The New Year is here, and you have just signed up to a costly monthly gym membership. You are determined to get your body back in shape, and there are some great reasons why you should;
- Get stronger – hit the ball farther
- Reduce injury and stress on joints
- Lose weight, allowing you to finish the full 18 with more focus and less fatigue than before
Golfers these days are athletes – they are fitter and stronger than ever. While there are the occasional outliers, you would be a fool to think that your game (and your life) would’t benefit from adding some muscle or losing those extra pound of fat. While exercise is an important part of the equation, it, in itself, is not enough.
Take, for example, weight loss.
Several studies (1,2,4) have shown that increasing exercise will not necessarily result in weight loss. Villarreal et al (2011) showed that while a diet group lost 10% of bodyweight, an ‘exercise alone’ group did not lose anything. This is because people will unconsciously adjust their activity levels in other areas of their life, as well as adjusting their caloric intake.
However, weight loss PLUS nutrition strategies have been shown to create successful weight loss. Miller et al (1997,3) showed that diet alone achieved the same weight loss (11KG) as a ‘diet and exercise’ regimen over 15 weeks – highlighting the importance of diet. It is important to mention that the diet + exercise regimen maintained the weight loss more effectively after a year. The Villareal study (5) also showed a beneficial effect to exercise PLUS diet.
Pounding away on the treadmill and not taking care of your diet is likely to result in you spinning your wheels. This can be very de-motivating when you are putting in a lot of hard work. However, by taking care of your nutrition, you can achieve success.
If you want to learn more about weight loss nutrition specifically for golfers, or if you are more interested in gaining muscle, click the link below to find out about our programs.
1. Luke A, Cooper RS. (2013) Physical activity does not influence obesity risk: time to clarify the public health message. Int J Epidemiol. 2013 Dec;42(6):1831-6. doi: 10.1093/ije/dyt159.
2. D. M. Thomas, C. Bouchard, T. Church, C. Slentz, W. E. Kraus, L. M. Redman, C. K. Martin, A. M. Silva, M. Vossen, K. Westerterp, and S. B. Heymsfield. (2012) Why do individuals not lose more weight from an exercise intervention at a defined dose? An energy balance analysis. Obes Rev. 2012 Oct; 13(10): 835–847.
3. Miller, Wayne C., D. M. Koceja, and E. J. Hamilton. “A meta-analysis of the past 25 years of weight loss research using diet, exercise or diet plus exercise intervention.” International journal of obesity 21.10 (1997): 941-947.
4. Dwyer-Lindgren L, Freedman G, Engell RE, Fleming TD, Lim SS, Murray CJL and Mokdad AH. (2013). Prevalence of physical activity and obesity in US counties, 2001–2011: a road map for action. Population Health Metrics 2013, 11:7
5. Villareal DT, Chode S, Parimi N, Sinacore DR, Hilton T, Armamento-Villareal R, Napoli N, Qualls C, Shah K. (2011). Weight loss, exercise, or both and physical function in obese older adults. N Engl J Med. 2011 Mar 31;364(13):1218-29.