You can’t out exercise a bad diet and there is always room for a little indulgence in a healthy lifestyle.

Let’s not make this more complicated than it is.
This research citation may be of little appeal to some but I am sure someone out there will want a citation so here it is.

PM R. 2012 Nov;4(11):840-4. doi: 10.1016/j.pmrj.2012.09.576.
The role of exercise in the treatment of obesity.
Laskowski ER.
Source
Mayo Clinic Sports Medicine Center; Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Mayo Clinic, First St. SW, Rochester, MN(⁎). Electronic address: laskowski.edward@mayo.edu.
Abstract
The United States is in the midst of a significant public health problem that relates to obesity and inactivity. This epidemic has far-ranging consequences for our workforce and our children and shows no signs of slowing in the near future. Significant research has been performed on the effects of exercise for the reduction of body weight; results of most studies indicate that exercise alone has a small effect on body-weight reduction independent of caloric restriction. However, when combined with dietary restriction, exercise has a synergistic effect and enhances weight loss beyond the effect of diet alone. In addition, exercise has been shown to have significant beneficial effects on cardiovascular and metabolic risk factors independent of actual weight loss, and losing just a small amount of weight can have a significant beneficial effect on these parameters. Genetic factors related to obesity have been found to be positively modified when persons incorporate physical activity into their lifestyle. Sitting time appears to be an independent risk factor for the development of metabolic risk factors; persons who spend more time sitting and watching television have worse metabolic profiles, even if they achieve the recommended amount of physical activity per week, than do those who move about throughout the day. Exercise also is essential for the prevention of weight gain over a life span, although the amount required to prevent weight gain may be closer to twice the amount of exercise recommended by the current Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans (www.health.gov/paguidelines). In many ways, the physiatrist is the most well prepared of all the specialists to address the complex, multidimensional problems of obesity and inactivity.

If this isn’t fairly obvious to you, consider yourself enlightened. I am not a nutritionist so I’ll refrain from pontificating.

Food Basics (the Quick and Dirty)

DO
Aim for half your bodyweight in ounces of water every day. (Seems like a lot but we are mostly water after all.)
Consume a diet rich with a variety of vegetables
Eat unprocessed, lean meat, fish, eggs, nuts, beans
DON’T
Refined grains (basic breads, white rice, crackers, pretzels, and the like)
Trans Fats
Fried Food
Sugar (see above room for indulgence in a healthy lifestyle)

There are a lot of people that have much more strict perspectives on the do’s and don’ts but that is a subject for down the road.

For now think of your current habits and be honest with yourself about how you define “a little indulgence.”

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