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What Matters More For Weight Loss: Diet Or Exercise?
Losing weight takes effort and commitment, and one of the first tasks you need to undertake is planning how to lose the weight. There are a range of diet plans and exercise regimens advocated by health advisors and in the media. We all know that both are important when losing weight, but if you want to know exactly what to focus your attention on, read on to find out whether it is diet or exercise that matters more for weight loss.
Creating a Calorie Deficit
We are all aware of the need to think about calories, but in order to lose weight, your body must be in a calorie deficit. This means your body must be using more calories than it is consuming. You can achieve a calorie deficit in two ways: you can either reduce the number of calories you consume or you can increase the number of calories you burn.
Exercise - Burning Calories
Exercise is an effective way of improving our overall health and increasing wellbeing. By increasing physical activity to burn more calories than you are consuming, you can achieve a calorie deficit, which should allow you to lose weight.
Aerobic exercise in particular is an efficient way of burning calories. The number of calories you are able to burn during exercise will depend on many factors, including your height and weight and the type of exercise you do. However, on average, running for around 30 minutes could allow you to burn around 300 calories.
In addition to burning calories, exercising also has other benefits for our health and helping with weight loss. Exercising can also support the control of blood sugar levels and the regulation of hormones in the body, which reduces cravings and helps you cut down on overeating. Strength training helps to build muscle mass, which can help to increase your body's metabolic rate. This means you are burning more calories, even when resting.
Lastly, research has shown that people who stick to an exercise routine are more likely to keep off the weight they have lost, so exercise has real long-term benefits.
Diet - Cutting Calories
There are countless types of diets that claim to help weight loss. However, it's vital to stick to a sensible eating plan and is not advisable to drastically cut your calorie intake. Skipping meals or crash dieting can be dangerous, and even if it does result in weight loss, the weight is much more likely to pile back on when you return to normal eating habits.
Generally speaking, it is often easier to create a calorie deficit by reducing the calories consumed rather than burning more calories. If we take the example used earlier about burning 300 calories by running for half an hour, many people could cut this number of calories from their diet just by cutting out a donut or muffin from their morning break. Although this takes a little willpower, it doesn’t take the time, effort and planning that the exercising does. For this reason, many people choose to follow a calorie-controlled diet.
Another option is to substitute standard food items for healthy options or diet foods. Zero Noodles Fettuccine, for example, are naturally high in dietary fiber and low in calories, sugars and fats. They're made from glucomannan flour, a natural source of dietary fiber. In addition to keeping you satisfied for longer, it can help to control blood sugar levels by slowing down how carbohydrates are absorbed.
Rather than just counting calories, it can be beneficial to control your consumption by focusing on whole foods that have not been highly processed, such as whole grains, vegetables, lean proteins and unsaturated "good" fats including fish, nuts and olive oil. By basing your diet on these healthy whole foods, it is usually possible to reduce your calorie intake naturally. Nutritious whole foods offer a range of benefits for general health and well-being as they are packed with vital nutrients.
There are many wide-ranging benefits to both an exercise regimen and a sensible eating plan. It is usually easier to ensure a calorie deficit by reducing calories, but we can see that diet and exercise both play an important role in weight loss. They are intertwined and cannot be looked at in isolation as exercise can affect the way we process our diet and our diet should contain vital nutrients to allow us to exercise.