Friday, August 21, 2009

Exercise Myth?

EXERCISE-"Of course it's good for you, but it won't make you lose weight. Why it's want you eat that really counts."

Oh boy! Looks like "Time" magazine just opened a big can of worms with their Aug. 17 article titled,"The Myth about Exercise" by John Cloud. I think the article was fairly swift and lacked emphasis on what exercise DOES do for you. However, I totally understand what the author was getting at. Unfortunately, I'm worried that people reading this article might be getting the wrong idea and I truly hope this doesn't stop people from working out. This is NOT the point!

Now, before a I receive any of questions regarding my stance. Here's my thoughts short and sweet.....PEOPLE UNDER ESTIMATE HOW MUCH THEY EAT. Period! I'm talking about portion control and the caloric density of certain "extras" we eat everyday. AND I can't tell you how many times I've heard somebody tell me that because they "worked out" then it's OK to eat whatever they want....

Now, we all have free will but this all comes with a choice ( will power ). If weight loss is your goal then you need to pay extra attention to what you are consuming. I truly believe ( like John Cloud ) that what you are eating is a largest part of the weight loss equation. Unused calories turn into fat and this is the ugly truth plain an simple. So how do you avoid this?

The 40 minute "Elliptical Machine" workout I do several days a week burns about 250 calories for someone my size. I cancel that out ( calorie wise ) with an "Almost Raw Granola Bar". However, I am reaping several benefits instead ( like cardiovascular training and relieving stress ). This is why doing some sort of exercise several days a week is still VERY important!! I'm not exercising these days to lose weight. However, If I didn't follow a few simple rules in regards to diet and exercise then this might not be the case......

I'll be very honest...the more I exercise the more likely I am to put on weight. I think a lot of this has to do with the fact the working out makes me hungrier. If I surf for 3 hours, then I'll be starving soon after. However, over the years I've learned how to manage this. I'll eat what I want ( slowly) and I also won't gorge myself. I think this is the key........

I lost 25-30 lbs + many years ago and here's a list of the things I did to help achieved this. By following this list I've maintained my weight for many years now. Again, I am not a dietitian or a nutritionist and if you are truly struggling I think it's a great idea to get an "experts" opinion. However, what I do have are my own experiences and challenges..... so I'll share them.

1. I don't graze--picking at food all day long leads to extra calories. When you pick you never get "full". It's also hard to get "hungry when you pick. Meals taste so much better when you are actually hungry.
2. Eat when you are "hungry"-- Not because it's "noon" or "dinner time". This is so simple but most people ignore this.
3. Portion Control-- Everyone has heard the cliche "Your eyes are bigger than your stomach". If you are starving...start with a normal size portion of something. Eat it ( at a normal place!! ) wait a few minutes and judge if you really need more.
4. Eat until you are 80% full--This is a HUGE component to the "Okinawan Diet" ( a very good diet to look into!! ). This will help you avoid that stuffed feeling.
5. Food isn't going anywhere--this helps me with the "there's box of cookies in the house, what do I do?? " issue. Have 1 or 2 and stop. You can have 1 or 2 tomorrow. There is NO NEED to eat the entire box at once.
6. Don't drink your calories--I'm not talking about "Green Smoothies" here....those are actually a meal. I'm talking about sugary lattes, sodas and yes, alcohol. If you must.... then again, portion control.
7. Veggies are low in calories and full of water and fiber. They help to achieve that "full" feeling. Try to make them the star player in your meal and "enhance" them with a little dressing, cheese or nuts.
8. Eat what you are really craving....this gives a feeling of satisfaction and it helps lessen the chance of overeating to make up for not eating things that you truly like. But again! PORTION CONTROL! This is the reason "French Women don't get fat!" Remember.....

I mentioned months ago that Carlos decided it was time to lose his "vacation weight" from 2 years ago when we were in Australia for a month ( roughly 20 lbs) His heaviest weight was this last February: 236 lbs. He is now a lean ( and hot! ) 210 lbs. He's 6'2". Yes, he worked out a bit but nothing different than what he was doing before. He achieved his weight loss goal by simply following the tips I just listed. He lost over 25 lbs through managing his diet.



BREAKFAST-"Green Monster" ( always inspired by Blog, "Oh She Glows" ) ( spinach, 1 cup almond Milk, 2 frozen bananas, stevia, 1 scoop of "Amazing Meal" )LUNCH- 4 "Asian Burritos" recipe on 8/16/09 ( hydrated rice paper rounds, carrots, sesame seeds, extra firm organic tofu marinated in shoyu, organic Waipoli mixed greens ) Sweet Thai chili sauce thinned out with a little water SNACK-dried Mangoes and 2 Orowheat Thins with Goat Cheese and Local HoneyDINNER-not really...I just had an "Almost Raw Granola Bar" instead. Not much of an appetite tonight.


  1. Do you find that your elliptical workout has helped you lose weight or become more toned? How long have you been doing that for?

  2. Hi Mel, I've been using the ellitical machine ( with handles )on and off for 12 yrs. I do not believed it has helped me loose any weight for I have gone stints ( months ) and not use it and not gain weight. However, I think it has helped in keeping my legs and butt pretty toned/firm. My legs tend to run on the "skinny" side so I need it:-)