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Diet Or Exercise: Which Is More Important For Weight Loss?
If you are trying to improve your health or lose weight, you are likely aware that both diet and exercise have an important role to play. You might be wondering which is more important in weight loss. Read on to find out more about the benefits of both diet and exercise, exactly how they can help weight loss, and whether you should be prioritizing one over the other.
Calories and Losing weight
If your priority is to lose weight as opposed to simply optimizing your health, it is necessary to consider calorie intake and use. To lose weight, you need to be in a calorie deficit, which means you're using more calories than you consume. There are two ways you can ensure you are in a calorie deficit: you can reduce your calorie intake or you can increase the calories you burn.
Diet - Reducing your calorie intake
For most people, it’s usually easier to control calorie intake by reducing the calories you consume than it is to significantly increase the number of calories burned through exercise.
If we use an example of aiming for a calorie deficit of around 500 calories daily, it is often easier to reduce your intake by 500 calories than it is to burn 500 calories. Cutting out a mid-morning iced coffee and muffin, for example, could easily save you around 500 calories, yet burning the equivalent calories would take, on average, around an hour of cycling on an exercise bike! For many people, it’s preferable to cut something out than it is to spend the time, effort and energy on burning the 500 calories daily through exercise alone.
However, many people find calorie counting challenging and restrictive. It can be helpful to manage calorie intake by concentrating on eating healthy, whole foods that have been minimally processed. By focusing on high-fiber vegetables and whole grains; unsaturated healthy fats such as nuts, olive oil and fish; and lean animal and plant proteins; it is possible to naturally reduce calorie intake and improve overall health.
It’s also possible to substitute regular foods for healthier options such as Zero Noodles, which are made from glucomannan flour and are naturally lower in calories and high in dietary fiber. By making simple swaps like this, you can reduce your calorie intake significantly. Because glucomannan is a water-soluble source of fiber, it can help you feel fuller and satisfied for longer. Glucomannan can help slow down the absorption of carbohydrates, which means it can help to control blood sugar levels.
It’s widely accepted that drastically cutting your calories or crash dieting are not good ideas. Even if you lose weight in this way, you are much more likely to gain the weight again; often the weight can creep back within six months, leading to unhealthy patterns of yo-yo dieting.
Exercise - Increasing the calories you burn
Increasing your physical activity is certainly an important factor in improving your overall health and wellbeing, and by burning more calories than you consume, you will be in a calorie deficit that can lead to weight loss.
Aerobic exercise is an excellent way of burning calories. Jogging, or even walking, at a moderate pace, can enable you to burn a significant number of calories to put you in a calorie deficit.
Strength training exercises can help to build and preserve muscle mass, which in turn can increase your metabolic rate, meaning the body is burning calories even when it is at rest.
Exercising regularly could also help to control feelings of hunger by regulating your hormones, and aerobic exercise can help control blood sugar. This could help you to reduce snacking and overeating.
Exercise has been shown to help maintain weight loss as studies have found that people who lose weight and manage to keep it off over longer periods are more likely to be regularly exercising.
When you explore the benefits of a healthy diet and exercise, it is clear that it is impossible to look at them in isolation. Just as eating a healthy diet can reduce calorie intake, improve general health and provide more energy for physical activity, exercise can burn calories, help increase metabolism, regulate hormones and improve many aspects of physical health.
Although it may be easier to cut down on calories through controlling diet, the key for sustained, healthy weight loss is to combine a healthy diet with a program of exercise.