Friday, May 9, 2008

Q: I really, truly can't exercise. Is my diet doomed?

A: I’m so glad to have a chance to answer this question. If I had a dime for everyone who tells me that they can’t diet because they can’t exercise! My response: Don’t! Exercise, that is. If no time to exercise is keeping you from dieting then you should cross exercise off your to-do list for now. It does take time to exercise; it doesn’t take time to eat well. In my experience roughly 80 percent of weight loss is the result of food intake not calories spent in exercise. I myself am an avid exerciser and depend on it to reduce stress as well as for heart and whole body health. But for busy people, adding exercise can become a stress in itself and a barrier to weight loss because it’s an excuse not to eat well. If you’re already exercising, great; continue. But if you can’t find time to exercise now, don’t worry. Focus on eating well - rely on the Wall Street strategies for busy people - and you’ll ultimately reach your goal. For lots of details on how to think about exercise so you won’t be discouraged, as well as countless suggestions, see The Wall Street Diet. (Page 199 gives my famous “twenty minute rule”.)

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