Myth: Weight Loss is Eating Less and Exercising More

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Eat Less and Exercise More is Insufficient for Weight Loss.  

Miniature Meal

Miniature Meal – not exactly the solution.

It seems simple, but event the most educated can oversimplify weight loss.  Oversimplification can be the enemy of success.   Body fat is means stored calories or energy for the proverbial rainy day, but reducing weight loss to a simple in and out can create blinders to some of the other complicated causes of weight gain and loss.  

Truths on weight loss:

  1. To lose body fat:  You must burn more calories than you eat or eat fewer calories than you need to function.  
  2. To gain body fat:  You must eat more calories that you burn or eat more calories than you need to function.
  3. More muscle mass: The higher you muscle mass, you will need more calories to maintain normal function.   

Based on theses truths, it would seem, based on logic, that eating less food and exercising more would cause weight loss.  This concept is true and will result in weight loss, but the oversimplification fails to see the actual requirements for both weight loss and long-term weight loss maintenance.  Diet and exercise interventions alone do not seem sufficient to support the long-term maintenance of reduced weight.  It is apparent that the problem is more complicated than this statement and that obesity should be regarded as a complex neurobiological disease with a psychological element.  

A major and sustained change is required to lose weight with diet and exercise.  Simply telling people to eat less and move more isn’t enough and in fact, it will take a sustained change toward a more healthy lifestyle.  If you decide to return to your old habits, you will gain the weight back and likely more.  For this reason, simply eat less and exercising more is simply not enough to successfully lose and maintain the loss.  

The bottom line:  Avoid oversimplification and focus on the long game to make a change for long lasting better health.  If you make healthy changes and maintain healthy portion sizes and exercise regularly, you will be more successful.   Do not return to the past and your unhealthy lifestyle.  

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About the Author

ChuckH
I am a family physician who has served in the US Army. In 2016, I found myself overweight, out of shape, and unhealthy, so I made a change to improve my health. This blog is the chronology of my path to better health and what I have learned along the way.

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