Whole Foods and Exercise: Highly processed foods such as refined sugars and flours also upset the metabolism. These devitalized foods are deficient in the vitamins, minerals, and enzymes necessary for regulating glandular secretion and proper digestion. Whole foods, therefore, are preferable. Moderate regular exercise is also essential for a smooth flow of blood and energy through the body, and for overcoming the stagnancy of excess weight. Fat and muscle are often shed at an equal rate during weight loss, and exercise helps the body maintain its muscle mass, thereby protecting the heart and other muscles from deterioration.