Diet vs. Exercise: The Best Way to Lose Weight

Have you ever wondered why you don’t lose weight despite your efforts to exercise daily? Your diet is to blame. It’s a fact that we lose weight when we eat fewer calories than we exhaust. Conversely, we gain weight when we eat more calories than we expend. The weight loss topic is wide with certain methods that can be controversial. However, a debate that’s been causing heated discussions is, “Is diet or exercise better for weight loss?” Normally, a healthy weight loss routine involves combining a healthy diet with a well-planned exercise. But when you pit diet vs exercise, one is sure to get you more results compared to the other. Curious to find out which one it is? Keep reading.

Diet and Weight Gain

We all know what you put into your body will definitely show. If you’re one for junk, fast foods, and sugary drinks, your weight will tell it all. And if you’re one for fruits, healthy salads, and anti-sugary beverages, it will also reflect on your lean and healthy body.

Calorie Intake and Weight Gain

The reason why most dieters fail is that they fail to keep tabs on the number of calories they put into their bodies. A common miscalculation is when you rake in 800 calories per day and think that you can shed them off when you hit the gym.

One thing that comes out clearly about food is that it can make you gain or lose weight faster than exercises. It’s far easier to avoid that candy bar, hence the calories attached to it, than to burn them off, says Marjorie Nolan Cohn, a registered nutritionist and dietician. People have this notion that you’ve earned it to eat something as a reward for working out five days a week, said Nolan. Unfortunately, this can negate all week’s efforts and put you back to where you started. For instance, while half an hour in the gym can burn off 300 calories, it only takes a slice of cake or pizza to cancel those efforts.

Compared to the 1970s when America was living a healthy life with only a few cases of obesity, today’s population has been hit hard because of the food choices we make. However, this can be reversed by a simple solution of reducing our calorie intake. This means doing away with processed foods, high sodium and high sugar foods, and avoiding fast foods with unhealthy fats. Another important addition would be to exercise even more while maintaining a healthy diet.

Exercise and Weight Loss

Exercise, no matter how hard, cannot automatically lead to weight loss if you have your diet wrong. Like I mentioned earlier, it takes a lot of effort to burn off 300 calories, while it only takes a small amount of food to get the same number of calories into your body. So, the more calories you rake in, the more difficult it becomes to burn them off. Exercise, while being necessary to keep fit and live a healthy life, can only work in your favor if you eat right. There are people who don’t exercise but still live happy healthy lives. This is possible because what you put into your body is more important than how you move it. The calorie expenditure through exercise is relatively small and can take you up to 35 long hours to lose just one pound.

When people fail to lose weight the way they want, they resort to extreme practices such as starving themselves. Unfortunately, when you get hungry and ignore it, or trick your hunger by taking in lots of water, you can only last for so long. What happens is that your brain assumes that you’re starving (which is correct), and then it triggers a biological response where the cells start storing whatever calories you have left as fat in readiness for the starvation. This is the opposite of your intentions, which should be to burn off calories, not store them.

Diet Vs Exercise

While diet alone can work on your weight loss journey, exercises cannot. But, according to nutritionists, dieticians, and numerous research, diet and exercise, when combined, bring out the best results. You just have to find the right balance in your routines to get a drop in the pounds. According to Dr. Yoni Freedhoff, who runs one of the largest clinics in Canada, people should find the total amount of time they are willing to spend in the gym and take a third of it in their kitchens. You can see tremendous improvements in your weight loss journey simply by paying more attention to the foods you’re eating. Dr. Yoni also advises that you should start slowly from the basics and watch yourself progress into your dream healthful living. Don’t jump right in because there will be side effects with a sudden change/cut in your diet. Sure, the kitchen will help you lose weight faster, but exercise makes you stronger, have more balance, and become healthier.

All images by Pixabay

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