• I exercised regularly for an entire year with only minimal changes to my diet … convincing myself that because I was working-out so much, I was free to eat as I wanted. What a mistake! My body definitely benefitted from the exercise and I saw some little changes, but overall did not lose any weight. It’s definitely a two-part process. Since being at H3 and starting a food journal and really looking at the daily calories in and out to create the desired deficit, I am now acutely aware that exercise does NOT give me the freedom to avoid cutting calories. Thank you, Adam!

    From Diana
    January 27, 2010

  • Adam, great topic. Plateaus are very aggrevating but a real issue and sometimes they can be the reason that someone actually gives up. Thanks for the cross training tip.

    From Tonya
    January 29, 2010

Ask the Expert: Q&A with Fitness Director, Adam Martin


Q: Is it true that you can eat whatever you want if you exercise enough?

A: I’ve recently been debating whether I should author a “groundbreaking” weight-loss book entitled, Move More, Eat Less.  However, the truth is that if you only adhere to the first half of the book’s title, you will fall far short of your weight loss goals.  Exercise, while it has innumerable benefits, will not produce significant weight-loss results without cutting back on calories.  So it’s the second part that’s most important if you really want to lose weight.

Moreover, the caloric deficit created from exercise during a typical 60-minute session may only total in the neighborhood of 500-600 calories, which can easily be annulled by any one of the following food choices:

–  Ruby Tuesday’s Colossal Burger – 1,940 calories

–  UNO Chicago Grill Pizza Skins – 2,050 calories

–  Ruby Tuesday’s Chicken & Broccoli Pasta – 2,060 calories

–  On the Border Ranchiladas – 1,870 calories

In fact, any one of those meals would take you at least 20 miles of walking to completely burn off!  Incorporating both exercise and nutrition is the only way to ensure that you will begin to see the desired results.  Our bodies, which are undeniably perfect blueprints, see amazing results when put in motion; it’s the sedentary lifestyle that causes our most precious machine to malfunction.

Q: After leaving H3, I stuck with my training program to great results.  Recently, however, I feel I haven’t seen as many improvements.  Why?

A: This is not unusual.  In fact, I call this the “weight loss plateau effect.”  This plateau, which in many cases seems like a mountain to conquer, is more often than not due to a relapse to previous negative habits.  However, there are people who stick to their plan religiously and still encounter this effect.  Generally, if you maintain your exercise plan the plateau will eventually end and a healthy rate of weight loss will resume.  However, if you find that the stalemate is continuing, I would then recommend cross training.

Cross training is the technique of varying your fitness routine to keep your muscles constantly guessing.  For example, if you walk the same distance at the same pace every day your body begins to adapt.  By increasing and decreasing your speed, adding elevation/incline, or choosing to ride the route on a bicycle, you’ll begin to notice your body producing greater results.  In fact, studies have consistently shown that by mixing up your routine, you can increase muscle strength and lower body fat at a faster rate than with structured exercise programs without variety.

Need some Fitness Advice? Ask our resident exercise expert.  Leave your questions in the comment section and you have the chance to see your question answered in the next ‘Ask the Expert’ blog.

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