1. Health
Paige Waehner

Vote in this Week's Poll: For Weight Loss Do You Diet, Exercise or Both?

By August 27, 2012

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"I'd rather starve myself than workout." That's what one client told me as she sat across from me, our first personal training session quickly crashing and burning before my very eyes. "Oh, well, that's going to make our workout sessions rather unpleasant, isn't it?" I said, wondering if I should wait before depositing her check.

She went on to explain, "I've lost a million pounds in my lifetime, followed every diet ever conceived and could tell you the calorie content of any food known to man. Look, see that bottle of water you're drinking? Zero calories."

"Impressive," I replied.

From there, she explained that she knew she needed to exercise and change her diet to lose weight, but discovered at an early age that exercise has nasty, highly contagious cooties that cause sweating, heavy breathing and an unpleasant burning sensation throughout the body. This, she told me, was what she wanted me to fix for her. "Make me not hate exercise," she demanded.

This client isn't alone in her diet-only weight loss quest. Many people are much more comfortable manipulating food calories than exercising but, if you want both health and weight loss, you have to do both. Like my client, if you've decided you hate exercise, even the most persuasive trainer may not be able to change her...um...your mind.

So, what about you? Do you take a diet-only approach to losing weight? Or maybe you're on the other side, using exercise so you don't have to change your eating habits? Vote in this week's poll and tell us how you lose weight, with diet, exercise or both.

August 27, 2012 at 9:23 am
(1) Michael says:

In my experience, diet is slightly more important than exercise. When I started a consistent workout routine, I did not change my diet and only lost 10 lbs. I did not lose the amount of weight desired until I started working with a diet center, and they wanted me to cut back significantly on my workouts. Now that I am at a good weight, I feel its important to balance both exercise and diet.

August 27, 2012 at 10:22 am
(2) Irwin says:

It seems that today’s column is which is better for weight loss, diet or excises? But the ‘client’ is challenging to make excises less odious. My secret was to find an activity at the gym that I enjoyed. I now play racquetball and take a spin class 4 times a week. I have to get to the gym a half hour before to sign in and get dressed so that leaves 20 minutes to get on a machine or do pull-ups, crunches, etc. Once you have a regular excise routine, it is easy to eat lighter. A person would have to be crazy to eat a bag of chips after a workout rather than a piece of fruit.

August 27, 2012 at 11:13 am
(3) LK says:

If only it worked to do one or the other . . . I would much rather exercise than restrict my food intake, but serious restriction is indeed what’s required to lose weight. I hate it. When I was 25, I could increase my exercise level and melt off fat. Now, I have to seriously diet if I want to drop even 5 pounds, and I hate it!!! Exercise, as far as I can tell, no longer helps me lose weight, but it does help me look measurably better and certainly FEEL better.

August 27, 2012 at 5:17 pm
(4) weight loss says:

diet is slightly more important than exercise.

August 30, 2012 at 5:44 pm
(5) Nico says:

Both exercise and nutrition are important to get results. You have to be quite specific about our goals, and know how to keep getting results. Most people give up after a few weeks because they stop getting results, so it is essential to know how to handle a plateau.

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