Diet or Exercise??? Which is better?

I help people transform their lives through Paleo and strength training. In a recent session with some new potential clients (*excited*!!!), I was asked, So, I can just come work out with you 3 days per week and not do the Paleo thing, right? And lose the last 10 pounds?

This is basically a question of whether I would rather get paid or not, so I think I surprised her when I said that I would rather her do Paleo and not come see me at all than come see me and not do Paleo. Yes, Paleo is that important. And I care about health, wellness and results over money any day. Let’s look at what was recommended in the past, how it played out and what we should do instead in the future.

Move More

These days, the common recommendation to get healthy and lose weight is to simply move more. Sounds great, huh? It implies that you may eat whatever you want and simply move more to “work it off”. Many people spend countless hours in the gym, on the treadmill or out on the roads each and every week living faithfully to this mantra.

The fact is that it doesn’t work. How many of you know the people who walk every day for years and years and are still pudgy? Or who workout 10 hours per week and still don’t look the way they want to. What about the people who run for miles every week and are still fat?

Instead of a change in routine, they are told they aren’t doing enough. They need to do more. This is so frustrating and ensures that they will NEVER be content with their bodies or their health because it implies their health is singularly dependent on the amount of exercise they perform.

But you may also be thinking of the people you know for whom this has seemed to work. The more they move, the more they lose. A deeper examination, however, may reveal a high body fat percentage (i.e., “skinny fat”), lots of visceral fat (i.e., the bad fat around the organs), and autoimmune conditions or insulin resistance.

OR moving more does work, but ONLY as long as they move more. The day they stop moving more, all progress reverses instantaneously.

At my studio, I guarantee satisfaction… IF clients try Paleo WITH exercise. In my experience, moving more only works for a little while before a stubborn plateau is reached OR not at all. Any results with moving more are temporary and leaves people dependent on me forever.

If there’s one thing I like it is independence. Sure, I like to make a living doing what I love, but I also want to teach all of my clients how they can be free of the dieting/exercise game and rely on their own knowledge of food and fitness to maintain their results.

87% of RESULTS are from diet

I wish it were as simple as eating less. Most diets are some form of “eating less” in conjunction with the calories in, calories out theory of weight loss. Unfortunately, our bodies are not simple machines within a closed system or that equation would work beautifully. Instead, our bodies are highly complex systems that happen to adapt to the environmental stressors (i.e., junky food) we place on it quite well.

The truth is that exercise is a bandage for the real problem, much like most prescriptions only treat symptoms and not cure.

Real results come from diet, but I do not recommend a restricting eat less diet. Instead, I recommend eating until you are satisfied with healing, life-giving Paleo foods. Because Paleo is proven to normalize weight AND improve all biomarkers of health, it is truly a win-win situation. Your body loves you and you are satisfied with your body. Your doctors might hate you because you don’t see them so often, but you can experience life as you were meant too.

It would be easy for me to tell folks to sign-up with me and pay me lots of money each month to get their results. Then, when they do not see progress, I could tell them that they just aren’t doing enough, that they should come an extra day per week. That we’ll try this new workout with this new Bosu ball and THEN see results.

But I am just as tired of that nonsense as you are. I don’t want to profit from your misery. I care about you, your health and your happiness. And I believe so strongly that exercise is great, but switching to Paleo is better that I proudly tell people that I would rather them try Paleo for FREE over paying me good money each month to become a member at my studio.

The Truth

I am deeply indebted to truth and following evidence where it leads, no matter if it is contrary to my own beliefs. Before trying Paleo, I believed fat was bad and made me fat. The evidence pointed otherwise and I’m glad I was willing to test this idea, which changed my beliefs. Likewise, I believed that health, wellness and fat loss were dependent on the amount of time I spent exercising each week. Exercise was like a job exchanging time for hourly pay, but never quite getting enough. I believed cholesterol was evil, but the evidence leads elsewhere. I thought whole grains were “healthy” and a number of other false ideas about health, wellness and weight loss.

And if I ever find out I was completely wrong about Paleo, I will gladly admit it and rescind. But I doubt it. There are folks that have been eating this way for more than ten years and are in the best health ever, even in geriatric years. Folks like Art DeVany are paradoxes to society because they are in better health in their 70s than in their 30s. There are hunter-gatherer groups who have eaten this way their entire lives and are free of disease, obesity and poor health that affects western societies. There are hunter-gatherer groups who split and half went to the city to work, thus changing their diet to breads, sugars, and processed foods. After becoming diabetic, insulin resistant and really sick, some returned to their native village and native diets. All conditions were reversed… quickly. Diet must account for something.

Are you indebted to truth? Or are you content living a deceptive lie that leaves you miserable and blah throughout your life? Are you willing to follow the evidence where it leads and find deeper meaning and purpose in your life? I sure hope so! Because you’re worth it. No one can take your unique spot in life, with your ability to influence specific family members, friends and co-workers. Who knows whose life you may save by making the decision to get healthy and live with joy and purpose.


It takes a commitment to try something new and different and commitments are scarce these days. In the past everyone was told to eat less and move more to get healthy and lose weight. This doesn’t work. Although I run a fitness studio, I would rather everyone try Paleo for free than pay me to train them. I strongly believe in its power to transform your life and free you from health, dieting, and fitness issues forever! The question now is, are you indebted to truth? Do you want truth in your life or the soothing deceptions of the world? You decide!


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  • Annette Belisle

    Reply Reply June 30, 2011

    Hi Gerilyn, I have been on Paleo for only a week now and have went down one pants size… I am so excited… I am eating fried green tomatoes every day… My favorite!!!! Annette

    • gerilyn

      Reply Reply June 30, 2011

      That is so awesome, Annette! You rock it hot mama! 🙂 I’m eager to keep hearing about your results!

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