Thursday, December 8, 2011

More people choose diet over exercise to lose weight

By: Katie Gibas

SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- Kelly Pasley is just recently back at the gym after a year without exercise with a goal to get back in shape and lose weight.

"I just sort of felt like something was missing. And I recently quit smoking, quit smoking in April and felt great because of that and wanted to go back to exercise and see how that felt having quit smoking," said Pasley.

Pasley is in the 50 percent of Americans
who are trying to lose weight. A recent Gallup poll that surveyed over 1,000 people randomly, suggests that more people rely on dieting and weight loss pills than exercising.

"I think most people, they know better but they're still looking for a magic pill or a quick fix. The most result with the least amount of effort. It is still a trend," said Kerry Dal, a Registered Dietitian at Upstate University Hospital.

Shelley Lamas, the Downtown Syracuse YMCA Health and Wellness Director, added, "Exercise is something a lot of people are scared of. They're intimidated that it's going to hurt. That old saying of ‘No pain, no gain.’ And a lot of people use the excuse that they don't have a lot of time to exercise, so making diet changes might be more convenient seeming to them."

Experts say they're not surprised by the trend, but they say a well-rounded approach to weight loss requires a life-style change.

"When anybody picks one approach, meaning just diet or just exercise, they tend to do it in excessive amounts. So they probably start out overly gung ho, again not realistic, not a lifestyle approach, meaning three times a week that you could maintain for the rest of your life. They might start out six days a week for two hours a day, so they would get very burnt out very quickly," said Dal.

And experts recommend that if you are nervous about starting to exercise, just getting moving is going to start the process of making a big difference in your health.

"If you're somebody that doesn't move at all, starting with small steps and just even walking is going to help you lose weight and maintain your weight loss," said Lamas.

Pasley added, "I feel so much better after I exercise in general. So if it can help me lose weight and make me feel good, then that's wonderful."

And if you're still nervous about exercising, most fitness centers have trained employees who can help you develop a program that works for you, which will ultimately help you be successful in your health and wellness goals.

Gyms with pools are also offering more water fitness classes to help people who might have joint problems be able to exercise and lose weight without the pain.

Do you know what your daily calories should be? Do you know your Body Mass Index? Find out with the Fitness App.

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