Weight Loss Requires Right Combination of Diet and Exercise

For some, cutting calories may be more effective than physical activity

DAYTON, Ohio (December 16, 2013) – Millions of Americans will vow to lose weight this coming year through a combination of diet and exercise, but one local doctor suggests that one might be more effective than the other when it comes to shedding necessary pounds.

“Weight loss occurs when you are able to burn more calories than you take in,” said Anessa Alappatt, MD, at Fairborn Medical Center, a Premier HealthNet practice. “If you walk for 30 minutes, you might burn 200 calories, which is not much. For many people, it would be much easier to take 300 calories from the burger they are going to eat than to burn it through exercise.”

Diet and exercise both play a vital role in weight management, however, when it comes to dropping that initial weight, diet is essential. Understanding the role that diet and exercise both play in weight management is important so individuals don’t become discouraged and quit before realizing their goal.

For instance, a person must burn 3,500 calories in order to lose one pound of fat. An individual could be discouraged by a two-pound weight loss in one month, but it means the patient has decreased 500 calories from their diet each day for that month.

“The problem is that people have the wrong expectations,” she said. “I have people who come in and say they are going to lose 20 pounds in three months. That is a lot though it can be done it takes an extreme lifestyle change in diet and exercise. For instance, an individual would have to walk 70 minutes 7 days a week to achieve that with exercise.”

There are small choices that can be made with one’s diet to reduce calories and promote weight loss:
Rethink Your Drink – Calories in drinks are not hidden (they are listed on a product’s nutrition label). But many people don’t realize just how many calories beverages can contribute to their daily intake, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The good news is calories in drinks can be reduced by cutting a portion size or choosing other options such as water.

Cut the Cream – Dr. Alappatt said if a food is white and creamy it’s most likely high in calories. This includes items such as sour cream, ranch dressing and mayonnaise. A serving size of mayonnaise, for instance, is 150 calories. Eliminate these items or ask for them on the side of a meal to reduce how much is consumed.

Forget Anything Fried – According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, a large baked potato has 278 calories versus fried potatoes, which contain 826 calories. Dr. Alappatt encourages people to choose baked items such as chicken over the same item fried in oil.

“Our diets in America are very poor. For many, just changing their diets can mean taking off 1,000 to 1,500 calories a day. And when they do that, they are able to lose weight rapidly,” Dr. Alappatt said.

Reducing calories may be more effective in weight loss, but individuals should not discount the importance of daily exercise. Aerobic exercise and weight training are effective tools in one’s overall health. At age 25 and beyond, there are more cells dying per day than growing in a person’s body. Likewise, as a person ages, their muscle slowly becomes less dense and its composition becomes made more of water and fat. Consistent weight training – even as little as lifting a couple times a week for 15 minutes – can help counteract both issues and also reduce the risk of bone disease, Dr. Alappatt said.

To learn more about weight loss or to find a physician visit http://www.premierhealthnet.com/doctor.

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