Should You Focus More On Diet Or Exercise To Lose Weight?

Time for another “battle”, so to speak. A lot of people want to lose weight but have always been given different advice. Eat this, don’t eat this, exercise this way, don’t exercise that way, etc. Here at Granite Fitness, our stance is crystal clear – you need a strong psychology, a good diet and a workout plan to succeed.

But today we will be doing something different. We will meander from our targeted approach philosophy for a while and check out what gives when it comes to diet vs exercise. Truth of the matter is that some people have to take one step at a time, and so today’s short post will determine which route to take.

Of the two changes, it is generally more accepted that diet is more important than activity levels, as found by a recent study of 300 Americans. The reason given for this is because the body is very adaptable and can become more efficient at expending energy. This is why we are always told to vary our workouts.


Professor Pontzer, the academic from the City University of New York who did the research commented that people who were moderately active tend to expend the same amount of calories as those who are very active. This was, of course, a surprising finding that goes against the mainstream of what we had always accepted.

While these findings might support our commonly accepted idea, Pontzer warns us not to solely focus on our diet at the expense of exercise. His reasoning behind this is that exercise is extremely important to keep our bodies and mind healthy. Isn’t this a little different from what us regular people view as the motivation to work out?

This message is also shared by nutrition coaches worldwide. You’d be hard-pressed to find a nutrition coach that has a bad thing to say about exercising. In fact, they will often say that it is complementary. After all, we, as humans are actually meant to be moving around. Our bodies are, as one expert aptly put, the only machines that function better when used lots.


Nutritionist Dr Scott-Dixon has used an analogy for this. He says that “Diet and exercise are like the heart and lungs. Each one benefits from the other,” further emphasizing that by asking us to “Think about your diet as a way to fuel the amazing machine that is your body. Every food choice you make is an opportunity to repair, replenish, take care of, and add value to your body.”

Physiologically, we are all different. Some people do get hungrier if they move around a lot. I know I tend to fall into this category. Others, however, get less hungry when they move more. Lucky buggers. To make things even more complex, different movements trigger different responses in different people – it is most definitely not a one-size-fits-all blanket rule.

Ultimately, the best thing to do is to know yourself and how your body reacts to stimulus. In the meantime, if you are able, do engage in both diet and exercise. You would do well to also not shun rest, stress relief and getting a strong psychology going to tide you through the mentally challenging bits. The Granite Fitness Masterclass covers them all.

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