It is no secret that dieting and exercise are the most effective tools to maintain one’s fitness. It also isn’t lost on my mind that people combine these two into a singular package that sportspersons follow strictly to keep their performances at A status and maintain that very desired consistency.
Scientific findings back the two; that, when combined and used well, it is a suitable tool to enhance the quality of life of the people and a good way to eradicate many lifestyle illnesses that haunt our very existence. For instance, when exercise and dieting are combined, illnesses such as diabetes will be low, heart complications, osteoporosis, skin conditions, liver and kidney disorders, obesity, and cancer will be on an all-time low.
I will, however, be clear here, undertaking exercises while dieting is not the ultimate prevention against illnesses. And when your doctor prescribes this, it does not mean that they will cure your condition. It is simply a way of mitigation and an added advantage on a person’s weapons. The main weapon is prevention. Otherwise, we cannot start to say that dieting will give you a way out; neither does exercising.
Having pointed out this, we must then answer the question before us; what is really more important between dieting and exercising? The clearest answer is that both are important.
And then one shall ask; what is more potent when a person wants to undertake a weight loss expedition? The clearest answer here is that dieting is more efficient when compared to exercising. But they yield a better result when used together.
Then someone else may ask again; if I want to gain lean muscles in my lower abdomen, or do I want to be fit and develop muscles, including enhancing the health of my heart? Similarly, the clearest answer would be both.
This article brings this discussion alive and explains some of the fundamental reasoning behind the assertions mentioned above. I will also shed more light on the variations one has to grapple with regarding general objectives, program commitments, time constrictions, resources, underlying health conditions, and more impeding factors that often make this discussion unclear and inconclusive.
Back to the first question, diet vs. exercise, what matters most?
My answer was, both are important. To further explain, it supremely depends on one’s goal. Therefore, if one seeks to lose weight, then dieting is more important. But, if you want to pack some muscles, then exercising is a little important.
Diet vs. exercise and weight loss.
Have you seen people who undertake regular exercises but are still overweight? Yes!
It is indeed true that exercising without discipline doesn’t guarantee healthy living. Discipline, in this case, refers to the kind of food you eat. For instance, if you consumed junk regularly, then no amount of exercising will cancel this action. The net effect will be a surplus of calories in your body. And if not burnt, these calories will be converted into fat.
Discipline may also be in terms of overeating and this is immaterial if your food is balanced or not. If the bottom line is that you are overeating, then there is an excess food supply in the body that can be used. This means it has to be broken down and converted into a storable form. So, glucose becomes glycogen, calories become stubborn fats, and saturated fats embed themselves in body organs and tissues. The overall result is obesity. And regardless of how much you exercise, you can never lose weight lest you return the discipline.
Secondly, excessive body fat and sugar have been proven to be responsible for certain body conditions such as insulin resistance, high blood pressure, and the accumulation of bad cholesterol. Now, exercise cannot counteract these effects. Yes, you may lose a few pounds, and yes, you may start feeling good about yourself, but the underlying effects of the fats remain unattended.
The best and surest way to tackle both sides is dieting.
It does not matter the type of diet you choose to enroll in. However, there’s one aspect of dieting that seems to work effectively to eliminate these underlying conditions, such as insulin resistance and alleviating inflammation. This is fasting.
Fasting is not only a spiritual element; it is also a social and a medical one. While some people fast to seek attention or fight for a cause, some do it as a medical intervention. And the latter has proven to work wonders.
In this segment, we have indicated that it is much easier to lose weight and remain healthy in the kitchen than in the gym. Practically, running 10 miles a day burns just 500 calories. Equally, burning a similar number of calories using dieting may be difficult to maintain. In the same way it is to run 10 miles every day, it is challenging to participate in a highly restrictive diet. You can easily develop an eating disorder.
Many will easily choose to diet when presented with a choice because of time constraints and the difficulty of beating that distance and doing it regularly. But what if you did not have to choose between the two? What if you did both, such that if your goal were to cut 500 calories, you’d then need 250 calories from the diet and 250 from the exercise?
Another point we need to review is the “common plateau period.” This is the period when you are not losing any calories. Essentially, when you begin your weight loss journey, your body offers some resistance. Instead of burning calories when dieting, your body enters a survival mode simulating starvation. This means instead of using the present calories in the body to produce energy; it automatically slows down your body’s metabolism.
Interestingly, the little food you eat is quickly converted and stored in anticipation of dire times ahead. The consequence here is that you won’t lose any weight during this period.
Speed up your metabolism
At this point is when exercises become invaluable. To enhance converting calories into fuel, you will need to be involved in extraneous activities such as workouts. So, diets are more important – we have established so; however, exercising is an important tool to enable your diet to work optimally. When combined, exercising and dieting seem to work seamlessly to help you achieve your weight loss goals.
80 diet 20 exercise theory
The secret to losing weight lies in creating many called caloric deficits in your body. This means that what you consume in calories is lower than what the body requires to burn as fuel.
From the above discussion, it is clear that it may not be easy to do this using either diet or exercise alone. Besides, to lose a pound of weight, one needs to burn 3500 calories. This means you need to lose at least 700 calories in a day to achieve this in a week.
It is much easier to achieve this number when you combine the two modes. And since we established that diet is more important, it takes the lion’s share of 80%, and the rest is taken up by exercising.
The 80% involves controlling what you consume. This means you only eat nutritious foods and the rest, such as your beloved pizza and fries, have to be abandoned. Say this helps you achieve a 450 – 500 calorie deficit in a day, and then add the 250 calories you burn exercising. This easily helps you to hit your daily target and even surpass.
Your whole weight loss campaign is pegged on your ability to control the energy balance equation in the bottom line. Whichever method you settle for, you will be assured of results; if, and only if, you burn more calories than you consume.
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