If your master plan for 2016 includes losing weight, you'll need to consider some important details first. Joining the gym and planning your cardio schedule is a great start and such exercise is important for your overall health. However, you'll have to do more if you want to effectively and permanently lose weight. In fact, many experts teach us that healthy, significant weight loss is less about exercise and more about diet.
Wait, Why Won't Exercise Work?
Exercise alone CAN help you lose weight. After all, weight loss is simply about calories in vs. calories out. So if you keep your diet the same but increase your exercise enough, you will lose weight.
However, the problem comes in when you consider how much exercise is required to lose 1 pound of fat. You need to use 3500 more calories than you take in to lose a pound. For instance, if you want to lose 1 pound in one week, you would need to burn 500 calories per day more than you are taking in. This may not seem like much, but it can add up to several hours of exercise per day, depending on the intensity of the workout and your weight. However, if you make some healthy swaps in your diet, you can trim out 500 calories per day pretty easily.
For example, exchanging a serving of store-bought, fried chips from a bag with these Crunchy Baked Carrot Chips could save you 150 calories or more, plus you'll be getting added fiber and vitamins that aren't present in conventional chips.
Diet Changes Have Other Benefits, Too
Besides helping you with weight loss, focusing on what you do in the kitchen can have additional benefits to your health. Decreasing the number of calories you take in often goes hand-in-hand with developing healthier eating habits such as lowering the intake of unhealthy fats, increasing whole grain consumption, and using less sugar. Because of this, you may experience such advantages as lowered blood pressure, decreased cholesterol, and reduced risk of heart attack, stroke, and the development of diabetes.
Increased Exercise and Diet Changes Add up to Better Health
While your immediate goal of weight loss may require more changes in the kitchen than the gym, using exercise and improved eating habits together will help you achieve better health and a higher quality of life.