The eternal debate over whether dieting or exercise is better for weight loss still has a lot of people confused. The truth of the matter is that dieting isn’t something that you should only do for a few weeks; a fat burning diet like the HCG diet can be a great way to lose weight in the short term and get you back on track to a healthy life, but you need to make permanent changes to your diet to really get results in the long term. But, in terms of exercise, to put it bluntly it is overrated, and there is really no amount of exercise that can compensate for a horrible diet. The fuel that you use for your body has to be of the highest quality or you risk wreaking havoc on your metabolism and you will gain weight in spite of having a great exercise regimen.
Exercise focused regimens don’t work
Studies have confirmed time and time again that exercise focused regimens simply don’t work; it’s much better to focus on a healthy diet. You simply don’t burn enough calories when exercising to make it that effective in terms of losing weight. For example it can take 30 to 45 minutes or more to burn just 200 calories. It’s much easier to eliminate sugar or simple carbs from your diet, which can end up reducing your calorie intake by several hundred calories per week. Dietary changes have the biggest impact on your waistline, not exercise. Any weight loss program that focuses primarily on exercise is often slow and ineffective. And for those who happen to get through the program, they often bounce right back and gain all the weight they lost back after their activity level slows down.
The only way to lose weight is to burn more calories than you take in
The best and most effective way to lose weight is to burn more calories than you take in. You naturally will burn anywhere from 1,800 to 2,300 or more calories per day just through the metabolic processes that your body needs. By restricting your calorie intake, your body will still need the normal amount of calories for its metabolism, but it will get those calories from your fat stores. Some level of calorie restriction is recommended for truly effective weight loss diets, even for people with a smaller amount of weight to lose. The HCG diet is a primary example of this type of calorie restrictive diet that is proven to work for all types of people, and the diet does not require any exercise at all.
You just can’t burn enough calories working out
Considering that the vast majority of calories that you burn per day come from your natural metabolic processes, it pays the most to focus on your diet. When you think about it, the most calories that you are going to burn even in an hour of intensive exercise is around 300 to 400. For a lot of people that equates to about a half a meal’s worth of calories. It’s simply not enough calories to make a major difference. Unless you plan on working out all day, which can actually be dangerous for your health and your joints, you are not going to lose much weight from exercise alone. You really have to make drastic changes in your diet to lose weight. By forcing your body to rely on its fat stores for energy, you will lose your excess weight. The HCG diet takes this idea and makes it even better with the HCG hormone which improves your natural fat metabolism and makes a low calorie diet easier.
Exercise shouldn’t be overlooked
Although you can certainly lose a lot of weight with dieting alone, you can’t neglect the importance of exercise. If your diet doesn’t require exercise, you should consider starting regular exercise after your diet is finished. Exercise can do a lot of good to help you maintain a healthy weight, and that is one of its best benefits. Exercising with some diets can help to preserve your lean muscle mass with adequate protein intake. Exercise lowers your blood pressure, improves your insulin response and sensitivity, helps burn dangerous visceral fat, strengthens your cardiovascular system, and strengthens your bones and muscles. Resistance training increases your lean muscle mass which further helps to improve your metabolism and burn calories while resting. In general it’s very important to exercise but you never want to rely on it for weight loss by itself.
Exercise has other benefits other than weight loss
You should definitely exercise for its other benefits. Aside from the benefits mentioned above, regular exercise can keep your mind sharp and reduce your risk of heart disease. Several studies have found that men and women who are physically fit were the least likely to die of heart disease later on in life. Being fit is more important than your body mass index or any other measure. Exercise lowers cholesterol and stress levels and improves blood flow throughout the body. Physical activity as improves mental acuity and decreases the chance of cognitive decline as you age. People who are less fit have a greater chance of cognitive decline. Both strength training and cardiovascular fitness are important for brain health. So if not for the weight loss benefits, be sure to exercise for the many other health benefits, especially for aging adults.
First make the necessary changes in your diet
When you are deciding whether to start with dieting or exercise, the first thing to do is to make the changes you need to with your diet. If that means getting rid of grains, sugar, or other junk food then do it. Just getting rid of junk food can result in a great deal of weight loss as your body starts to normalize. You might not get a ton of weight loss from this until you start restricting calories, but you definitely don’t want to try to lose weight with nothing more than exercise. It’s easy to get rid of a few bad foods and see how your body responds, and in the majority of cases it will respond and you’ll starting losing weight. Take small steps toward a healthy diet and you’ll see better long term results, and stick to the changes that you make with your diet.
If you want to lose weight without exercise try the HCG diet
The HCG diet is one of the few proven diets that can actually help you lose weight, and it never requires exercise. It’s proven to work based on the science mentioned in this article. The calorie restriction is the most effective way to lose weight in a short period of time. You should definitely exercise for the health benefits after the diet is finished, and you can start working out again once you hit Phase 3 (after the very low calorie diet). The HCG diet will change your metabolism and reset your body after it has been damaged by a poor diet. Once the diet is over you will notice that you won’t even crave the same foods, and it is a great first step toward a permanently healthy lifestyle. Always start with dieting when you are trying to lose weight, and don’t neglect exercise in the long term but don’t focus most of your effort on it either.
The foods that you eat post workout have a major impact on your muscle gain, fat loss, and your metabolism, and you should be careful to pick the right foods that can really benefit you. You need a balanced meal that has a sufficient amount of carbs, protein and fat, and most experts believe that you should eat within 30-45 minutes after working out maximum. Even if you manage to just grab a protein bar, it is essential that you eat no later than 30 to 45 minutes after exercising, but after that you should follow it up with a larger meal. Below are 7 of the best foods to eat after exercising that you should think about adding to your regular post workout meals.
Post Workout Food #1 – Whey Protein
Whey protein can be found in protein bars and powders, and it is one of the best post workout foods to eat and is often recommended by nutritionists. Smoothies are a great way to get a quick dose of whey protein after a workout and they are a fast and convenient meal that you can make before the 45 minute recommended time period. The best brands of whey protein for post workout meals are organic and don’t have extra additives, sugar or sugar substitutes. Whey protein helps you get the recommended 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight that is recommended when you perform regular resistance training, but if you exercise less often you don’t need as much whey protein.
Post Workout Food #2 – Turkey
Turkey is a low fat excellent source of protein that makes a great post workout food. Combining turkey with veggies and fruit can be a great post workout meal, and you can even add healthy carb sources in moderation like brown rice or quinoa for a more complete meal. Turkey is a great source for the amino acids that your body needs to recovery and build muscle following a workout. Try to find organic varieties of turkey, and turkey jerky is another option that offers a healthier and lower fat alternative to pork or beef jerky. Bring some turkey jerky to the gym along with a piece of fruit or two and it can hold you over until you’re able to cook or get a full meal at a restaurant.
Post Workout Food #3 – Greek Yogurt
Greek yogurt has almost twice the protein as regular yogurt, and it is a great source of vitamins and minerals. It’s another quick food that can hold you over until you get a full meal, and it has the protein that your muscles are craving right after a strenuous workout. It’s a good idea to mix Greek yogurt with fruit to get some carbs and energy. The micronutrients in Greek yogurt have also been shown to help your body fight soreness, and it also is a good source of carbohydrates. Stick to plain Greek yogurt and try to avoid the varieties that add a ton of sugar. A natural sweetener like honey can be a good source of carbohydrates after your workout but only use it in moderation.
Post Workout Food #4 – Almonds
Almonds are a great source of healthy monounsaturated fat and protein, and they are also relatively high in calories and portable which makes them the perfect post workout food. Almonds can be combined with whey protein for a more complete post workout snack. One serving of almonds has about 160 calories and 6 grams of protein, and they also provide 6 grams of carbs and 3 grams of fiber. They are also packed with vitamins and minerals that can help your body recovery more quickly such as biotin, vitamin B2, phosphorus, vitamin E and more. Also most of the fat in almonds is health mono unsaturated fat which improves heart health.
Post Workout Food #5 – Chocolate Milk
We would rarely recommend chocolate milk on this blog because of the high sugar content, but it is actually a great post workout food, and it can be even better if you make your own chocolate milk rather than buying the store brands which are often loaded with sugar. By using stevia or honey and organic chocolate syrup or cocoa and mixing it with milk, you can get the great health benefits of drinking chocolate milk after your workout. Chocolate milk is recommended by many nutritionists post workout because it is a great source of protein, carbs, and healthy fat, but avoid any brands that add high fructose corn syrup or use non-organic milk.
Post Workout Food #6 –Cottage Cheese
Regular or low fat cottage cheese can be one of the best post workout foods as it is a great source of protein and vitamins and minerals. If you are worried about dairy fat it is better to consume the low fat varieties, especially if you eat it on a regular basis, but it is one of the quickest and most convenient post workout foods. One cup of cottage cheese has 25 grams of protein and 222 calories, but keep in mind that it is high in sodium. Combining cottage cheese with fruit is a great way to get a quick serving of carbs and protein and fat, and it can keep your muscles and body nourished until you’re able to eat a larger meal after working out.
Post Workout Food #7 – Eggs
The incredible edible egg is one of the easiest and fastest post workout foods to make and is a great option whenever you’re in a bind and can’t cook right away. Hard boiled eggs are easy to make and have on hand for a quick snack after a workout, and they are a great source of protein at 6 grams per egg. You don’t have to worry about the cholesterol content of eggs as there is no proven link between dietary cholesterol from organic sources and blood cholesterol. Eggs are relatively low in carbohydrates and healthy fat so try to combine them with other good sources of carbohydrates like fruit, quinoa, oatmeal and vegetables. Also try to only stick to free range organic eggs which are proven to have a higher ratio of healthy omega-3 fatty acids.
HCG Diet and Exercise
The topic has been covered on our blog before, but one of the most common questions that people ask is whether the HCG diet and exercise go together. The answer is simply no, you don’t want to exercise only during Phase 2 of the HCG diet, but before Phase 2 and after Phase 2 you can certainly start exercising again. During Phase 2 you simply don’t have enough daily calories to sustain any kind of exercise program outside of the normal activity that you do for your job and other daily activities. Even people with an active job may need to be careful about their calorie intake and may need to increase their protein intake while on the diet slightly (with the approval of a medical doctor). The VLCD portion of the diet is designed to lose weight without any extra effort on your part which makes the diet much easier than others.
Exercising during Phase 2 can negatively affect your metabolism
In general, if you exercise during Phase 2 you can shut your metabolism down and make it even more difficult for your body to burn abnormal fat. Your muscles will start breaking down because your body will turn to them as a source of energy before fat when you are exercising and don’t have sufficient calories. In short, it is potentially very dangerous to do any exercise during Phase 2 of the diet and there is simply no situation where it is warranted or recommended. Your medical provider at Nu Image Medical will always warn you about this before starting the diet, but you should avoid other diet protocols that may not have the same advisory information or the VLCD diets that advise you to exercise while on them. There’s no way to speed up the weight loss on the HCG diet other than following the protocol to the best of your ability.
Plan on resuming your exercise plan during Phase 3
Phase 2 of the diet only lasts for three to six weeks; after this you can increase your calorie intake to about 800 calories per day or so. Some people increase their calorie intake to an amount that is even higher than this, which is normally okay if it is approved by your medical provider, but you will still want to be on a calorie deficit compared to your calorie intake when the diet is completely over. Just pause your entire exercise plan during the VLCD and plan on resuming it as soon as it is over. The three or six weeks that you take off from exercising won’t affect your health or weight loss at all, and it will let the hormone work at its best to speed up your fat metabolism and get you ready to resume working out.
Once you resume working out you might see much better weight loss results
After you start your workout plan again you may notice that you lose weight a lot faster than ever before. That is because the diet restores your natural fat metabolism, which can often be shut down as a result of your diet or other lifestyle factors. In a way, it “unlocks” your fat reserves to be metabolized even after the diet is over, and you will often get much faster weight loss results from less exercise than you’ve ever done before. It is well worth the brief pause to stop your workout plan because you will have a much better workout efficiency in the future and you won’t have to spend as much time in the gym.
It will be easier to work out once the diet is over
If you’ve ever worked out with a weighted vest or jogged while carrying a medicine ball, you know how difficult it is to add just 10 to 20 pounds to your weight while doing a physical activity. You will be amazed at how much easier it is to work out once you’ve lost 10 to 40 pounds. The HCG diet literally removes dead weight from your body, reduces pressure on your joints, and frees your muscles and skeletal system to perform at their best during your workout. You will also likely have lost anywhere from 10 to 40 pounds on the three or six week diet, and physically it will be far easier to work out, so you will get even more from your exercise program and you will be able to put more effort into shaping and toning your body rather than being held down by excess weight.
If you start working out during Phase 3, scale it up gradually
Don’t just jump right back into your regular workout routine as soon as you hit Phase 3. Remember that during this phase you are gradually adding foods back into your diet, monitoring your weight and ensuring that you don’t add foods that are going to cause weight gain. It is more important for you to focus on your diet and calorie intake instead of exercising during this phase, and you need to get back into your regular workout routine gradually. If you start intensely exercising as soon as you hit Phase 3, you won’t really know whether it is your diet or your exercise that is keeping the weight off, and it may end up causing a slip up later on down the road if you slow down your exercise intensity.
Drink plenty of water when exercising during Phase 3
During Phase 3 you will still be at a calorie deficit, and your body will be using plenty of water to metabolize its fat reserves. As a result you will need to make sure you are properly hydrated, and you should continue to drink anywhere from a half gallon to a gallon of water each day. Try to drink only filtered water and you can also drink unsweetened tea. You should avoid sports drinks and electrolyte drinks because of their sugar or artificial sweeteners; get your electrolytes from fruit and vegetables, the best and most natural source. Also be sure to increase your protein intake relative to your workout intensity, but remember that you will want to gradually scale up your workout intensity. You might want to start at anywhere from 30 to 50% of your normal workout, and then start gradually increasing it as you start to move out of Phase 3 and get back into your regular eating pattern (minus grains, processed foods and junk foods of course).
If you have an active job you need to participate in the HCG diet under medical supervision
People who have an active job need to consult with a medical provider before starting a very low calorie diet because some of the diet’s requirements may need to be adjusted. An active job can be just like exercising, especially for laborers and people that naturally burn a lot of calories each day through their work. You may need to increase the calories per day slightly for your diet, but you should never do this on your own without medical approval. There may also be another option available to you for weight loss. No matter what you should never try the 500 kcal per day diet on your own by purchasing a program from an unlicensed provider, because it can be even more dangerous than it normally would be. If you have any questions at all about the HCG diet and exercise, and how you should start and stop your routine during the diet, click here to speak to a medical provider now.