EXERCISE IS A KEYSTONE HABIT

“If it’s important, do it every day. If it isn’t, don’t do it at all.” – Dan Gable Olympic wrestling champion

I usually suggest people begin their fat loss journey with daily exercise. Not because I think it is the most effective at reducing body weight. It isn’t, but because daily exercise is a keystone habit that leads to a host of other good habits. Australian researchers Megan Oaten and Ken Cheng found that regular exercise leads to significant improvements in a wide range of regulatory behaviors such as less impulsive spending; better dietary habits; decreased alcohol, tobacco, and caffeine consumption; and fewer hours watching TV.[i]

Exercise is more about feeling good than looking good. People that exercise regularly are much less likely to suffer from depression or other psychological ailments. John J. Ratey, MD  Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, says going for a run is like taking a little bit of Prozac and a little bit of Ritalin because, like the drugs, exercise elevates these neurotransmitters. He says it’s a handy metaphor, but the deeper explanation is that exercise balances neurotransmitters — along with the rest of the neurochemicals in the brain.

Continue reading “EXERCISE IS A KEYSTONE HABIT”

Popularity isn’t a Measure of a Diet’s Effectiveness

A lot of popular things aren’t effective. Almost any of the popular diets will work, but most are unsustainable.  The results produced by extreme exercise and diet programs aren’t any more sustainable than the programs themselves. Quickly done, quickly undone. When I argue that the results produced by a low card diet aren’t sustainable, people will defend it as if I was attacking a member of their family. A low-carb diet certainly wouldn’t be my choice, but if you can sustain it as a lifestyle, then go for it.

Why are extreme, overly restrictive diets and motivation so popular if they aren’t practical solutions? Popularity is no indication of effectiveness. Look at the popularity of the reality TV program, The Biggest Loser. Forcing 400-pound people to work out four hours a day on a low-calorie diet makes for good TV, but the results are abysmal. Virtually all the contestants fail to keep the weight off. Approximately 14 out of 15 contestants gain back all the weight eight months after the program ends.[i] Continue reading Popularity isn’t a Measure of a Diet’s Effectiveness