Today, we’ve asked Rebecca Walker, Managing Partner of Cambiati Wellness Programs to follow up on last week’s blog about Eating for Energy with her thoughts on exercise. Cambiati is a California-based Health Wellness company that specializes in helping people transform their lives with nutrition.
So, What’s Better for Weight Loss: Diet or Exercise?
Rebecca: We know that healthcare professionals have unpredictable, demanding schedules. Many of the NP and PA clients that we work with struggle to keep up with a regular exercise routine. If they’re unhappy with their weight, they assume it’s because they’re not hitting the gym.
It might surprise you to know that studies have shown that working out isn’t the most effective way to lose weight.
In fact, studies show that working out can lead to weight GAIN. That doesn’t mean that exercise isn’t valuable for your health or that it can’t be effective for weight loss. It’s just that if you want to get the best results you have to focus on food first.
What Are the Secrets to Satisfying, Healthy Meals?
Rebecca: As I mentioned last week, cravings are a result of unbalanced meals loaded with refined carbs, sugar, heavy inflammatory fats, and lack of protein. Unfortunately, stress and crazy schedules can make NPs and PAs especially susceptible to grabbing snacks and junk food when it’s available. But, unhealthy snacking throughout the day causes your blood sugar to be unbalanced. Your pancreas will release insulin and send the signal throughout your body to store fat. This is a downward spiral of never feeling satisfied and constantly craving snacks. It’s also a recipe for weight gain.
So, if you want to lose weight (and enjoy an energy boost) check out my tips to improve your diet first. It’s so important that each meal is filled with nutrients while also being satisfying and balancing hormones. When you balance hunger hormones you also balance hormones responsible for blood sugar, mood, sleep, and more. To balance hormones with food, it is important to get non-starchy veggies, protein, healthy fat, and high fiber carbs in each meal.
Does Exercising Longer Lead to Better Results?
Rebecca: If you are going to exercise, there are methods that are best for burning fat. It can be hard to make it to the gym, so we recommend exercises you can do at home 20 minutes three times a week for optimal fat burning results. In more good news, it doesn’t have to be cardio! In fact, cardio can cause people to gain rather than lose weight. We prefer HIIT workouts that you can do right in your own home. HIIT stands for High-Intensity Interval Training.
Start with one minute of intense exercise. Everyone’s fitness level is different. Some people might like jump squats while others might do jump rope or a walking hand plank. The idea is to exercise to the level that gets you to oxygen debt (sucking wind). Do that exercise for 45-60 seconds. if you can go longer than 60 seconds then you didn’t go hard enough. Spend the next four minutes in active recovery to get your heart rate back down. Consider walking or yoga poses. Then repeat 4 times and do this type of exercise three times per week.
So, Moderate Exercise and a Mindful Diet is Key?
Rebecca: Yes, but don’t forget that working out is also a great stress reliever. When you’re stressed for a prolonged period, it turns off your digestion, which can contribute to weight gain. So, that’s another reason why exercise in moderation helps you with weight loss.
For NPs and PAs, my recommendation is to fit in a few minutes of HITT exercise and also to take the time to eat a balanced meal while you’re on the job. Simply take 1-2 minutes to relax, take 10 deep breaths, and then enjoy your meal. Getting long-term weight loss results is truly all about nutrition.
Thank you, Rebecca, for your helpful tips and advice! Click here for more Cambiati recipes and health tips. What other wellness advice would you like to see? Leave us a comment below.
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