Eat less and move more may sound simple, but the outcome of eating less and moving more is one of the root causes that enables many clients to maintain their body weight and fitness levels throughout their lives.
Certainly exercise and nutritional science are more complex than this simple statement. However, after years of broad, in-depth, peer reviewed research in both fields, the conclusions concur generally with the concept of eating less and moving more.
There are always exceptions to any statement such as this one and those include individuals with special needs either from an exercise and nutritional perspective or both. And, in those situations, as fitness professionals, we perform our due diligence researching thoroughly how to most effectively meet our client’s special needs.
But, in general terms, consuming less food, while ensuring that our dietary programs are balanced, nutritious (determined by sound nutritional scientific research that is properly conducted, not conjecture), of the proper caloric content for our energy output considerations and fits our lifestyle, may help to manage our body weight over time. This is an adaptive behavioral lifestyle that the individual must adopt in order to consistently adhere to the “eat less” principle.
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Move more, again, sounds simple, but this is also an effective concept. Moving the body through space and time is exactly what a human body needs to do to be healthy and fit. The body is made up of over 630 muscles and is cleverly designed to move. Therefore, when we do not move it, we not only lose it (i.e. the reversibility principle), but we are more susceptible to diseases such as heart disease, cancer and other serious health conditions.
Therefore, we could safely propose that lack of movement may lead to serious health concerns. If not today, then down the line as we age. Consequently, the combination of eating less and moving more, certainly does not have a downside if applied consciously, and as mentioned above, scientifically.
If you have fallen off your fitness and nutrition track, or you have yet to begin this journey, take that first step and simply eat less and move more. A good rule of thumb would be to eat 100kcal/less/day which translates into approximately ten pounds a year. Find that 100kcal/day that you can easily live without, that is almost always in the category of empty calories providing no nutritional value such as alcohol or foods laden in simple sugars, and do not replace it.
As far as the moving aspect, expend 100kcal more per day and this will, in combination with eliminating 100kcal/day in input, net you a 200kcal/day deficit. Over the course of one year, that is approximately 21lbs.! So, the good news, without making any punitive changes, is that you have already set yourself up to drop 21lbs. in a year, if that is needed in your specific case.
Then, if you want to kick it up a notch and create either greater weight loss or greater fitness gains, you would then begin to take steps such as performing a regular exercise program which ensures you will achieve the results you are seeking as well as a implementing a complete nutritional program that will encourage you to eat well for life. As always, prior to beginning any exercise program, please consult your physician.