Diet vs Exercise: Which is more important to lose weight, and improve your health?

Diet or Exercise? Which is best in order to become a healthier version of yourself? Although both can be used to lose weight, is one more efficient in order to reach your fitness goals? There’s many questions that have been asked regarding this topic so sit back and relax as you learn how they can both be used to get where you want to be!

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antioxidant-apples-blur-1128973.jpg“Diet is better…” “No exercise is better!”. Its a debate that commonly gets brought up in todays fitness society with many people having little to no scientific evidence to back up their findings. For the majority of people it leaves them in a confused state which can often lead them to doing something worse – nothing at all.
So what is it about this topic that causes so much confusion? First let me just educate you on one thing. The body needs energy. Fact. It uses and stores this energy in the form of a calorie. Who would have known that the numbers on the back of a cereal box actually mean something!? Higher calorie foods simply mean they’re higher in energy. Be careful though because if we are getting too much energy (calories) we store it as fat!
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Let’s look at the diet side of the debate. The argument is that it’s more efficient and easier to lose weight by focusing on cutting out calories. This makes a lot of sense in that a single pound of fat on your body contains 3500 calories. This means you need to lose 3500 calories on top of what you’re consuming in a day in order to lose a pound. Think of it like a teeter totter. If on one side you have all the food you’ve consumed in a day and its greater then the amount of calories you’re burning throughout the day then the food will weight you down (essentially causing weight gain).  On the contrary, if you want weight loss you need to be using more calories then you’re eating which forces the body to get energy from other sources (fat, muscle, and other energy storages). If you’ve ever been on a treadmill before and looked at how many calories you burned, it sounds very enticing to cut out that extra scoop of ice cream to save 200 calories vs get on a treadmill for 30 minutes to burn that same amount!
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On the other side of the debate you have people saying “Losing weight by creating a healthy lifestyle of daily exercise is more important”. They’re right this is also important. What good is losing weight if you’re still not strong enough to do activities such as climbing stairs, going for hikes, and carrying the groceries in from your car? By doing exercise and working out, you promote muscle growth and since you have more muscle (which burns more calories per pound than fat) you’re burning more calories throughout the day! Although both sides have very valid points, it depends on who you are in order to determine which you need to focus on. If you’ve spent your entire life eating the very best things for your body but have never stepped foot out of your house, the chances of you being able to go outside and do real physical activity (scary I know!) is slim to none! On the other hand if you are in the gym 4 days a week lifting till your body can lift no longer, but you’re drinking beer for breakfast, lunch and dinner the chances of you being healthy are also not likely. It is with a efficient combination of both that allows optimal health status. Through eating properly to obtain a healthy weight (which will take stress off your cardiovascular system), and working out to increase muscle strength you can have a body that will be able to handle most demands you place on it! Written by Andrew Blakey, Owner of Your Future Fitness References: Foster-Schubert, K., Alfano, C., Duggan, C., Xiao, L., Campbell, K., Kong, A., … McTiernan, A. (2012). Effect of diet and exercise, alone or combined, on weight and body composition in overweight-to-obese post-menopausal women. Obesity (Silver Spring, Md.)20(8), 1628–1638. http://doi.org/10.1038/oby.2011.76 Strasser, B., & Fuchs, D. (2016). Diet Versus Exercise in Weight Loss and Maintenance: Focus on Tryptophan. International Journal of Tryptophan Research : IJTR9, 9–16. http://doi.org/10.4137/IJTR.S33385 Wu, T., Gao, X., Chen, M., & Dam, R. M. (2009). Long-term effectiveness of diet-plus-exercise interventions vs. diet-only interventions for weight loss: A meta-analysis. Obesity Reviews, 10(3), 313-323. doi:10.1111/j.1467-789x.2008.00547.x Andrew Blakey | Owner & Trainer | Your Future Fitness | 705 606 0374 | Facebook.com/YourFutureFitnessTraining

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