Yesterday while talking about weight loss with some friends, one said, “I want to report that I’ve been eating grass all week and when I weighed myself this morning, I found that I haven’t lost a pound”! Another friend replied, “Have you ever looked at the size of a cow? They eat grass all the time and they are big.”
Those comments got me thinking. We all get suckered into believing the diet ads – Lose 10 lbs in a week on the “all grass diet” or drink Mega Green Tea to lose the “muffin top” or some other such undocumented huge claim that we are too quick to believe. By-the-way don’t believe for one second that those athletic ripped models used the product or tool that they are demonstrating to get ripped.
The March 30, 2011 New England Journal of Medicine posted a one year study involving 93 obese adults aged 65 and older. The research compared those who dieted only, those who exercised only, those who made no changes, and those who both exercised and dieted.
“Those in the diet plus exercise group saw more gains in a test measuring physical abilities than study participants who were randomly assigned to diet or exercise alone. Test scores for participants who took part in diet, exercise, or diet plus exercise were greater than scores for those in the comparison group who did not make any changes. Participants in the diet group were asked to cut back on their daily calories with a goal of losing 10% of their body weight by six months and maintaining that loss for another six months. Those in the exercise group took part in three 90-minute group exercise sessions per week. The sessions included aerobic activity such as walking on a treadmill, indoor cycling, stair climbing, and flexibility and balance exercises. “
The two most popular current weight loss theories are: Burn more calories than you take in by exercise and limit caloric intake to less than you are using. Of the two the first is infinitely more difficult. In other words it is about impossible to out exercise your eating. The NEJM study shows that the combination of limiting caloric intake and an appropriate exercise program gives the best results.