Before writing this post I did a quick web search for news about weight loss, diet, and exercise. I was amazed by what I found. Here are the headlines from articles that are based on research that came out in the last three months: “Exercise is good…but it won’t help you lose weight“, “Exercise beats dieting for Weight Loss“, and “Diet and Exercise are not enough” Wow talk about confusing! No wonder people struggle with weight loss.
The truth is that all three of these headlines and articles are true, but need to be understood a little deeper.
The first article is making the point that no matter how much you exercise if you eat a diet full of sugar and other refined carbohydrates you will not lose weight. Unfortunately, this is exactly what comprises the standard American Diet (or SAD). As the author of the study says, “You cannot outrun a bad diet.” The authors also correctly conclude that a diet high in fat and low in sugar and carbs is best for weight loss. Let me repeat that; a high fat diet, low carb diet is best for weight loss.
The next headline, “Exercise beats Dieting for Weight Loss”, is talking about data that shows that as people age they usually become less physically active. Most Americans do not reduce their food intake so this inactivity seems to lead to weight gain. The conclusion that if you don’t exercise you will tend to put on unhealthy weight (such as increased BMI and waist size) is correct, but by not explaining WHY this happens this article misses something very important. Guess what else changes as we age, our hormones. And are hormone levels affected by exercise? You bet! So the actual mechanism for this weight gain is that as hormone levels go down unhealthy weight goes up.
Now the third headline makes sense. The authors of this study conclude that Diet and Exercise are not enough because there seems to be a “biological cause” that limits the effectiveness of diet and exercise in some individuals. Hormone imbalance is the biological factor that can make weigh loss very stubborn. One of the most common hormones that can be out of balance and lead to difficulty losing weight is Thyroid hormones. The stress hormone cortisol is another.
So to lose weight you do have to eat well, exercise regularly AND have healthy, balanced hormones.
If you have questions about Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture, or if you have struggled with weight loss and want to see if your hormones might be the reason why, visit us at Orlando Acupuncture.com