Local Health Alert: You Can't Exercise Your Way Thin

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (localmemphis.com) - Working out won't make you lose the weight, if you're strictly hitting the gym for results. That statement may have many wanting to give up, and ditch the gym membership, but doctors say, not so fast.

"Once you pass 40, you can't exercise your way thin." Dr. J.O. Patterson with Methodist Medical Group says, you're going to have to fixate on your diet, if you're ready to shed the pounds. It won't fall off just lifting weights, when you're not careful about what you're consuming. Dr. Patterson explains, "you really have to control what's on your plate."

Dieter, Beth Townley says she and her husband have changed to a low carb diet to ditch the extra weight. She explains, "I started doing Ketogenic." She had been committed to exercising for years, "cycling, walking, weights, a little bit of yoga" but that alone wasn't doing the trick. She now says she's down several pounds and has kept the weight off, while her husband has seen even more significant results. "He hasn't been this low of a weight since like, high school." 

Dr. Patterson says all diets work, the problem is many of them are hard to stick to for lasting results. When it comes to trying to exercise your way thin, he uses the example of empty calories in sweets, like a donut, noting it takes an average-sized woman about 30 minutes on the elliptical to burn around 200 calories. Dr. Patterson suggests not depriving yourself, but making healthy choices for your meals. The Mediterranean diet is an option he suggests, "which emphasizes a lot of whole grains, lean sources of protein, not much red meat." Aim to lose about a pound a week, for your best chance of keeping it off.

Don't throw in the gym towel, though. "Exercise is vitally important for your overall health," says Dr. Patterson. He says regular exercise will keep your concentration levels and risk of chronic diseases in check. It will also help you maintain a healthy weight.


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