating food from higher quality sources while reducing the consumption of lower quality food sources.

  • Higher quality unprocessed foods like fruits, vegetables, legumes (beans, peas) whole grains (oats, wheat, brown rice), healthy protein (fish, chicken, turkey) and fats (avocado, olive oil, nuts).
  • Lower quality foods like sweet sugary drinks, fried foods, white bread, refined sugar (cookies and cake), foods high in trans fat (fast food) and saturated fat (butter, cream, red meat).

Give your body the quality energy and nutrients it needs to function optimally.

A healthy balance of nutrients is also key. Don't only focus on one nutrient. For example, some people think carbohydrates are responsible for all the weight they gain.

They shift their focus to consuming protein. If you're an active person you will need carbs for energy. Just eat more nutrient dense carbs like sweet potato, brown rice and whole wheat bread.

The Mayo clinic suggests 45 to 65 percent of your daily calorie intake. If you consume 2,000 calories then 900 to 1,300 should be from carbs.

You will also need protein to help build and repair your body. According to Harvard Health, 0.8 grams of protein per kg of body weight or 0.36 grams per pound. This means the average sedentary man needs 56 grams of protein while the average sedentary woman needs 46 grams per day.

A CNN Health study shows that our fat cells expand when we consume a surplus of energy. When we overeat for an extended period of time we increase the number of fat cells.

However, when we lose weight the cells shrink but don't go away. People have about 10 to 30 billion fat cells. When you are obese you have up to 100 billion fat cells.

I'm here to tell you that you CAN outrun a bad diet. The only problem is that you'll need to run all day. For example, let's assume a Big Mac Burger has 257 calories. If a person weights 180 lbs it would take about 23 minutes of running at 5 mph to burn those calories off.

The average person already has a hard time working out 30 minutes a day 5 times a week consistently. It easier to control the number of calories you eat every day

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Next time you're sweating on the treadmill thinking about burning the calories from the 2 slices of chocolate cake think again. Exercise is important when it comes to losing weight but it's not the optimal strategy. Many people experience the frustration of working out often but not seeing the numbers on the scale go down. 

Working out is good for improving your health and reducing the risk of heart disease and diabetes. But, it's not the best way to help you lose weight. Eating higher quality foods along with a good exercise regime will help you to maintain a healthy weight.

Is breakfast the most important meal of the day? For some people, it prevents them from overeating during the day. That's because when some people miss calories they make up for it during snack, lunch or dinner. On the other hand, missing breakfast as part of a controlled intermittent fasting program can be effective at cutting calories.

Create a healthy lifestyle that you can be consistent with. Start small then make more changes as time goes by to be better. For example, if you don't eat a lot of vegetables focus on three vegetable days.

Maybe choose Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Once you stick to those days eventually increase the days to five days. Soon you'll be eating vegetables every day of the week.


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