Healthy Eating is Not the Only Key to Weight Loss

I often get asked my professional opinion on various Health and Fitness related topics by news reporters, journalists, and writers from around the world.  Some questions have come from writers working on articles for O magazine, MTV television,,, ABC News, At Home Magazine (Home Workout article), local newspapers, etc.  These requests and questions are always fun.  I love to help writers and journalists by giving my honest opinions, and usually in great detail, so they have a whole bunch of information to work with.  I wanted to give you a sneak peek into what was asked of me from a journalist in Florida.  I really want you to take my answers to heart.  Please put this information to use in your own life to help you Feel, Look, and Move healthy!

The journalist, from Florida A&M University, was doing an article on “Eating is the key to weight loss!” and he asked me for my opinions and feedback to help him better reach the University’s students for their University newspaper.

He said to me:  “In one of your articles, you said it was difficult to shed fat from only using a diet program without resistance training.  I liked that statement because it’s somewhat controversial and relatable to school readers.”

The two questions he wanted me to answer were:

1)    Can one shed fat from only a diet program, and is it difficult to do so?

2)    How important is resistance training and how can it boost metabolism?

Here are my answers to his questions:

Can you shed fat from only using a Diet Program without Resistance Training?  Not successfully or efficiently I said, here’s why:

If Diets alone could successfully battle Fat, then I would not have been in business for the past 14 years as a Personal Trainer.  In a perfect world with perfect people and perfect human behavior, then maybe we could all be really lean and skinny without exercising, but we have to take into account human error and over-indulgence.  We humans habitually over-eat and eat the wrong things such as high-fat, high-sugar, high trans-fats, high-sodium, and processed junk!  If your goal is to lose body Fat, not body Weight, then you will have to be extra, extra, extra picky with your eating and make sure you do not mess up.  You could possibly get lean with a healthy diet and cardiovascular exercise, but even then you would not have much muscle tone which is a super defense for you to fight off Fat!  You see, every pound of muscle could burn upwards of 50 calories extra for you each day, even while you are at rest.  So 10 pounds of added muscle could burn an extra 500 calories each and every day for you and that would be the equivalent of spending nearly 45 minutes walking fast on a treadmill!

Without the resistance training your body is also weaker.  The muscles, tendons, ligaments, joints, and bones are not going to be as strong and conditioned.  If you are a student carrying books around, an athlete playing a sport, or a worker lifting boxes of files at your job, you all need to have stronger and better conditioned bodies.  The older we get, we want our body Fat to stay low, but we also want to Feel, Look, and Move Better and Stronger.  Diets Suck!  With Diets alone, we will not feel much better or stronger, plus we set ourselves up for failure since barely any of us can stick to the diet-only approach.

It’s this simple: Muscle from Resistance Training Exercises = Faster Metabolism, Cardiovascular Training Exercises = Faster Metabolism, Eating Healthy mini-meals/snacks 5-6 times per day = Faster Metabolism, a Good Night’s Sleep = Faster Metabolism, plus Lowering Stress = Faster Metabolism!

When I lost 100 pounds 15 years ago, I did it with Diet and Cardio only and it took nearly a year and a half.  If I would have added the Resistance Training to the mix I would have lost the 100 pounds in half the time.  I regularly have Dieting joggers come to me for Personal Training and Nutritional Advice because even with 15-30 miles jogged each week and a low-calorie intake; they still stress their bodies and cannot lose weight and have lots of injuries!  As we age into our 30s and beyond, we are at risk of having lower metabolisms, higher cholesterol, higher blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, acid reflux, osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, tendonitis, bursitis, and other aging related health problems.  With the proper combination of 1) Exercise (Resistance Training, Cardiovascular Training, and Stretching), 2) Healthy Nutrition, and 3) Rest/Stress Relief, we can effectively combat the negative side-effects of aging.  Diets alone cannot help us with Stress Relief, we need daily exercise and structured sleep schedules.  Exercise, Nutrition, and Rest will always give us higher metabolism, lower body fat, better endurance, lower stress, more stamina, stronger mental power, and stronger bodies!