Diet is important, but nothing beats the wellbeing benefits of exercise.
In the last few years, we've seen various diet crazes sell umpteen millions of books, and we're bombarded by global companies that also claim to aid us in shedding kilos.
The next diet book everyone is talking about is now on bookshelves, and I saw its author, Dr Michael Mosely, speak last week with scientific authority about health and fitness myths, along with intermittent fasting and his book, The Fast Diet.
One thing that struck me was his assertion that "exercise is a bad form of weight loss". He continued that one minute of high-intensity interval training (HIIT), three times per week, was enough exercise.
I disagree with science on this one, and I'll disagree with anybody demonising any kind of exercise. When it comes to exercise, why do we always want to know about "less"?
I can't compare my master's degree in economics with his medical degree, yet some things just don't require more science. Inherently, we all know what to do when it comes to weight loss and living a healthy life, and exercise is part of that equation.
I don't have any science to back my claim, but I believe a man should be able to perform 20 push-ups. I believe women should also have a reasonable amount of strength and fitness obtained via exercise. Why? Because it makes life easier from a physical perspective, and vigorous exercise makes a person feel good. Also, there's nothing wrong with a bit of vanity to tone up for your best pair of jeans and a t-shirt.
It takes a lot more than one minute of exercise, three days per week to get you there.
I see people in their 60s and 70s who are still fit, strong, and moving their bodies. Their skin is healthy, their eyes are crisp, and they seem witty and alive. That's from a combination of plenty of exercise and healthy eating. They move, breathe, circulate blood, stretch, lift, and activate every muscle and bone in their bodies, day in and day out.
It's a statistical fact that we're getting fatter and fatter, so what is science really doing for us?
I now know why we shouldn't lean so much on science. The reason isn't Dr Mosely, or any other book. It's not carbs, or fat grams, or a Zumba v CrossFit argument. It's all about you. I don't have the answers, but I have the questions when it comes to solving the weight-loss epidemic. And those two questions are:
- Can you change; and
- Can you change permanently?
What I care about is your mind, and your ability to CHANGE. To adopt healthy cooking habits. To decide to exercise. To battle against all the naughty snacking and drinks. To love yourself and care for yourself.
Every verb in the paragraph above isn't about push-ups versus potatoes, it's about your mind. There are hundreds of millions of methods and articles on exercise; more on food, healthy eating, and diets. Before you get into any of that, you have to have to look at yourself in the mirror and consider those two questions at the top of the weight-loss pyramid. Doctors, personal trainers, and scientists can't answer them - only you can.
Can you put down tech items like your television, computer, tablet, and phone for one hour per day? Then do some exercise with intensity during that hour.
As I've said before, the mind is like a waterfall. Change your mind, and then change can flow down to the rest of the body.
I believe that approach usurps any scientific study out there.
I'll never be a bestselling author, and I can handle that. I started a weight-loss, fundraising month in October called Droptober, where I'm asking folks to live a healthier lifestyle that results in weight loss.
During Droptober, I don't care about science; I care about your mind, and your ability to change. To get inspired, commit, and stay motivated to live a happier and healthier life.
If you can do that for a month, then I know you can change, regardless of what the science says.
Do you believe you can lose weight through exercise?