Exercise and Weight Loss

Have you ever tried to lose weight by only exercising and not changing your diet?  Most of us at one time or another decided that we would exercise daily and vigorously to lose the weight.  Unfortunately, after a week or two we were sore, tired, and had not lost weight; and may have added a few pounds to our bodies. Exercise is extremely important for our overall health, our body shape, our metabolic rate, and our percent of lean body tissue.  It is also necessary to maintain a healthy weight.  When it comes to weight or fat loss; however, what we eat is the most important thing.  I tell my patients that weight and fat loss are about our diet, and inches, fitness, and long term health and weight management is about exercise.  If a patient comes to me and has to lose a significant amount of fat tissue and has not been able to exercise, I first tell them to not start up any exercise to begin with.  This is not “The Biggest Loser” program! We first start with a change in diet. I like to put my patients on an appropriate diet to burn fat, such as a lower carbohydrate, higher protein program. In the first few weeks the patient loses significant weight and their energy level goes up and that’s when I start them on a mild exercise regimen.  As the weight continues to come off, I advance the exercise program.  The goal is to slowly increase the exercise length and intensity as the weight comes off to the point that when they reach their goal weight, they are exercising at a very high capacity. This will now keep their muscle mass up and their metabolism higher and their body size much more shapely. When patients start an intense exercise program to start a weight loss program, their body senses that they are in a growth mode and increases the hunger feeling. The body wants to be sure to get enough calories to support the increased activity.  Hunger goes up which counters the lower calorie intake required to lose the excess fat.  Remember, to lose fat tissue and weight it’s about what we eat.  To get fit, shapely, have increased metabolism, and resist weight re-gain, it’s about the exercise.  Now, put it into action and get healthy.  Dr. Oliver

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