Diet & Weight Magazine

“Eat Less, Move More” Is No Longer Accurate

By Gjosefsberg @gjosefsberg

Healthy LifestyleI used to believe that anyone who wanted to lose weight and get healthier needed only to “eat less, move more.”  In other words, just stop eating as much calories as you are right now and start exercising and you’ll see some great results.  My experiments over the past few months have revealed to me a slight (or maybe not so slight) error in my thinking.  

Move More

The move more part is absolutely, 100% correct.  Anyone who tells you that it’s possible to be healthy without exercise is lying to you.   Any diet book that focuses just on eating or any health plan focusing purely on weight loss is incomplete at best and misleading at worst.  You MUST exercise to be healthy.  No, you don’t have to go to the gym and lift weights or run 6 miles every day, those are just two possible options.  Exercise just means moving your body in a way that challenges both your heart and your muscles.  My father is in incredible shape at the age of 67 simply through dancing and walking.

Every morning he wakes up and takes the dog for a brisk 60 minute walk and twice a week he takes his girlfriend for three hours of energetic Israeli folk dancing, and he just recently took up a twice-a-week Pilates class.  (you know, that sentence makes his girlfriend and the dog sound oddly parallel.  Sorry dad, that was completely unintentional)  This is enough to keep him in great shape and he can still give me a run for my money when we go hiking.  In fact, when I visit him in Israel, our favorite tradition is to jog up the steep side of Masada (an old fortress mountain in Israel) before dawn to see the sunrise.

So if move more is still accurate that must mean that there’s a problem with…

Eat Less

Actually, eat less is still accurate as well.  We Americans eat way too much.  Just stop by the average Cheesecake Factory, Chilis, Hometown Buffet, IHOP or McDonald’s during dinner time.  An average dinner dish there can be around 1500 calories, and that’s before the pre meal bread, soda and dressing covered salad (plus dessert of course).  Most Americans will eat more calories at a single meal like this than they should in an entire day.  And if this was a rare occasion it might be acceptable except it’s not rare at all.  Too many of my friends eat out like this every day, too many of my coworkers go to a different restaurant every night and then wonder why the pounds won’t come off.  So yes, eat less is definitely the way to go.

But if Move More is good and Eat Less is good, what then is wrong with my traditional motto?

Eat Healthier

What’s wrong with it is the missing part “eat healthier”.  The problem with just eating less is that it can lead you into an unhealthy routine where you eat less of the important things your body needs.  This causes cravings and exhaustion and leads into binge eating and failed healthy lifestyles.  Put another way, it’s great that you intend to eat less, but if you want to succeed at that, you’re going to want to change what you eat and not just the quantity you eat.


  • Cut out the sugars – Even a small amount of sugar consumed through soda, candy or fruit can lead into a major eating binge.
  • Cut out the refined carbs – Same applies to items like breads and pastas.  Anyone who’s ever faced the dreaded pre meal plate of bread or bowl of chips knows that it’s almost impossible to stop eating those.  Why?  Because our bodies crave them, thinking that they are a rarely found item.
If you cut out these two things (for the most part at least, you can still enjoy a rare treat or a cheat day), you’ll find it much easier to eat healthy and eat less. ### Last week has been great on my new healthy lifestyle.  I feel so much more energized and eating healthier seems easy. Weight – 224 Running Speed – 6.0 (on an hour long run) Bench Press – 275lbs (set of ten)

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