Weight Loss 75% Diet, 25% Exercise
By Emily Creamer-Collins, Master Trainer
If fat loss is your goal, both nutrition and exercise are important. Generally speaking, weight loss is 75% diet and 25% exercise. An analysis of more than 700 weight loss studies found that people see the biggest short-term results when they eat smart.
On average, people who dieted without exercising for 15 weeks lost 23 pounds; the exercisers who didn’t diet lost only six pounds over about 21 weeks. It’s much easier to cut calories than to burn them off.* For example, if you eat a fast food steak quesadilla, which can pack 500-plus calories, you need to run more than four miles to ‘undo’ it!
So what should you eat? It’s true that low-carb diets tend to be the most popular because they offer the fastest results, but they can be difficult to sustain. I recommend striving for a more balanced plan that focuses on real food - fruits, vegetable, lean proteins and whole grains.
*Huffington Post 2014
Less Meat, More Plants
One of my favorite quotes is from Michael Pollan, author of Food Rules, “Eat food, not too much, mostly plants.” There’s no room for processed food in that rule!
But do yourself a favor and try focusing more on the FOOD you’re eating and less on the CALORIES you’re taking in. Most people think controlling portions means counting calories, but there’s a better way. Leading nutritionists at Precision Nutrition developed this cool Hand Measure System to use instead of getting bogged down by the confusing art of calorie counting.
Palm of your hand
And your hand is all you need!
Your hand is proportionate to your body, its size never changes, and it’s always with you, making it the perfect tool for measuring food and nutrients – minimal counting required.
Here’s the breakdown:
A serving of protein = 1 palm
A serving of vegetables = 1 fist
A serving of carbs = 1 cupped hand
A serving of fats = 1 thumb
Here’s how to use this method to build a plate of food:
Step 1 = PROTEIN (meat, fish, eggs, cottage cheese, Greek yogurt)
Men: two palm-sized portions [~ 40-60 g protein]
Women: one palm-sized portion [~ 20-30 g protein]
Step 2 = VEGETABLES (broccoli, spinach, salad, carrots, etc.)
Men: two fist-sized portions
Women: one fist-sized portion
Step 3 = CARBOHYDRATES (grains, starches, beans, and fruits)
Men: two cupped hand-sized portions [~ 40-60 g carbs]
Women: one cupped hand-sized portion [~ 20-30 g carbs]
Step 4 = FATS (oils, butters, nut butters, nuts, and seeds)
Men: two thumb-sized portions [~ 15-25 g fat]
Women: one thumb-sized portion [~ 20-30 g fat]
Men eating 3-4 meals as outlined would get around 2,300 – 3,000 calories each day.
Women eating 3-4 meals as outlined would get around 1,200 – 1,500 calories each day.
This system is easier than counting calories and nearly as accurate. Just like with counting, though, pay attention to results and adjust as needed.
Try it out and let me know what you think!