Posted by: Ellen | 2009-07-23

Can exercise work if your diet is not 100%?

Hi there

I am a 43 year old female. I recently found out that I am insulin resistant due to all the cortisone I have had for Asthma over the years. I have gained a lot of weight since turning 40 a combo of middle age spread, inactivity, incorrect eating and the cortisone I understand. 15kg.

I just (about a month ago) joined a Ladies Gym similar to Curves. I love it and go 3-4 times a week working out on the hydraulic circut, doing aerobics and stretches. I however cannot seem to stick to the eating plan I was given by the Dietician. I have mastered 2 things (to give up bread - and the " white"  stuff) and to not have carbs at my evening meal. I am quite happy with salad, vegetables and protein at night. I am eating chocolates and stuff in-between. I don' t know if I will get into things the more that I exercise...

I have a mental block in that in my youth I was super-strict and super-slim. Now I feel that if I just eat one so-called bad thing or deviate from the menu just a bit that I will never firm up. Like it is all lost so I may as well eat what I like on that day. And still go to gym.

Is it true that you can exercise but if you don' t eat correctly it is pointless? I eat so called good and bad things daily. I also changed to a new contraceptive recently (due to irregular bleeding on the one I was on) and that put 3kg on me and increased my appetite. It depressed me.

I am thinking of just perservering (at least I got the supper right) and continuing with the gym which I do love. They measured me and took my body fat percentage and told me to stay off the scale. I struggle - its like a magnet.

I just really want to know if you can firm up if your diet is not perfect? I hear you can' t, but there are lots of people around me that exercise, are in good shape and they indulge.

The other thing and I think this is the problem is that quite a few people at my work went on those injections and lost phenomenol amounts of weight in a short space of time i.e. fat to thin in no time at all.

I kind of feel that the correct eating and exercising will take me ages. My friends say it will stay off as this is not artificial but the correct way. I know this, so what is the problem with me?

Today for example: I had 2 boiled eggs and 3 provita with coffee as per my menu plan. Followed by 2 Tex Bars!!!!

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageDietDoc

Dear Ellen
Doing exercise is always beneficial, but I am not sure that the intensity of the exercise you do at Curves will have much of an effect on your weight. To promote weightloss you need to do aerobic exercise like cycling, skipping, brisk walking, etc, and for at least 30 min a day to make a difference. The advantage of aerobic exercise is that it also helps with controlling your insulin levels and releases endorphins that lift your mood. I am a bit puzzled about your diet because patients with insulin resistance should eat a low-fat, low-glycaemic index (GI) diet that should still contain low-GI carbs. I suspect that your cravings for chocolates and other sweets may be due to insufficient low-GI carbs in your diet. Click on 'Diet' and 'Weight loss' and 'The Glycaemic Index' and read the articles on the GI. I think you should try the low-fat, low-GI diet, so do contact the The Glycemic Index Foundation of SA at: and ask if they have a diet you can use.
Hang in there

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