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Diet vs. Exercise: My Professional Opinion

Written by Ryan Hall

With my 12 + years in the Health and Wellness field, 10 of those years as a personal trainer, the main question I would get is: “How can I lose my gut?”

My professional opinion:  “Keep your mouth closed!”

Ok, hear me out! You can get on your elliptical in the morning and ride like the wind for 30 to 45 minutes and burn a whopping 400 calories in doing so. Yeah Me! Now it’s time for my post workout shake (Low Carb – 100 cal), don’t forget my banana, because I need my potassium (1 medium – 110 cal). And let’s wash it all down with a caffe mocha w/ nonfat milk on the way to work (1 grande – 250 cal). Mid day snack time; Greek yogurt (100 cal) and some granola (Quaker 0.5 cup – 200 cal). Time for lunch. Darn! I forgot to bring it today. Oh well, that healthy sub sandwich shop it is. 6 inch Oven Roasted Chicken Breast on whole wheat (320 cal) with avocado (1 half – 125 cal) and ranch (2 Tbsp –  140 cal), oh…don’t forget the cookie (chocolate chip – 200 cal) and the Diet Coke (0 cal). Doing good, right? Oh wait, it’s only lunch time (1,545 cal so far). You push through the rest of the work day with another caffe mocha (1 grande – 250 cal) and an apple (1 small Gala – 80 cal). Time for dinner, grilled chicken breast (5 oz – 233 cal) with a baked potato (1 medium Russet – 163 cal) and butter (1 pat – 36 cal), some sweet corn (1 cob – 100 cal) and more butter (1 pat – 36 cal) and a side salad (spinach, 1 cup – 7 cal) with olive oil (1 Tbsp – 120 cal) and balsamic vinegar (1 Tbsp – 10 cal) dressing. All American chow (705 cal, I’m being conservative.) Well, we can’t forget our glass of wine night cap (Merlot, 5 oz – 125 cal) and our late night indulgence on some ice cream now can we? (1 cup – 540 cal)

Alright…and the grand total is?

3,165 calories! But wait, I exercised this morning. That should account for something, right? Ok, ok…2,765 calories. Great job, here’s a cookie…no wait, don’t eat that! The average person should be eating between 1,500 to 1,800 calories a day to promote weight loss. The thing I tell my clients and anyone I meet is that exercise will NOT fix your horrible eating habits. Period! If you can’t control what goes in, you will not be able to control what comes off! Now, this generalization is strictly based on calories alone. There is so much more to this than just calories, but that is a topic for another discussion. The main take away from this is to learn the difference between your mouth and a vacuum cleaner. Pay attention to what you are eating. You will not lose weight if you cannot control yourself! You can lose weight just by paying attention to portion size and making sure you are eating nutritious food. Keep a journal for a while, and be honest with it. If it goes in your mouth, it goes in the journal. Not writing something down only hurts you. Once you get a good idea how much you are actually eating, you can then start making changes. So, get your pencils and papers out and start journaling.

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