Why You Shouldn’t Count On Exercise Alone to Lose Weight

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Have you been exercising regularly without seeing much weight loss? If so, you may need to make some adjustments to your eating plan.


A recent study at the University of Texas has shown that exercise alone without adjustments to diet produces minimal weight loss. The University studied two sedentary control groups. One group of 50 people made no changes to their diet or activity levels at all and were monitored for 12 weeks.

The second group of 50 people exercised with a personal trainer up to five hours per week for a total of 12 weeks and made no changes to their weekly diet. This group lost a mere 1.5 lbs in 12 weeks. I know what you’re thinking, not that impressive.

I’ve been in the fitness industry for over 26 years and I can confirm that these statistics are unfortunately true.  Unless you are exercising at the level of an Olympic athlete or a professional football player, it’s pretty tough to lose weight with exercise alone.

Please understand, this DOES NOT mean you should quit exercising. Quite the opposite! The study reveals that exercise alone makes it hard to lose weight.  There are many reasons we should all be exercising regularly.  Research shows that exercise can help with depression, lower the risk for heart disease and cancer, reduce the risk of diabetes, and even grow new brain cells.  Exercise is an excellent anti-aging tool. It’s just not that effective when it comes to weight loss.

The best way to shed pounds for good is a combination of a healthy eating plan AND regular exercise.


1)  Eat carbohydrates.  This is where the media often gets it wrong.  Your body needs carbohydrates to lose weight.  What’s most important is the type of carbohydrates you are eating.  Skip the processed white flour and focus on whole grains like wild rice, quinoa, brown rice, organic corn, and beans.

Sweet potatoes and other root vegetables are great options as well.

2) Plan your meals.  Planning your meals helps you eat regularly and choose the right foods to stabilize your blood sugar.  Stabilizing your blood sugar helps you avoid “storing fat.”  You need to eat food to burn energy or “calories.”  However, what you eat really does matter.

Try websites or magazines like Cooking Light and Eating Well.  Make sure your three main meals are balanced and have a combination of complex carbohydrates (whole grains), protein, healthy fats, fruit, and lots of vegetables.  You can never go wrong with plenty of veggies!

3) Snack wisely. A small serving of chips is about 150 calories on average. But, did you know you can eat four cups of popcorn for only 60 calories? Popcorn is way more filling, and will keep you satisfied longer. Not crazy about popcorn? Eat a piece of fruit.

4) Limit the fast food. I realize this may be obvious to some. However, with 25% of our nation eating fast food daily, I do not like to ignore this one.  One of our family members lost 22 pounds when she gave up her daily trip to the fast food joint and started brown-bagging her lunch.  And, she did not add any exercise to her daily routine.

Most of us picture a drive through window when we think of fast food. However, fast food can come from restaurants that are considered “healthy” as well. When you let someone else cook the meal, you have zero control over how the meal is prepared and/or the ingredients.

Take a look at what’s on the menu at your favorite take out restaurant and decide if the food choices meet your weight loss goals. If not, look for other take out options. Or, have some healthy frozen food on hand and combine it with a fresh salad for a last minute dinner option.

5) Eat Breakfast! This important meal jump starts your metabolism. Once you are awake the body has already been fasting for an average of 10-12 hours depending on eating and sleeping patterns.

Skipping breakfast increases the fast to approximately 15-20 hours. This keeps the body from producing the enzymes needed to metabolize fat to lose weight. When you skip breakfast, you risk sabotaging your weight loss efforts.

Not hungry in the morning? Start with something simple like a piece of a fruit, and have the rest of your breakfast as a mid-morning snack.

A well balanced eating plan is critical for weight loss. When you combine exercise with the right nutrition, it will be easy to lose weight and keep it off for good.

Any questions? Please ask me in the comment section below. I’m happy to help!


How to Lose Weight After 40

The Myths About Losing Weight After 40

Want to lose weight after 40? There are some important things you need to know. First off, mindset is the most important thing. I’m 44 years old and quite honestly I forget my age from time to time. I refuse to buy into the fact that just because I’m over 40 I’m destined to gain weight. ANYONE can gain weight when they are eating too much and exercising too little!

A slower metabolism is the reason that is typically used for over 40 weight gain. While that is partially true, the research is pointing to lifestyle as the major culprit. The majority of people over 40 have increased responsibilities and more money to spend. The increase in responsibilities allows less time for physical activity or scheduled exercise. The increase in income allows them to afford to outsource many of their physical activities as well as eat out more often.

Good news!  You do not have to accept this as your destiny!

Lose weight easily after 40 by following these simple steps!


1)  Get a check up!  See your doctor and get a physical. Have a full blood panel to screen things like your thyroid and hormone levels. If your doctor sees any imbalances that could affect your weight loss efforts, he or she may decide to prescribe medication. This will help you avoid a whole lot of unnecessary frustration! Do not skip this step or put it off. It’s that important!

2)  Exercise Regularly!  Research shows that 20 minutes of high intensity exercise can boost hormone levels in the body, resulting in a boost in metabolism. So, even though the metabolism can slow after 40, regular exercise can counter that.

Strength training helps build muscle, which burns more calories than fat. It’s recommended that people over 40 add strength training to their routine 2-3 times per week.

3)  Reduce calories!  To maintain your weight after 40 without lifestyle changes, reduce your caloric intake by 100 calories per day. If you want to lose or maintain your weight, it’s important to know how many calories you are eating daily. Keep a journal or subscribe to a free on line calorie counter like loseit. This will help you determine if you are creating enough of a deficit for weight loss and/or weight management.

It is possible to lose weight even if life’s current circumstances prevent you from increasing your activity level. But you REALLY want to pay close attention  to your caloric intake. Opt for “eating in” more often and choose high volume meals that are lower in calories. My favorite light recipes come from Cooking Light magazine.

Please note it’s always easier to lose weight with a combination of regular exercise and a healthy eating plan. It can be very challenging to lose weight by reducing calories alone. Not impossible, but it’s more restrictive and fewer people have success with this plan.

4)  It’s okay to enjoy happy hour! Mixed cocktails can pack a lot of calories. Beer and wine are usually the lowest. Factor liquid calories into your daily allowance. If you like to have a drink or two, then you may find you need to skip some other extras or increase exercise time while you are in weight loss mode.

The most important thing is to stop telling yourself it’s hard to lose weight after 40. Losing weight takes effort no matter what age you are. Tell yourself you CAN lose weight after 4o, follow these steps, and you will succeed!

Please let me know if you have any questions or if you have a “fit after 40” secret you’d like to share.  I love to hear from you!

Here’s to being fit after 40!



Balance is the Key To Long Term Weight Loss


If you’re alive and breathing it’s pretty difficult to get through one single day without media bombardment of the latest and greatest fad diet or workout.  While these various diets, potions, and exercise routines all boast phenomenal results, the reality is that most of these are unrealistic and next to impossible to sustain. In the worst case scenarios they can even be dangerous for your body.

Lost Weight Loss Wisdom?


The key to long term weight loss has been and always will  be a healthy, balanced approach. There’s nothing complicated about it and it does not require deprivation, pain, fancy shakes, eliminating whole food groups, or any other fad that’s out in the media.

However, it does require a little bit of knowledge, consistency, and planning.

Six Things to Remember to Find Balance


1)  Calories count.  In order to lose a pound of fat per week, a reduction of 500 calories per day is required.  A combination of exercise and adjustments to caloric intake is the most balanced approach to creating a caloric deficit. Free apps like loseit make it easy to track your daily caloric intake based on your weight loss goals.

While counting calories may seem restrictive, it’s actually empowering. If you treat calories like a bank account, knowing how much you can spend each day gives you flexibility. A great tip from celebrity trainer Jillian Michaels is to follow the 80/20 rule. Allow yourself 20% “fun calories” each day. Use the 20% for things like a glass of wine, small dessert, or any other special treat you enjoy.

2)  Meal planning. Have you heard the old saying “if you fail to plan, you plan to fail?” Planning what you will eat for the week takes the guesswork out of whether or not you are staying on track with your calorie cutting and weight loss goals. Use “light” or “low cal recipes” to keep the food choices interesting so you won’t feel deprived.

You don’t have to give up planning when eating out. Check out the menu online before you get to the restaurant. Use apps like loseit or healthy dining finder to help you evaluate menus. Choose your lower calorie meal before you arrive at the restaurant to avoid being tempted by the higher calorie choices.

Allow yourself to go for it once in awhile and forget about the calories. Have fun and don’t allow yourself to feel guilty. Simply get back on your plan the following day.

If you’re on vacation, make it your goal to not gain any weight. Use your loseit app to find out how many calories you can spend.

3)  Regular Exercise. Regular daily exercise combined with a healthy eating plan is the best recipe there is for weight loss and weight management. Shoot for 20 minutes per day of regular activity like walking, hiking, biking,swimming, etc.

5)  Leisure Time Activity. Use leisure time to relax AND burn calories. Try things like a walk on the beach, kayaking, horseback riding, walking your dog, or playing with your kids. You’ll not only feel rejuvenated, but you’ll contribute to your daily weight loss goals.

6)  Make sure your goals are realistic. You may not have the time nor the desire to do what it takes to look like a model on the cover of a health magazine. If you can’t go out to dinner once a week without “blowing” your plan, your weight loss goal will be very hard to maintain. Set a goal to reach a desired weight that allows you to look good, feel good, and enjoy yourself. Then stick to it.

Avoid letting the media or anyone else pressure you into thinking your goal isn’t good enough or that you should be comparing yourself to others. Bodies come in all shapes and sizes. What’s most important is that you are comfortable, happy, and satisfied with your own personal results.

Now, that my friend is balance!

To your health and fitness!


Questions or comments?  Please leave me a note below.  I love to hear from you!