Diet or exercise: what should you focus on to lose weight?
If you want to lose weight, what should you focus on, your diet or your exercise plan?
According to Yoni Freedhof, MD, author of The Diet Fix: Why Diets Fail and How to Make Yours Work, food choices are responsible for 70-80% of one's overall weight, whereas exercise is responsible for the remaining 20-30%.
What does this mean to you?
Continue to exercise in order to gain enormous health benefits, (improved mood, greater strength, healthy metabolism, cardiovascular fitness, better sleep, reduced risk of disease), but don't underestimate the importance of the food choices that you make every day.
Here are some healthy eating tips that will set you up for success:
- Make healthy foods easy to eat. Wash and cut your favorite fruits and vegetables and store them in glass containers, at eye level, in your refrigerator
- Don't buy junk food that you know will be too much temptation for you
- When you do buy treats, put them in the back of your cabinets. People are more likely to eat the things they see first, not the things they have to dig for
- If you are pressed for time, buy bagged and washed produce to cut down on food prep time
- When you take the time to cook, make a double recipe and freeze the leftover for days when cooking isn't an option
- Skip sugary and caloric protein and sports drinks. Unless you exercise for over an hour each day at a high intensity, drinking water is the best way to stay hydrated
- Avoid rewarding yourself with food. When you've achieved an exercise or other goal, treat yourself to a manicure or a massage, not a calorie dense latte
- Shop the perimeter of the grocery store where whole, not processed foods, are displayed
- Surround yourself with like minded friends who are striving to eat well. Your friends can share tips and support you, making it easier to stay on track
- Ditch your oversized plates and bowls. Studies show that people fill their plates no matter what size they are: a smaller plate means a smaller portion