The age old conversation of Exercise Versus Diet… You’ll always get those people who want to exercise, but hate dieting. They’ll hit the gym five times a week without a problem, but ask them to even slightly cut back on their diet, and they’re complaining.
Likewise, you’ll also get those who are exercise adverse. They’d starve themselves and not eat anything before they’d so much as touch a dumbbell.
While you may not fall to either of these extremes, you may definitely find that you strongly prefer one over the other.
So can you do just one? And if so, is one better than the other?
Let’s look at this topic a little more so you can clear up any confusion.
The Principles Of Weight Loss
First it’s helpful to know what causes weight loss in the first place. In order to lose body fat, you need to consume fewer calories than you take in on a day to day basis.
If you achieve this, great, you will be on your way to seeing results.
If you fail to achieve this however, you’ll be maintaining your weight or worse, gaining body fat.
How you go about achieving this – whether it’s through decreasing your food intake or increasing your activity level doesn’t so much matter as long as at the end of the day, you have burned off more calories than you’ve consumed.
Usually the best method is through a combination of both as then you have to neither to the extreme.
The Role Of Exercise
One thing that you do want to keep in mind when thinking about weight loss is the difference between weight loss and fat loss. Weight loss implies that you’ve just lost weight – it could be body fat or lean muscle mass tissue. Fat loss implies that you are only losing strictly body fat, which is typically what most people desire.
Exercise will help ensure that the weight you do lose is body fat. It sends the signal to your body that you need to maintain your lean muscle mass (since your body needs it for that exercise), thus it’s less likely to burn it off as fuel.
If you want to look fit and firm as you lose weight, exercising will help.
The Role Of Diet
Dieting however, is the fastest, easiest way to achieve the calorie deficit you need. Think about it this way. There are easily 400-600 calories in the average slice of cheesecake. It would take you 40-80 minutes to burn that many calories off through exercise.
Likewise, the average slice of pizza has anywhere from 200-300 calories as well. Eat two of those and you might as well tack on another hour of exercise.
Simply put, it’s too hard to exercise off bad food choices, which is why eating right is the superior way to experience weight loss. If you want to get to your goal quickly, you need to clean up your diet.
Too many people, when they only exercise, actually find themselves hungrier because of that exercise and this leads them to overeat and compensate for those calories they’ve just burned off.
Exercise Versus Diet Conclusion:
So all in all, know that in an ideal world, you want to do both diet and exercise. Exercise will ensure that the weight you lose is body fat weight and diet will help get you there faster.
But, if you were going to pick just one, then choose diet. It’s superior for weight loss purposes.