So you’ve made the decision to lose weight. Congratulations! You’ve even joined a gym, and you’re working out three to four times a week as well. There’s just one slight problem: you’re not losing any weight at all. What are you doing wrong?
If this is you, then don’t worry, you’re not alone. Plenty of people believe that doing exercise on its own is enough to trigger healthy, sustained weight loss. The problem is that when it comes to losing weight, there’s only one magic word you need to bear in mind, and it’s not exercising. It’s nutrition.
Eating to lose weight
When it comes to losing weight, it’s all about what you put on your plate rather than what you do in the gym. While exercise should be a regular part of everyone’s lifestyle and is brilliant for building cardiovascular fitness and maintaining lean muscle mass, on its own, it can’t give you the weight loss results you’re looking for. And for one simple reason: it’s easier to burn kilojoules through nutrition than it is through exercise.
In the most general terms, weight loss is about kilojoules in versus kilojoules out. Burn more energy than you’re taking in and you’ll lose weight. Burn less energy than you’re taking in and you’ll gain. Simple as that. What that effectively means is that in order to lose weight, you’ll need to create a kilojoule deficit, ensuring that you take in fewer kilos than you burn on a daily basis. On average, eating 500 kilojoules less per day can help you lose between 0.5 and 1kg per week. But it’s far easier to create that kilojoule deficit through food than it is through exercise.
Feel the burn
But why though? It’s simple: exercise alone can’t help you create the kilojoule deficit you need to lose weight consistently. For example, depending on your weight and fitness level, running 1.6km only burns 400 kilos – meaning you’d have to run 8km per day in order to create the kilojoule deficit needed to lose weight. As such, it’s far easier and more effective to adapt your eating habits instead, switching to lean protein, healthy fats and whole grains to improve your overall nutrition. Add exercise on top of this, and you’ll have the ultimate kilojoule burn – and hopefully the results you’re looking for, too!
So if you want to get into shape for summer, and every season after that, it’s simple: start giving equal, if not more focus to what you’re doing in the kitchen rather than what you’re doing in the gym. You can lose weight without regular exercise, but you can’t lose weight without proper nutrition.
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