I completely believe the adage that 80% of weight loss starts in the kitchen and the remaining 20% continues in the gym.
Actually, I might say that 50% of weight loss starts with a positive, patient attitude, 30% eating, and 20% working out.
Technically yes, you can lose weight without working out. But I believe you will have a more positive experience with your journey if you can incorporate some sort of movement from the get go.
Here are some of the benefits of exercise that the Center for Disease Control has identified:
- Maintain weight.
- Reduce high blood pressure.
- Reduce risk for type 2 diabetes, heart attack, stroke, and several forms of cancer.
- Reduce arthritis pain and associated disability.
- Reduce risk for osteoporosis and falls.
- Reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety.
Beyond these things, I have found that working out has naturally encourage better eating. And the better I eat, the more I want to workout. The Center for Disease Control even states, “However, evidence shows the only way to maintain weight loss is to be engaged in regular physical activity.” WOW! That’s a pretty big statement isn’t it? I bet if you are doing this for the long term – and I sincerely hope that you are – you’re taking note.
The Excuse of Time
I am a believer that you always have time and money for the things that matter to you. I know many of you reading this are busy, and I’ve very much been there, done that. Perhaps you’re a single mom working two jobs. Or a work-at-home parent like myself. Or a new parent. Or a guy who works a high stress job. The first thing I’d like to ask you is “do you agree that making time for exercise is important?” If you answered yes, that’s the first step.
If you truly are a busy person with a crazy schedule, I encourage you to be flexible and realistic about your expectations. When my kids were very small, I remember training for a marathon. While I’d run marathons before, the season in my life was wrong. I was exhausted! One Saturday morning out running a 16-miler, I owned how very tired I was. I needed sleep, not 3 hour long workouts! I decided to quit the marathon.
So the flip side of making time, is understanding realistically how much time you have to give. This may not be the year to train for a half Ironman. Heck, it might not be a good year for going back to Spin, hour-long workouts at the gym, or taking up karate. Sometimes we excuse ourselves from working out at all, because we can’t workout how we’d prefer.