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!


Lack of Sleep Triggers Weight Gain! How to Fix That!

Yikes! Are You at Risk of Gaining Two Pounds a Week?


The simplest way to avoid weight gain and/or start losing weight may be a good night’s sleep — because yes, lack of sleep triggers weight gain!

For years researchers and the fitness industry have known that adults who get less than five or six hours of sleep per night are at higher risk of weight gain and struggle more with weight loss.  However, a recent study performed by the University of Colorado and published by the New York Times found that participants restricted to five hours of sleep per night gained an average of two pounds by the end of one week.  Yikes!

What were some of the reasons for the immediate weight gain?  Light sleepers not only consumed more calories while they were awake,  they also shifted what and how they were eating.  Researchers found that the sleep deprived participants overate carbohydrates (causing water retention); ate smaller breakfasts; and snacked a lot more after dinner. In fact, they ended up eating more calories during after-dinner snacking than any other meal of the day!

How do you know you’re getting enough sleep?


While the amount of sleep an individual needs can vary from person to person, the average adult needs approximately 7-9 hours of sleep per night to remain productive, healthy, and happy.

Eight tips for getting a better night’s sleep:


1)  Exercise!  Studies have shown that 30 minutes of moderate exercise (like brisk walking) per day can help you sleep better.

2)  Ban the blue light!  Turn off or cover any blue displays in the bedroom.  Short waves of blue light may interfere with your sleep.

3)  Eliminate the back pain. Back pain may not wake you up at night, but it can impact the quality of your sleep. Place a pillow between your knees when sleeping on your side to stabilize the hips and ease back pain. If you are a back sleeper, place a pillow under your knees.

4)  Watch the caffeine! Coffee in the morning is fine for most people, but caffeine after noon can interrupt the deep stages of sleep.  If you know that’s you, give yourself a cut-off time for caffeinated drinks.

5)  Snack wisely! Per Web MD, complex carbs and dairy are sleep inducing foods. Choose snacks like cereal and milk or cheese and crackers if you are eating before bedtime. Just make sure to stick to single servings and finish your snack an hour before bedtime says Web MD.

6)  Get a night light! Put a night light in your bathroom just in case you need to get up and use it in the middle of the night. Avoiding the bright light will help you get back to sleep easier.

7)  Wind down. With all of the stimulation we’re exposed to throughout the day, it’s no wonder people have a tough time getting to sleep. Try things like reading, praying, meditating, listening to music, stretching, or taking a hot bath an hour before bedtime to help you get the zzz’s you need.

Not sure you can spare an hour?  Start with a ten minute “wind down”  period before bed. Even ten minutes can help!

8)  Schedule a check up. Some medical conditions can affect your sleep. So if sleeplessness persists, make sure to schedule a check up and discuss the lack of sleep with your doctor.  Then the two of you can come up with a plan to help you get the healthy amount of sleep you need.

Getting good sleep is a simple yet critical step to avoid weight gain and keep you on track with your weight loss goals!

Have a question or a comment?  Please leave it below for me in the “comment” section.  I love to hear from you!

To your good health!





Ten Simple Weight Loss Tips that Work

Too Much Weight Loss Information?


There’s a lot of information available on how to lose weight. So much that it can be overwhelming!  And, I’ve seen some unhealthy advice, including some that can’t last long term.

Like most people, you are probably too busy to become an expert in health and fitness. And you’d like simple strategies to lose weight and keep it off for good. Good news! I’ve got ten simple weight loss tips that are proven to work and will help you keep the weight off for good!

Ten Weight loss tips that are guaranteed to work!


1)  Eat! The Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics revealed that people who didn’t blow off their meals lost an average of 8 more pounds per year.

2)  Write it down! As a personal trainer, I witness quite a bit of resistance to keeping food journals. I believe it’s because people think they will be judged or told they have to give something up. This is very normal!

On average, people that keep food journals lose more weight. One study showed that women who kept track of what they ate lost 6 lbs. more on average. Food journals have a proven track record!

If you know you have a resistance to writing down what you eat, keep it private. In the beginning, don’t even share it with anyone else. Think of it as simply collecting data. Then, start to review the journals and see if there is anything you think should be modified to help you with your weight loss goals.

The easiest way to do this is with an online app like loseit.com. After entering all of the data, you will be able to see if you are successfully creating a caloric deficit that will equal weight loss, or not.

3)  Eat the skins! A University of Iowa Study found that a substance in apple peel increases muscle and healthy, calorie-burning brown fat. And, apples are in season right now. Bonus!

4)  Exercise in the morning! Brigham Young researchers found that 45 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise in the morning reduces your motivation for food.

If exercising at a different time works better for your schedule, stick to what works and apply the other tips in this article.

5)  Wear fitted clothes! Fitted clothes are usually more flattering and are a great reminder to make the lower calorie choices during meals. You’re more likely to go for unnecessary seconds in a pair of sweats!

6)  Save family style for special occasions! People that serve their plates from the stove instead of the dining table are shown to eat 10% less.

7)  Like bread when eating out? Dip in olive oil instead of butter. You’ll eat 23 percent less bread and 16 percent fewer calories says The International Journal of Obesity.

8)  Eat three meals plus snacks! Eating every three to four hours helps equip you to say no to the temptations that can sabotage your weight loss goals.

9)  Add some arms! When walking outdoor or on the treadmill, make sure to swing your arms.  Swinging your arms will increase your calorie burn.

10)  Eat breakfast! Eating breakfast releases enzymes in the body that kick start your metabolism for the day. Starting your day off by having breakfast is a secret weapon for successful weight loss!

The tips above are proven to work and easy to apply. Have a weight loss tip you’d like to share or a question for me? Please leave a comment below! I’m looking forward to chatting with you!

Blessings to you and yours!