As someone who’s been practicing plastic surgery for over twenty years, I’ve worked with a lot of people who have struggled with their weight. Weight management can be difficult, and I find that many different people have similar questions about effective ways of shedding unwanted pounds and keeping them off. While what’s required to get and stay fit can differ somewhat from person to person, there are some strategies that will more-or-less apply universally. The most important facet of any weight-management or weight-loss program is often practicality; that is, success is far more likely when a person sets realistic goals and develops a reasonable plan for achieving those goals. Today, I’m highlighting how the answer to one simple question can help you prioritize the elements of your weight-loss plan:
Diet or exercise?
Any healthcare professional will rightly tell their patients that good nutrition and regular physical activity are equally essential to a healthy body. However, when we talk about getting fit through “diet and exercise,” it can sound as though each of these two lifestyle choices has an equivalent impact on weight. A regular exercise routine is extremely important to maintaining overall health, but you’ll get more return on your investment with a healthful diet. Exercise greatly benefits cardiovascular, bone, and muscle health, so the last thing I want to do is discourage anyone from working out. However, if your main goal is to lose weight, your diet is the first thing you need to change.
Intensive or excessive exercise isn’t necessary for weight loss if one maintains a nutritious, sensible diet. According to The American Council on Exercise, a 150-lb. person burns less than 300 calories after running at 5 miles-per-hour for 30 minutes. For context, a bare single hamburger (no cheese) from one popular fast-food chain has about 250 calories. Even items that may appear to be lighter and more nutritious options, like salads and wraps, can have more calories than you might think. For instance, the lowest-calorie salad at that same restaurant has about 350 calories before any dressing, croutons, etc. are added, and some salad options can easily surpass the calorie count of the biggest burgers with the addition of certain common accoutrements.
There are countless diets out there, many of which have reliable, rigorous studies to back up their effectiveness. In the end, however, the key to weight loss can be boiled down to one simple equation: burn more calories than you consume. Although dietary self-control can certainly fall into the “easier-said-than-done” category, it takes far less time and effort to change one’s diet than it does to introduce an intensive workout routine. Again, exercise is extremely important to overall health, and I encourage everyone to establish practical, healthy exercise routines in addition to a healthful diet. It’s simply more efficient to create a calorie deficit through diet than exercise, but the healthiest weight-loss programs will incorporate both.
Weight management is a lifelong practice of achieving balance in all things; adequate rest, excellent nutrition, and a commitment to caring for one’s body through regular physical exercise are all equally important. Excellent health and wellbeing also include taking time off from rigorous schedules to enjoy life with friends, family, and other sources of emotional and spiritual nourishment.
While creating a calorie deficit is fundamental to weight loss, many people find themselves with stubborn fat or other issues that neither diet nor exercise can seem to adequately address. This is one of the many predicaments that plastic surgery can help with. If you’d like to learn about the procedures I perform, contact me, Dr. James Namnoum, to schedule a consultation. Don’t forget to connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and come back to the blog soon for more advice and information on looking your best.