Lose Weight Diet or ExerciseIs ‘losing weight’ on your New Year resolution list? According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), 69 percent of Americans are overweight or obese. Many people commit to working out more and eating less this time of year… but what makes the biggest impact?

Statistics show exercise is important for weight loss and critical for weight maintenance. However, diet is where weight loss efforts should begin.

To lose weight, we need to use more calories than we consume. It’s easier to avoid eating a 700+ calorie fast food burger than it is to burn 700 calories through exercise.

The CDC says a healthy diet should include:

  • Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and calcium rich foods
  • Lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, eggs, and nuts
  • Foods low in saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, sodium, and sugar
  • Consumption of calories within your caloric needs

Experts recommend setting weight loss goals of 1-2 pounds per week for long-term success. Several websites and apps can help you determine your caloric needs. For example, myfitnesspal.com keeps track of your calories per meal so you can plan for your daily caloric intake.

Add exercise to a healthy diet to increase weight loss and maintain weight loss over the long term. Additional benefits to exercise include:

  • Improved body composition (more muscle, less fat)
  • Increased efficiency of heart and lungs
  • Improved mood
  • Increased energy
  • Reduced risk of many diseases/conditions

Start your New Year’s resolution in the kitchen. Add exercise for short and long term success!

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