Between Exercise and Diet: Which is Best for Shedding Unwanted Pounds?

Bikini season may be behind us now, (unless, of course, you’re planning a mid-winter getaway to somewhere tropical) but it doesn’t mean that we aren’t still thnking about how to either stay slim or achieve the body we’ve always wanted.

Certainly cosmetic surgery is an enormous help when it comes to eliminating stubborn fat, but we all have to take positive, proactive steps in addition to surgery in order to keep the weight off or to shed the few pounds that find their way back to our hips this time of year.

Exercise vs. Diet

Recently health institutions have been making a push for the public’s improved understanding about what exercise does for our health. Many of us erroneously believe that exercise is the golden ticket for shedding weight. But in fact, while exercise has numerous health benefits, it’s not the best way to lose a few pounds. In fact, exercise, which will build muscle, may actually tip the scales in the opposite direction.

Choose an exercise plan that fits with your schedule and level of health in order to build strength, keep your heart, lungs, and brain in tip-top health, and to get the delightful, and perfectly natural, endorphin fix.

But to lose weight, examine your diet.

When you want to lose weight, what makes up a healthy diet? There are so many different ideas, endless trends, and plenty of people ready to offer advice, so how do you decide on the perfect plan?

It’s always a good idea to avoid diets that are extreme or restrict you to a few types of foods. Be wary of any plan that falls below 1,000 calories a day or involves taking substances other than food. Plans that are too restrictive or rely too heavily on medication or supplements are very likely a danger to your health rather than a boon.

It’s always a good idea to work with your family doctor and consider the following points when choosing a plan that is sure to be successful:

  1. What is your personal style? Do you prefer working with a group or do you like to go solo?
  2. What are your strengths and weaknesses? Think of the diets that have worked for you in the past and why. Could you use what you’ve learned about your successes and failures to create a plan that’s better suited to your personality?
  3. How much will this plan cost: Are you willing to spend half of your monthly paycheck to get the results you want? If not, and the cost is nonnegotiable, reconsider your decision.
  4. Could you stick to this plan for the long run? If so, you may have found your perfect plan. If it’s not too restrictive, focuses on whole foods, and integrates a wide variety of food types, you may have a winner. Remember, there are no magic bullets in weight loss, just determination, good choices and better habits.

The diet plans we like best include a balance of nutritious foods and fall within a reasonable daily caloric intake range. Most of us are more successful with diets that allow for some flexibility about what we can splurge on. And always look for a long-term, habit-changing solution, rather than a quick fix.

If you’ve reached the outer limits of what your diet can do for you and you still have areas of your body you would like to improve, give us a call. The first consolation is always free and we’re happy to answer any questions you may have.

Lindsey Erickson – NP


Lindsey is a board-certified Family Nurse Practitioner who received her bachelor’s degree in nursing at The Ohio State University in 2010. She received her master’s degree and family nurse practitioner certification in 2013 from the University of Cincinnati. Lindsey has worked in aesthetic medicine for eight years and aspires to help patient’s achieve their self-improvement goals by enhancing their natural beauty. She and her husband have two children. In her free time, she enjoys camping and boating with her family.

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