Is exercise necessary for weight loss? Or can you just cut cals to drop lbs? Is there really any need to get super sweaty and worked up?
We lift the lid on how diet, exercise, and weight loss work in tandem.
Yep. You can lose weight without exercising or increasing the amount of physical activity you do — as long as you burn more calories than you take in.
Plenty of factors contribute to weight gain. But the main causes typically involve consuming too many calories and not getting enough physical activity.
Creating a calorie deficit encourages weight loss. You can create a calorie deficit by reducing your calorie intake, increasing your activity level to burn more calories, or both.
However, physical activity and exercise — which are two different things, BTW — do so much more for your health than help you maintain body weight changes. A balanced, healthy lifestyle is the one.
Let’s compare the research on losing weight through calorie restriction only with the studies on a calorie restriction and exercise combo and see who wins. Rapper to our left, introduce yourself…
It is possible to lose weight through dietary changes alone. To do this, you need to create a calorie deficit, meaning taking in fewer calories than you burn each day.
The more calories you cut from your intake, the faster you’re likely to lose weight. But cutting calories too drastically is not healthy and won’t help you in your quest to maintain and manage your weight long-term.
Low and very low calorie diets can cause compensatory changes in your body, including:
This makes it harder to maintain weight loss over time.
That’s why experts recommend making smaller cuts in calorie intake that minimize these side effects while encouraging a more sustainable form of weight loss.
Sure, you can lose weight without changing your activity levels. But research shows that combining calorie reduction with increased physical activity is more effective than just cutting calories. So put that in your NutriBullet and blitz it.
For example, a 2021 study randomized 239 people with higher body weights into four groups:
All participants followed a diet that created a 25 to 30 percent calorie deficit. They followed this eating plan for 6 months. Peeps in the exercise groups did supervised exercise routines 3 times per week.
(Of the 239 who started the study, 180 reached the finish line — weight loss is, somewhat ironically, no picnic.)
As expected, all the groups lost similar amounts of weight on the calorie-restricted diet.
But after 3 years, most of the groups had gained back most of the weight they’d lost. The only exceptions were in the group who followed the diet and smashed out strength and endurance workouts. They kept off a good amount of the body fat in the long term.
And that’s what you want, right? Sustainable change and lifestyle choices that last?
Plus, even though weight loss was similar among the groups, the exercise groups lost more body fat and maintained their lean mass. The control group lost lean mass.
Maintaining lean mass during weight loss is important. Losing muscle can screw with your metabolism, making it harder to maintain your weight. Which… kinda defeats the point.
A 2012 study of 399 women after menopause found that those who followed a calorie-restricted diet and took part in an aerobic exercise program lost:
So, although it’s possible to lose weight through cutting cals alone, it’s more effective if you add in a bit of physical activity for good measure.
Interested in losing weight and improving your health? Focus on including more nutritious foods in your diet to promote weight loss. It doesn’t have to taste or feel like punishment.
The most important factor in weight loss is creating a calorie deficit. Period.
That means you could technically lose weight on a doughnut-only diet, as long as you stay in a calorie deficit. (Doughnut do that, BTW. We’ll keep making bad puns until you stop.)
Some research suggests that certain diets are more effective than others for long-term weight maintenance and improving other markers of health.
The “best” dietary pattern is any healthy eating plan you can stick to long-term. Yes, even when you’re on vacation, out to lunch, or enjoying a holiday meal with the fam. You guessed it — flexibility is key.
Also, any healthy diet should include lots of whole, nutrient-dense foods, especially fruits and veggies.
Shocker: Diets high in produce and whole foods have strong links to healthy body weight and long-term weight maintenance.
For example, the Mediterranean diet — one that’s full of produce, nuts, seeds, olive oil, fish, and beans — is one of the most effective and sustainable dietary patterns for reducing weight gain, promoting healthy body weight, and reducing chronic disease risk. Bellissimo!
Some other dietary patterns. such as vegetarian and low carb diets, can also be effective for weight loss.
Disclaimer: Low and very low carb diets tend to lead to rapid weight loss in the short term. But in the long term, their weight loss results are similar to those of other dietary patterns, such as low fat diets.
Some diets may also be more appropriate for certain people. For example, a low carb diet may help bring down high blood sugar and triglyceride levels in people with metabolic syndrome.
Searching for the best diet for weight loss is like trying to define the best type of hat. Everyone is different, with varying needs, tastes, goals, and health concerns. And trilbies are a terrible idea in both scenarios.
Consider what’s best for you personally when putting together your weight loss eating plan.
Everyone has different calorie needs. They depend on a whole bunch of factors, including:
If we were all identical, it would be handy for nutritionists but very, very boring for everyone else.
So, randomly following a low calorie diet that you found online may backfire. It might be completely inappropriate for your specific needs.
If you include exercise in your program or simply increase your activity levels, you’ll likely be able to create a calorie deficit by increasing how much energy you use. This means you don’t have to cut as many calories. (Yay!)
TBH, working with a qualified healthcare professional who specializes in nutrition (like a registered dietitian) is the best way to create a diet plan that’s right for you.
They can help you determine your calorie needs and build a healthy, sustainable weight loss plan.
So you don’t technically *need* to exercise for weight loss. But being active is important for SO many other aspects of health. Plus, it’s fun! Physical activity can include gardening or taking your doggo for a walk. What’s not to love?
Adding exercise to your routine can help:
Exercise and physical activity are both super and duper important. Weight loss is just one of the many benefits that come with bumping up the amount of physical activity you do.
But balance is always key. Just as too little exercise can negatively affect your health, too much exercise can also be harmful.
If you’re not very active but want to start adding some joyful movement to your day, start by going for a walk. Walking is mega underrated and safe for exercise newbies.
When you’re choosing a new activity or workout, make it something you actually enjoy and can see yourself doing for the foreseeable future. Even if that means just going for a daily walk in the afternoons and stretching at night.
Moving that bod is what’s most important.
Sure, you can lose weight through diet alone. But combining a healthy dietary pattern with exercise is usually more effective for burning fat and maintaining muscle mass.
The most important factors when creating a diet or workout plan are safety, flexibility, and sustainability. Your diet should fuel your body with enough calories and nutrients to support peak health.
And your exercise routine should be hella fun and make you feel good about yourself.
Last medically reviewed on March 31, 2021
What's the best investment for a child's future? – MarketWatch
Financial stress ranked No. 1 on the American Psychological Association’s annual Stress in America survey this year. It has held this position every year since 2007 when the survey began.
It’s natural for parents to want to shield their children from some of this stress by investing money toward their future. However, the best strategies for investing in your child’s future might seem unclear.
Undoubtedly, these questions pose serious concerns for parents looking to help their children overcome financial stress.
Read: This is the most innovative financial literacy program in the U.S.
Before you start
When it comes to investing, the rule is usually that the sooner you invest, the better. But that doesn’t necessarily mean you should start investing for your child the day they are born.
Before pursuing investing for kids, you should have emergency savings set aside and confidence in your retirement funds.
In retirement, you absolutely need to have affordable housing, food and other necessities. If you can’t, it will be a burden to you as well as your child. It’s similar to how you need to put on your own oxygen mask before you assist someone else.
Help yourself first and then you’ll find yourself in a better position to aid others.
Paying for your child’s college or getting them started saving for retirement is ideal, but not as high of a priority. Get yourself to a place where you can “max out” your 401(k), especially if you work for a company that matches part of your contributions.
Financial advisers commonly say once you’re able to contribute 15% of your income toward retirement, that’s when you should start investing for your child.
This percentage might vary depending on your investment history. If you’ve worked toward your retirement since a teenager and have already saved a significant amount, this percentage might be lower. People who got a late start saving for retirement and want to catch up may need a higher percentage.
Read: 5 investment lessons that can make your working teen wealthy
Invest for your child’s education account (529 Plan)
When you start to invest for your child’s future, begin with a tax-advantaged savings account. A 529 savings account acts as one of your best options.
These plans can cover expenses related to K-12 tuition if you plan to send your child to a private school, cover college tuition costs and even other vocational education options.
These accounts accumulate funds on an after-tax basis with gains untaxed if used for qualified higher education expenses.
You don’t need to use the money at any one specific college, but can use it at any of the nationwide qualified colleges.
A 529 college savings plan works similarly to a Roth 401(k) or Roth IRA in that you invest your post-tax contributions in mutual funds, target-date funds or other investments.
Once your child begins college, money from the account can go toward eligible expenses, typically including tuition, computers, books, supplies, and housing (if the student enrolls at least half-time).
Room and board can’t exceed the “cost of attendance” figures colleges provide. Distributions can also go toward repaying federal and private student loans, including ones you refinance.
If you withdraw money for nonqualified expenses, the earnings portion becomes subject to ordinary income taxes as well as a 10% tax penalty. You can waive this penalty if the beneficiary attends a U.S. Military Academy, earns a tax-free scholarship, dies, or becomes disabled. The earnings would still be subject to tax, however.
Suppose your child doesn’t attend college. In that situation, you can switch the beneficiary to another qualifying family member, have yourself become the beneficiary and further your own education, use it for K-12 tuition (up to $10,000), or use the money to repay student loans (up to $10,000).
Funds can also roll over to a 529 ABLE account, which acts as a savings account for people with disabilities. If you have a willingness to pay the penalty and taxes, you can always withdraw your money for any reason.
Plans usually have minimum initial contribution requirements. After that, you can make automatic money deposits, contribute lump sums, or both.
Read: Why you should plan to leave money to your kids
Invest for your child’s future retirement
Helping your child start to save for retirement can put them at a significant advantage later in life.
If your teenager has a job like a lifeguard, fast food worker or cashier, you can open a custodial IRA in their name and invest.
A custodial account is a financial account maintained by an adult for another person, such as your child.
You would manage your teenager’s account until they reach the age of majority, which is either 18 or 21, depending on your state. These accounts transfer ownership and you can set them up to manage their own investments.
With the custodial IRA, you can open a traditional or Roth IRA. In either account type, select the best investments and watch the returns compound over time.
Opening and contributing to a child’s custodial IRA requires them to earn taxable income. Sadly, allowances don’t count and you can’t contribute more than what they make each year.
Keep in mind that even if contributions don’t seem large, contributing regularly over long enough periods can result in a significant impact to their bottom line. These contributions add up and grow through returns earned over time.
Because your child likely falls in a low tax bracket on their earnings, it usually makes sense to open a custodial Roth IRA to lock in low tax rates now and have their contributions grow tax-free for many decades to come.
Invest for your child’s future expenses
You can also save for your child’s future expenses without a specific plan for how those funds should be used. Uniform Transfer to Minors Act (UTMA) accounts and Uniform Gifts to Minors Act (UGMA) accounts are two beneficial types of custodial accounts that let teenagers invest.
UTMA and UGMA accounts come controlled by the custodian until the minor reaches the age of majority in their state of residence.
Unearned investment income in these accounts has the tax advantage of only facing taxes at the child’s rate. For example, a child under age 19 wouldn’t pay taxes on the first $1,100 and only 10% for the next $1,100. After that, money falls under the guardian’s marginal tax rate.
With these accounts, you don’t have to limit your contributions to the amount of money your child makes. No contribution limits exist, though anything over $15,000 each year (or $30,000 for a married couple) requires minding the federal gift tax rules.
Best investment in your child’s future
Having money doesn’t necessarily mean you have the skills for handling it. Therefore, it remains essential that you help your child develop good money habits and financial literacy so they know how to save and manage money.
This can mean controlling money from an early age to build comfort with money decisions, learning how to manage it with a piggy bank and eventually a bank account and debit card for kids, and eventually how to invest money on their own.
Make sure your child understands topics such as compound interest, investment diversification, and tax-advantaged savings vehicles. You can impart your personal knowledge, buy them financial literacy books, and encourage them to take financial courses in school.
However, nothing comes as useful as giving them some control over their money. They will make mistakes, but that will always represent an important part of learning. Invest in their future by giving teens and young adults the tools they need to succeed.
Riley Adams is a CPA and the author of the Young and the Invested website, which focuses on financial independence and investing.
Power of attorney can help loved ones make big decisions when you can’t
Selling photographs as NFTs: a pro travel photographer gives his top tips – Digital Camera World
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Marco Bottigelli explains how selling NFTs helped him find scarcity in an overly photographed world
”Photography still occupies a small niche in the NFT market space. In situations such as this, you must decide whether to remain a spectator waiting for the interest to increase, or invest your time and resources on being a pioneer of a movement. Thanks to the excess of free time resulting from the travel restrictions due to the pandemic, I decided to go for the latter.
What are NFTs and can photographers make money from them? How I sell my photographs as NFTs
Overall, as a creator, I strongly believe a skill that should never be lacking is curiosity. Despite a decade of experience as a professional in commercial travel photography, I found pleasure in sitting back and learning something new from scratch.
In the art market one of the main elements for defining the value of a work is scarcity, so the first paradigm I faced was how to make my photographs ”more unique”. I came up with the idea of going through a brand-new avenue; blending some of my favorite photos from recent years into surreal, evocative and intriguing composites, albeit with elements that are recognizable to an attentive audience.
Part of a travel photographer’s job is based on finding the best viewpoint over a landscape or a city based on elements from the real world. In the same way, the freedom of art (or rather cryptoart) has unleashed my imagination in finding new viewpoints over recognizable landscapes, in much the same way I search for a better imaginary viewpoint in the wideness of the Metaverse.
In May of last year my first series ‘Wanderlust’ was born – three works that project the observer through the subject on an iconic and dreamlike journey. Two of the three works were sold to collectors in the first two weeks of their publication. The third sold in November for 2ETH ($6,571).
Then, at the beginning of July I published my second series ‘Gondola Fairytales’, a two-piece epic tribute to the explorers, myth and legends from the history of Venice.”This article first appeared in Digital Photographer magazine
Marco Bottigelli is an acclaimed travel photographer and leader of international photography workshops spending his working life photographing some of the most beautiful locations in the World. With over ten years in the field, he finally turned a part-time job into a full-time travel photographer freelance career in 2015, focusing exclusively on producing high-end commercial travel images and accompanying customers across nearly every continent to experience the beauty and the challenging of the travel and landscape photography. He is the co-owner of clickalps.com, a Premium Travel Photo Agency based in Italy. Since 2021, he has been successfully selling his photographs as NFTs.
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