The short version :-
Your size (i.e. your weight) is determined substantially by how much you eat. Your fitness and stamina is determined substantially by how much you exercise. These two characteristics are not significantly interchangeable by normal mortals.
Anyone who tries to tell you different is talking rubbish.
The longer bit :-
Interesting to note :- the average human male (me) needs about 2500 calories a day to sustain himself. Lets round this down to 2400 i.e. an average of 100 calories per hour. Every hour. Doing what you normally do, breathing etc.
You can burn up to several hundred calories in an hour of very vigorous exercise. Then you put 400 calories back immediately with a snack bar and a packet of crisps. I can’t burn calories at such a significant rate because my name is not Michael Phelps and I am not an athlete. I can eat snack bars and crisps very easily. See the problem?
So we need a different approach – we need to cut down the calorie intake if we are going to avoid blimp mode. Hence the fascination with diets.
What I have learnt about diets by observing people over the years – they are a waste of time. I have never tried to follow a diet.
Here is the solution :- miss a meal. Every day. Of course you can – trust me, you get used to it. There is no charge for this advice, by the way, but it does work.
Just think about it for a minute :- when you were a baby, you snacked at will. As a small child you had 4 or 5 meals a day. Then it got down to 4, including supper. This is a habit that tends to carry on into adulthood, and it’s not a good one. Why 3 or 4 main meals a day? It’s a habit.
As an adult, you should have already dropped supper, or already be 3 stone everweight. Remember you only need 2500 calories (2000 for the ladies). Easy to get that – too easy.
(p.s. when has any doctor not said to someone over 40: “Stop smoking, lose 3 stone, take more exercise” at every opportunity).
Think back to the old saying “Breakfast like a King, lunch like a Prince, and dine like a pauper”. How many of us do that? Not easy is it?, we tend to do exactly the opposite! But it is easy to drop the lunch, especially if you work. Don’t go to the canteen/chip shop/butty shop etc. Don’t take those sandwiches with you. Probably harder if you are at home all day – you need a distraction.
In order for this to work, you have to have a good breakfast, and that means protein. Whoever thought up cereals for breakfast was an idiot. It just leaves you craving proper food 2 hours later. Been there, done that. No, the answer is proper food for breakfast, eggs, ham, bacon, pie etc. whatever. Toast will not cut it – I’ve tried.
So are you going to change? This is not a diet, remember, it’s a new way of life – forever. Has to be a proper change – you need to get your head round that. Bit like getting a dog or the giving up smoking thing – it’s forever.
The good news:- It gets easier, it saves you a bunch of money on lunches, your body changes shape slowly so you can continue to do all the things you normally do, buy smaller clothes over time etc.
You can cheat if you have a business lunch, sunday lunch etc and not feel guilty – you are not on a diet!. Just make sure you miss all the lunches you can in between.
If you want to get the most from this change, you need to do the other thing the doctor recommmends – more exercise. Has to be without the snack afterwards as well. Gym, fitness classes, walking, running, swimming, doesn’t matter, just take up something. Personal trainer if you really have no will power and money to burn.
Personally I swim – twice a week normally, 30 minutes, non-stop (about 1 to 1.5km). Again it’s amazing how it gets easier and you get faster. Really I should do more but time etc.
Good luck – no charge.
Kids – you can ignore all the above until you get to 25, after which you can decide for yourself when you need to start missing a meal or two – clue – your clothes are getting bigger.