Mike Boyle's Blog

The Best Exercise for Weight Loss
Posted 8/1/2011 10:05:00 AM

I tried to make a little joke on an Internet forum the other day. The question was posed as follows: “What is the best exercise for weight loss?” I posted what I thought was a humorous answer. I answered that the best exercise for weight loss in my mind is called a table pushaway. Surprisingly enough, the next post on the forum was “Does anyone know how to do a table pushaway?”

I guess most people don’t get my sense of humor. What I was trying to get people to understand is that the simplest way to lose weight is to simply push away from the table. This act alone will do more for weight loss than both running and weight training put together - bottom line. Most people eat too much. On top of that, they eat at the wrong times and they eat the wrong foods. It is really simple. Change your behavior. Eat less food and eat more often. Sounds contradictory, but it’s not. We need to eat less and spread less out across more meals. Now I’m not a nutritionist, but I know a lot about human nature. 

I can tell you a few things about weight loss, or - more accurately - how people fail at losing weight.

#1 - No breakfast. Mom was right. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Here’s my favorite cop out. “I don’t have time to eat breakfast.” Translation: I’m lazy and can’t get out of bed the fifteen minutes earlier that it would take to throw together some kind of breakfast. The second cop out is “I don’t really like breakfast food.” Fine.  Get up and eat lunch. I couldn’t care less. Just have a meal with protein within fifteen minutes after waking. I couldn’t care less if you want a ham sandwich or a salad with tuna fish. Eat something.

#2 - Coffee is not food. Coffee with some type of carbohydrate is not breakfast. Coffee and a bagel is zero for two. The bright side, as my friend Mark Verstegen says, something is better than nothing.

#3 - No protein. Everyone yaps about how bad high-protein diets are for you. First off, this is a fallacy. Secondly, most peoples’ protein intake is so low that it doesn’t matter. Try to eat more lean protein. Have ham and eggs for breakfast. It’s good for you. No kidding. Canadian bacon and eggs might be better. On a 2000 calorie diet, following a 40-30-30 plan, you would need 600 calories from protein. That’s 125 grams per day. By most people’s estimate, that’s a lot of protein. Very few people who don’t take supplements can get 125 grams a day.

The Bottom Line (There’s a joke in there somewhere.): Table pushaways. Eat less. Eat more protein. Eat less carbs. One thing I have realized is that for years we ate high carb/low fat and got fatter. That’s because, as usual, we didn’t listen. Anyway, high carb really meant more fruits and vegetables, not more bread, cereal and pasta. The proper diet is one that avoids breads, cereals and pasta like the plague. Skip the sandwich and just stuff a handful of turkey in your mouth.

Posted By: Mike Boyle  

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Mike Boyle is known internationally for his pioneering work in the field of Strength & Conditioning and is regarded as one of the top experts in the area for Sports Performance Training. He has made his mark on the industry over the past 30 years with an impressive following of professional athletes, from the US Women’s Olympic teams in Soccer and Ice Hockey to the Boston Bruins, Boston Breakers and New England Revolution. You can learn more about him at his web site, Mike Boyle Strength & Conditioning.
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