You Can't Outrun Your Fork

Every January millions of people make New Year's resolutions to lose weight by going to the gym.  The truth is that you simply cannot exercise away a poor diet and expect to lose weight.  In most cases, any calories actually burned through exercise are later added back in by consuming more calories later in the day.  It is very true that exercise is extremely good for overall health and will help to lose some weight but will not offset extra calories consumed.  "You can't outrun your fork"!

Almost every day in my practice in orthopedic surgery I see patients who are struggling with significant orthopedic symptoms in the spine or lower extremities related to being overweight.  As I gently try to remind them that their excess weight is a significant factor in causing the orthopedic symptoms, almost without exception the patient's response is a reason why they have not been able to exercise adequately.  While this is likely true, in the subconscious mind of the patient they are saying that "because of this bone or joint problem, it is not my fault that I am overweight".  Almost never do they say anything about their diet as a factor in their weight problem.  While exercise is very good for you, proper weight is almost exclusively maintain by proper eating.  "You can't outrun your fork"!

Exercise is very good for you and has many benefits.  Maintaining strength and function in your musculoskeletal system is a very important part of overall health.  It can reduce your desire of junk foods while improing your ability to resist the temptation by improving brain function and cognition.  As little as 20 minutes of brisk walking daily will go a long way to giving threse beneficial effects. 

What exercise is best:

Many patients are cosuming at least twice as many calores as needed to sutsain their system.  Perhaps the best and most effective way of doing this is by eliminating the consumption of all processed foods, including snacks, typical "junk food", and fast-food meals.  It is important that an overall program of improved health requires most of all a healthy very low carbohydrate diet with complete abstinence from "junk food".  One of the best examples is the so-called "Mediterranean diet".  

Remember:  "You can't outrun your fork"!

Bruce T. Henderson, M.D. Oakland Orthopedic Partners

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