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Hats Off To The Washington Post: Forget the Fitbit. Focus on Lunch.

written by Marsha Seidelman, M.D.
on Sunday, 17th May ,2015

A comical drawing of a young man exercising on the front of the Outlook Section of today's Washington Post caught my eye. As did the title: Forget the Fitbit. Focus on Lunch. It is written by a cardiologist who is a consultant clinical associate to the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges in Britain. I am simply posting the link, because I couldn't have said it better myself!

As patient after patient tells me how difficult it is to lose weight, this article succinctly explains why. Counting the number of steps you take each day or 'joining a gym' (but rarely going), or having an exercise bike at home, is not the solution. Yes, walking on a treadmill or riding a bike does burn calories, but unless it's intense exercise, sad to say - it's not very many. And, as the article points out, exercising for a half hour is often topped off with a reward snack, which provides more calories than were actually burned doing the exercise.

So, YES, exercise is good for many reasons - it's good for your heart, your mood, your immune system, your brain, your bones and muscles - but it has limited effect on weight loss. Again, if you exercise at a high intensity level, yes, it can burn a significant number of calories, but for the majority of overweight people adding mild to moderate exercise, the answer is in the CALORIES IN part of the equation.

If you're having difficulty losing weight, I urge you to check out the sites below to help determine about how many calories you need to maintain your weight, and to lose weight. And try to do a food diary with calories to see what's going in - sometimes contents like dressing, dried fruit, nuts, seeds, cheese or croutons - not all of which are unhealthy but may be packed with calories - can make a simple salad into a high calorie meal.  Simply learning that this is part of the problem, or maybe it's the few slices of bread each day, or a breakfast that isn't filling and nutritious and leaves you trolling for more, or any source of excess sugar.  Whatever it is, try to use these resources to help you find the path to a healthier you.

If you still are unsuccessful, ask your physician for a referral to a nutritionist, or check out some of our exercise and weight loss consultants on our site, Jody Miller and Ty Yonkovitch.

 

REFERENCE MATERIALS:

Calorie counter for foods and exercise: http://www.caloriecontrol.org

A different option for foods and exercise: www.myfitnesspal.com or the My FitnessPal App on iPhone

For recipes:  http://www.cspinet.org/healthycook/recipes.html

Or check out some of our own recipes:  http://ladydocscornercafe.com/recipes/#sthash.Q1sHswQQ.dpbs

Tags: weight loss, nutrition, exercise

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