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Work Out More or Eat Better - Which Is Best?

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Work Out More or Eat Better - Which Is Best?

The age-old debate of whether to work out more or eat less for effective weight loss has been a cornerstone of fitness advice for decades. However, recent advances in nutrition science have begun to challenge this simplistic notion of "calories in versus calories out."

So, how do you know what is truly the best weight loss strategy for you? 

Keep reading to learn what Dr. Katie Hanisee, a South Georgia-based bariatric surgeon, has to say about the nuanced relationship between physical activity and proper nutrition. 

What plays a more significant role in sustainable weight loss: physical activity or calorie intake?

According to Dr. Hanisee, the significance of increasing physical activity versus focusing on proper nutrition and calorie intake in sustainable weight loss is not easily ranked, as both elements play integral roles. 

"Physical activity contributes to calorie expenditure, enhances metabolism, and promotes overall well-being by building lean muscle mass," said Dr. Hanisee. "On the other hand, proper nutrition and calorie intake are fundamental for providing the body with essential nutrients and maintaining a balance that supports overall health and weight management. A well-balanced strategy that includes proper nutrition and regular exercise is often the most effective approach for achieving and sustaining healthy weight loss."

Why is the "calories in versus calories out approach" to weight loss not always effective for everyone? 

While a fundamental concept, the "calories in versus calories out approach" has limitations that make it less effective for everyone. 

"The calories in/calories our approach oversimplifies the complex nature of metabolism and weight regulation," said Dr. Hanisee. "Individual metabolic rates vary for each person, and factors such as genetics, age, and hormonal fluctuations can influence how the body processes and stores calories." 

Dr. Hanisee also stresses that not all calories are created equal. 

"If you focus solely on the quantity of calories consumed each day or each meal, you'll neglect the importance of nutrient quality. For example, a diet rich in processed foods may lead to weight gain and health issues, even if the calorie count is within your target range."

Additionally, the approach fails to consider individual differences in lifestyle, medical conditions, and psychological factors.

"Stress, sleep patterns, and emotional well-being all play a role in weight management, so a one-size-fits-all approach to the number of calories you should consume daily neglects these aspects of an individual's health," she said. 

It's also important to remember the body tends to adapt to changes in calorie intake and exercise levels over time. This adaptation can lead to plateaus in weight loss, making it challenging for individuals to continue seeing progress using a simple "calories in versus calories out" framework. 

How do factors like age, gender, existing medical conditions, and lifestyle come into play when a person is trying to lose weight?

Age, gender, existing medical conditions, and lifestyle play a crucial role in tailoring a long-term, effective weight loss strategy. 

"One of the major things we focus on at Archbold Bariatric Surgery and Weight Management is the need for personalized approaches to weight loss," said Dr. Hanisee. "We recognize that what works for one person may not work for another. For instance, older individuals may focus more on strength training to preserve muscle mass, while those with specific health conditions may require specialized dietary considerations or weight loss surgery. Recognizing the individuality of each person's body, metabolism and lifestyle is crucial for developing effective and sustainable weight loss strategies."

Your Weight Loss Journey SHould be Unique, Just Like You!

There's no one-size-fits-all in weight loss- no two journeys should be the same! While monitoring calorie balance is a valuable aspect of weight management, relying solely on the "calories in versus calories out" model neglects the complexity of individual physiology, nutritional quality, and lifestyle factors, making it less effective for everyone. A more personalized and comprehensive approach that considers these variables is essential for sustainable and successful weight loss. 

If you or someone you love is struggling with weight loss, the team at Archbold Bariatric Surgery and Weight Management is here to help. Give us a call at 229.226.8881 today to schedule a consultation and discover which weight loss options would be best for you!