Why is Diet More Important than Exercise?

So you want to lose weight and have finally decided to put words into action. Good for you! Should you start with altering your diet or exercising. In an ideal world, you’ll be able to do both. But hypothetically, what if you could only start with one or the other? To discuss this topic, we have invited another health expert Samantha Olivier from Ripped.Me to share her thoughts and analysis on this guest post. Here goes:

“If you want or have ever wanted to lose weight, you’ve probably heard much advice, from eat this, not that, to you should try this diet, not that one, but the first was almost certainly to do more exercise. People assume that all you need to do in order to shed some pounds is to move more – regardless of the food you eat.

Although it may even sound logical, it’s not the best advice you could’ve gotten. Diet is the real key to weight loss. In fact, you can shed all the excess pounds you need to, simply by adjusting your diet, without any exercise in the mix. A clean and balanced diet will do miracles for your weight loss, that you can only further improve with physical activity. In fact, there is quite a difference between a diet tailored to those who do not exercise at all, and those who engage in different kinds of physical activity. Here’s what you need to know, and some useful advice on how to adjust your lifestyle and diet to achieve your fitness goals.


Weight loss is all about calories

Anatomically, your weight is dictated by calories and how many you consume and spend, so it’s important to understand this basic principle. Long story short: if you eat more calories than you spend, you will gain weight, but if you eat less calories than you spend, you will lose weight. It’s that simple. So, if your diet stays the same, you’ll need to have one very sweaty and serious workout a day to start seeing some results, or merely reduce your calorie intake in the amount 500 calories and you’ll see the same results. It’s much easier to cut one chocolate bar and one Starbucks frappucchino than spend an hour at the gym.

This does of course not mean that you can eat whatever you want. Eating 2000 calories worth of burgers and pizza will get you nowhere fast. While you may be eating the right number of calories, you will not provide your body with enough nutrients, and will only load it up with empty calories. What you need to be going for is a set number of calories, coming from healthy foods – fruits, vegetables, nuts, lean meat, fish, etc. There are numerous resources you can turn to in order to craft a meal plan which will aid you in achieving any goals you have. Don’t think that a healthy meal needs to taste bad – there are numerous recipes you can try, which will both taste great and which will help you stay on track with your calorie count.

Exercise makes you hungry

Once you start going to the gym, you will subconsciously eat more calories. Exhaustion after a strenuous workout causes your appetite to increase and your metabolism to get faster, so you will inevitably want to eat more. You’ll need more calories for a good fat-blasting workout that lasts an hour, than for standing behind the stove preparing a healthy and clean meal for an hour. So consequentially, you’ll end up eating more food than before. And on top of that, it’ll seem that you’ve burned 1000 calories in an hour and then you’ll want to reward yourself with some pizza and a coke and some ice cream for dessert. If you are going to include an exercise program in your weight loss efforts – you will need to tailor your diet accordingly. You will need fuel for the effort, and not just any kind of fuel.

To avoid gaining weight instead of losing it, make a strict dietary plan that you will stick to no matter the mileage on the treadmill. Yes, you will get exhausted, yes, you will get hungry. If you feel like you need some additional help, you can use weight loss supplements, but don’t expect them to do miracles. The combination of a clean diet and regular physical activity will do the miracles you are hoping for. Avoid the shortcuts – they may get you where you want to be, but these results will most likely be only short lived.


Don’t neglect exercise altogether

Don’t think exercise is completely useless when it comes to weight loss, it’s only ineffective if you don’t combine it with a clean diet. If you eat healthy, and most of all in accordance with your exercise regime, and regularly do some exercise, you will certainly speed up weight loss. This will only show in the long run, not if you wish to lose some pounds quickly (which you shouldn’t do anyway.)

Exercise on the other hand has other benefits for your body. Studies show that being physically active strengthens your heart and stops cardiovascular and pulmonary problems from occurring, and also strengthens your musculoskeletal system. It can reduce the risk of diabetes, increased blood pressure and cholesterol. It also has many psychological benefits, since it boosts the production of your body’s happy hormones, alleviates depression and improves self-esteem, and you will be a positive role-model for your family and friends. You will not feel exhausted forever – you will soon start to feel more energized and more motivated, which will in turn have a positive impact on the rest of your life. And to be honest, you’ll sleep like a baby, which will again boost your efforts both in the gym and outside it.

When you do decide to dedicate your time to losing weight, you have to keep in mind that nothing will happen overnight and without effort. Statistics show that as many as 80 percent of people who lose weight only with diet return to their prior weight in 2 years. So, long term success is guaranteed if you combine a proper diet with physical activity. You will not only lose weight, but you’ll be a happier and healthier person. Luckily, you are able to choose from a wide variety of workout programs and diets to match, so you will no doubt find one that will suit you like a glove.”

So there we go – information straight from the expert. Don’t forget to check out Ripped.Me by clicking on the image below. Cheers!


Also published on Medium.

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