Exercise VS Diet

Diet Vs Exercise

So, if you’ve been following our journey posts at all, Jackie and I are currently trying to lose weight.  Jackie’s trying to get in shape after a life of being overweight, and I’m trying to lose some pounds to get back into the shape I was a year ago.  It’s been going slowly.  

Jackie is trying to adapt to an entirely new lifestyle, which is incredibly hard.  She lost a lot of weight on the Medifast diet, but then gained a lot of it back when she got off.  This is actually one of the reasons the idea of a “fad” diet, that is, a diet you hop on to lose weight and then hop back off of, doesn’t work.  If you go back to your old habits, you’re going to go right back up again.  You need to develop an entirely new lifestyle for yourself.

Part of the frustrating thing for Jackie has been the fact that she’s been spending an hour every weekday at the gym with our friend, Steve (another fitness nut like myself), with little to no result in the weight/fat loss department.

But why?

I know I say it all the time, but the main thing to always remember in reshaping your body is, exercise decides your fitness, diet decides your shape.  In order to lose a pound of weight, you need to burn approximately 3500 calories.  How much exercise does that take?  Let’s take a look at some common exercises, and how long it takes to burn 3500 calories to lose them.  This is assuming you weigh 180 lbs, if you weigh more you’ll burn a bit more, if you weigh less, you’ll burn a bit less.

Exercise Needed to Burn 3500 Calories(in hours)

Aerobics: 6 1/2 hours
Basketball: 5 1/3 hours
Bicycling: 5 1/2 hours
Kickboxing: 4 1/3 hours
Running(10 minute mile pace): 4 1/3 hours
Walking(3 mph): 11 hours
Weight Lifting: 7 hours

So you can see, if you’re not altering your diet, and relying on exercise alone to lose weight, you need to squeeze in quite a lot of activity to lose even a pound in a week.  The big issue with this, as well, is that if you’re going into a new exercise program, your body wants to eat more food.  It’s working against you, and trying to maintain your current weight, so if you’re not paying attention to what you’re eating, you will inherently eat more and either maintain or gain weight(as is happening to jackie).

I mean, listen, if you’re swimming as much as Michael Phelps in training season, feel free to eat whatever you want.  But if you’re only squeezing in a normal human amount of exercise(let’s say 3-5 hours a week), then you need to eat less, and make smarter eating decisions.  Remember, starting to exercise, and shaving just 250 calories off of your normal diet is enough to reliably dump a pound or two a week, but WHAT YOU EAT IS EVERYTHING.

In the next week or two, I’m going to do a “nutrition conversation” video post.  If you have questions about eating properly, please feel free to send me a message on Facebook, Tumblr, or Twitter, or even plain old email (link’s on the “About” tab at the top), and I’ll answer them for you!

That’s it for tonight.  Sorry for the late post, was a bit of a busy day at work, but hey, I’ll see you again tomorrow with a new character breakdown!  Until then, remember to live boldly, change the world, and continue to be awesome.

Dan “DaRatmastah” Wallace

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