I’m struggling to lose weight. Should I start with an exercise program or a nutrition program or both?
Each person is different in this situation, but I feel most people would be better off starting with an exercise program. The reason for this is partly because with exercise you can start seeing benefits right away, even if it does not show up on the scale. For most people within the first couple of weeks, they might sleep better. They will have a better mood, slightly less anxious, and more energy. And if someone is very heavy, if they are carrying an extra 50 or 100 pounds, adding exercise by itself, at least in the beginning will be enough to get the ball rolling for weight loss.
Now, nutrition is the most important aspect of weight loss. It probably accounts for somewhere to 60 to 80% of people reaching their weight loss goals.
But at the same time as hard as it is to start an exercise program, a nutrition program (a somewhat consistent one with meal prep and planning) is a lot more daunting emotionally and mentally for most people. I find this especially true with people in their forties, fifties, and sixties as often you are asking a person to change a decade’s worth of eating habits.
It is simply a much bigger hurdle than starting an exercise program. So, if you have the choice to start one or the other, and you’re the type of person that gets overwhelmed easily, I would definitely start incorporating an exercise program first. Do this at least two to three days a week for thirty-to-forty-five-minute sessions. After a few weeks when you feel more confident, you can start incorporating nutrition with the exercise program to really get great results.
If you are 45 or over, struggling with nutrition, exercise, or both, reach out to us at Maryville Fitness for help getting started.