Diet or Exercise? What’s more important for your weight loss journey?

We’re sure you’ve heard the phrase “you can’t out-exercise a bad diet.  It’s got some truth to it, but you might be wondering which is more important for your health goals like losing weight or improving your heart health: diet or exercise?

There are so many different health interventions out there, like the 80/20 rule or diets that don’t require exercise, that it can be hard to figure out which one you should be focusing on. In this article, we’ll take a look at the benefits of both diet and exercise and help you figure out which one is more important for your health.

The Benefits of Diet

When it comes to losing weight, both diet and exercise are important. However, it’s easier to control how many calories you consume by adjusting your diet than it is to burn off a lot of calories through exercise.

This is why many people follow the 80/20 rule, which says that weight loss is 80% based on your diet and 20% based on exercise. For instance, if you want to cut 500 calories from your daily intake, you could eat 400 fewer calories by choosing lower-calorie foods, smaller portions, and fewer snacks.

Then, you only need to burn off 100 calories through exercise. This is much easier than trying to burn off 500 calories every day through exercise, which can be time-consuming, hard on the body, and not sustainable. A simple way to manage calorie intake and support weight loss without counting calories is to eat whole, unprocessed foods that are rich in fiber, protein, and healthy fats.

The Benefits of Exercise

Exercise is a great way to support weight loss.

Strength training can help build and preserve muscle mass, which can boost your metabolic rate and help your body burn more calories even when you’re not active. Additionally, one session of strength training can increase your metabolic rate for up to 72 hours.

Aerobic exercises such as walking, jogging, or cycling can burn a lot of calories in one session and help you create a calorie deficit.

Exercise can also help manage hunger by regulating your hunger hormones, but too much exercise can increase your appetite and injury risk. Regular physical activity can also allow you to have more flexibility with your diet, making weight loss more enjoyable and less restrictive.

So, which one to pick? Diet or Exercise?

To achieve healthy, long-term weight loss and management, it’s important to use both diet and exercise. Studies have shown that combining modest calorie restriction and exercise is the best way to achieve significant weight loss. In fact, combining both led to over five times more weight loss compared to exercising alone.

Another study found that weight loss programs that included both diet and exercise had significantly greater weight loss results than interventions based on changes to either diet or exercise alone. Ultimately, combining dietary changes and regular exercise can help you achieve more meaningful and sustainable weight loss in the long run.

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