As health coaches, we’re often asked, “What’s the fastest, safest way to reach a healthy weight–diet or exercise?”
Surprisingly, exercise is an inefficient route to weight-loss for adults.
Proper nutrition can be six times more effective!
Here’s a recommendation from former-tennis-pro-turned-health-coach Kevin W. McCarthy:
“Play tennis for the joy of the game and for the workout. Don’t rely on this amazing sport as the sweet spot of your weight-loss program!”
And his declaration:
“To lose one pound of fat you need to burn 3,500 calories while not double-faulting your metabolism. Starve yourself, and you slow down your metabolism from the typical rate of burn. By consuming 100-calorie snack packages, you’re just fooling yourself. They contain nutritionally empty calories–you’ll lose lean muscle mass, not fat.”
What’s the Key to Reaching a Healthy Weight and Winning The Waistline Challenge?
The key to winning the waistline challenge is to reduce your calorie intake with nutrient-dense, low calorie small meals about 6 times per day. This protects your lean muscle mass, burns the fat, and adequately fuels your body.
Kevin offers an example–Chris, a 5’ 5″ adult woman who weighs 165 pounds and would like to lose 35 pounds.
- At her current weight (165), just going through her day she burns about 2,250 calories – known as her Total Energy Expenditure (TEE). At 130 pounds, Chris’s TEE will be about 2,000 calories because she will no longer be carrying around the extra weight.
- To maintain her current weight of 165 pounds, Chris would need to match her TEE calories in with her TEE calories out. If she eats more than her TEE, she gains weight. If she consumes fewer calories than her TEE, she loses weight. (It’s just science!)
- Chris, however, eats about 2,750 calories a day so she is gaining weight. On the day she plays a hard hour of doubles, Chris burns about 500 calories and remains calorie neutral. On the other six days per week, when she’s not playing tennis, Chris packs on 3,000 calories too many – gaining nearly a pound per week!
- But Chris has a “solution.” She weighs herself regularly. When her weight hits a new high, she plays another game called “yo-yo dieting” that’s messing with her metabolism.
- To get a lift to her day, Chris grabs a daily 180-calorie Starbucks Cafe Latte plus a number of other “little food rewards.” Despite taking supplements, her nutritional intake is calorie high and nutritionally in the net.
Double fault! Chris is not serving herself well.
Photo by Flickr (AlpenaMi)
Yes, Chris definitely benefits from playing tennis, but she will neither lose weight nor gain nutritional health with her current waistline play.
What if Chris smartly feeds her body with nutritionally dense, low calorie “fuelings” about every 3 hours? Her metabolism and nutrition are more apt to be in balance. A weight-loss program (not a diet) might have her consuming a healthy 1,500 calories per day.*
This deficit of 1,250 calories per day, compared to her TEE, equates to playing 2.5 hours of hard doubles per day – every day of the week. Eating like this, Chris is going to lose a 2-3 pounds per week!!
“Good nutrition beats exercise in the battle of the waistline every time 6-1, 6-1.”
Achieving a calorie-restricted, nutritionally-dense, balanced approach to a healthy weight is a delicate, but very doable, challenge.
As health coaches, Kevin and I help people like Chris understand why weight-loss matters to them, and we help them set their own healthy goals. For a weight-loss program to work, it must be personalized–and it must fit within the realities of science.
As Kevin says,
“When your body is fueled properly, you’ll be amazed at how much more clear-headed and energetic you’ll be. Care for your health, and your body will reward you with winning on, and far beyond, the tennis court.”
Are you eager to live a healthy, vibrant, purposeful life?
Then do your research and find a nutrition-based weight-loss program that will help you reach YOUR healthy weight safely and efficiently.
To Your Optimal Health!
Jory and Kevin
* Be sure to consult your physician before starting a weight-loss program.
Kevin W. McCarthy is a former USPTA tennis professional, lifetime member of the USTA, and the author of The On-Purpose Person and The On-Purpose Business. He is a world authority in leadership regarding the meaningful integration of life and work and has pioneered the message, concepts, and language of On-Purpose® since the late 1980s. Kevin and his wife Judith, both graduates of the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business, serve as Jory’s health coaches and business mentors. Together with thousands of other Take Shape For Life® Certified Health Coaches, they are on a mission to help Get America Healthy!