Now that I’ve been off my game, well feet, for the past 3 ½ weeks – graduated from crutches to a soft bootcast and crutches (due to a badly sprained ankle) – I can answer the essential question first hand: which is better for weight loss, reducing your calories or exercise?
Answer: Reducing your calories. And now I know first hand. For the past month my one hour daily walks are gone. Since I hurt myself I’ve been barely walking further than from the living room to the kitchen (and that’s a mere 10 feet), yet I haven’t gained any weight. In fact, I’ve lost a few pounds!
What’s true is I’ve been carefully watching what I eat. Remarkably, not letting boredom, restlessness or frustration plunge me into all day snacking, binging or eating with reckless abandon. Well, except for last Friday.
But after my first week of high blood sugars due both to the stress of my injury and the lack of exercise, I made a conscious decision to keep my food intake healthy and not more than usual, and reduced my carbs a little more than usual (and I already eat a low carb diet.)
If you’ve read the recent literature it’s all confirmed: When it comes to losing weight, cutting calories is most important. Exercise helps keep the weight off. And, many recommend strength training twice a week to get the most bang for your exercise buck in addition to aerobics like walking, running, swimming and biking. Strength training has you burning calories most of the day.
Of course I had told myself I was going to start doing something to get some upper body strength this fall when I’d finished writing my due-out-in-October-book – Diabetes Do’s & How-To’s.
But, really, I never dreamed it would be dragging my poor body around on a pair of forearm crutches