We all have that know-it-all neighbor, co-worker, or relative, who thinks you can prevent or fix all your health problems by simply exercising more. And an entire industry trades on creating guilt that we can just never exercise enough for our health.
Need an example?
Think about those ridiculous bracelets that help you obsesses about counting your footsteps all day long.
But I advise moderation in all things. In fact, when it comes to exercise, you can overdo it.
Plus, a new editorial published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine explains that eating (and drinking) sugar and carbs is the No. 1 cause of obesity. And no amount of exercise can fully compensate for a bad diet.
In fact, researchers say a poor diet is a bigger risk factor overall, and causes more diseases than do alcohol, a sedentary lifestyle, and smoking combined. The editorial authors reviewed medical studies on diet, physical fitness and obesity to make this sound conclusion. And they placed much of the blame on the food industry…
They say the food industry created a false public perception that lack of exercise causes obesity. Not sodas and snacks. And that myth put the burden back on the unsuspecting public.
Of course, the government health experts didn’t help the situation …
For decades, they gave us misguided advice to cut back on dietary cholesterol and saturated fats found in whole foods like meat and eggs.
Many Americans diligently tried to follow this flawed advice. They cut out eggs and meat and began eating more “low-fat,” processed foods filled with carbs and sugars. And they paid a “heavy” price with rising rates of obesity, diabetes and cardio-metabolic heart disease.
The researchers say the government and food industry worked together to build this big, fat lie. Arguably, this lie did more to create the current epidemic of obesity and related diseases than anything else.
Yes–moderate physical exercise can still help reduce the risks of some cancers, dementia, Type II diabetes, and heart disease by up to one-third. But when it comes to weight loss, the science shows nothing works better than reducing calories and eliminating sugars and carbs.
It’s just a pity when I hear about all the well-intentioned men and women who spend their time running, but going nowhere, on treadmills at the gym. Then, they down toxic, fluorescent “sports” or “energy” drinks, laden with sugars, carbs and other chemicals. And maybe they even eat an “energy” bar with more sugar and carbs.
If you want to lose weight, follow these five simple steps and you will see results.
- Stay away from all packaged and processed foods.
- Eat whole foods like eggs, fish, and meat, as well as fresh fruits and vegetables.
- Avoid sugars and carbs.
- Control portion size for all foods (portions should be the size of your hand).
- Stay physically active by doing light walking, swimming, house work, and yard work.
The great exercise experiment is over. You don’t need to be a “gym rat.” And you certainly don’t need to track your every footstep.
Next month, I will tell you how you can give up those expensive gym memberships altogether.
As my father used to say, the best exercise for weight loss is bending at the elbows… to push yourself away from the dining table.