Saturday, February 23, 2013

Diet is nice, but exercise?




So I've figured out one of the reasons I've struggled to lose weight lately.

It's exercise.

Now, to be clear, I have lost weight; I just tend to lose it, gain it, and back again. My diet is mostly in tune, but I have a tendency to eat high.

Why?

Because I'm simply not satiated on less. I will never be able to function on 1200-1500 calories. My current range is 1400-1700 or so. This suits me, for the most part, but without exercise, I have to eat at the bottom of the range to do more than just maintain (which is what I've done since my 3 lb loss. It has stayed off, though!)

The secret, for me, is exercise. With exercise, I can eat more. When I work out, I like the balls-to-the-wall classes, like kickboxing. The more I exercise, the more I can eat! I am pretty good at getting lots of protein, so I don't need massive quantities.

Exercise has more benefits than an increased calorie range, though.

When I exercise, my moods are SO much better. I'll ride the high from a tough class for at least a day, and just feel fantastic. I ache less, and my arthritis bothers me less.

I understand that not everyone can join a gym. Not everyone has to. Maybe your exercise of choice is a video, or even a walk. I don't really think the kind of exercise you do is nearly as important as enjoying the exercise you do.

One critical component of exercise is strength training; without it, your program is incomplete, and you're abandoning the most important thing you can do. Strength training boosts your metabolism, and helps you look and feel better in the skin you're in. I love to lift weights, although I do keep a set of resistance bands at home. Not to mention, if you're not strength training, as much as 25% of your weight loss can come from lean muscle... which *drops* your metabolism. To preserve it, you need to hit the weights! (Or body weight exercises, or resistance bands. You get the idea.)

The point is, while you can lose weight by diet alone... it's so much harder. Exercise provides more than just weight loss benefits... it has incalculable benefits inside and outside of your body.

Best of all? It gets you away from this computer. ;)

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