Diet and exercise are the main pillars of weight loss. However, you might have heard the saying, “You can’t out-run a bad diet.” This means if you workout for two hours a day but do not follow a healthy diet, be sure that ain’t nothing good happening to your body, dearie!
Then how should the approach towards weight loss be? The topic to ponder here is not HOW but WHAT you should choose to help you lose weight. What is essential to achieve positive health goals and weight loss outcomes? Diet or physical training?
Diet Or Workout – What Works Best For Weight Loss?
Diet and physical training are the pillars that translate into effective weight loss. Without following both, shedding extra weight is only a dream.
The body requires food for everyday functioning, but when you perform endurance training or weight lifting exercises, it craves food even more. In this scenario, if you can’t make rational food choices, you will not be able to lose weight. Hence, even experts say diet is the most important when focusing on losing weight.
And the only way to lose weight is when you are in a caloric deficit.
There are two ways in which you can achieve a calorie deficit:
Consuming lesser calories than you burn
Burning more calories than you consume
But think about this, can you exercise for more than one and a half to two hours straight? No right? Excessive exercising is strenuous and requires a lot of time and energy. And not to forget, it will also make you more hungry, thus leading to higher calorie consumption.
Considering this, the diet has a more prominent role in the weight loss routine than exercise. To explain why diet is what your focus should be on, let’s look at the below reasons.
Three Reasons Why You Should Focus On Diet Than Physical Training
Even though diet and exercise are essential for weight loss, let’s understand from the below reasons why diet is more important than physical training for weight loss.
1. Easier To Create A Calorie Deficit With A Diet
It’s easier to manage your intake of calories by following a diet plan than to burn more calories by exercising. How? The ideal workout duration for strength training is 45 – 60 minutes and for the cardio-based workout is 30 – 60 minutes per session. However, the exercise burns off only 8-12% of the total calories burned, while the food consumed accounts for 100% of the energy consumed. This means that the weight loss regimen won’t significantly change even with increased workout duration.
So how to achieve weight loss, you ask? The best is to minimise 500 calories from your daily intake by eating lower calorie dishes, smaller portions, and fewer snacks. In addition, you can use cardio as a way to help reach this 500-calorie deficit, and a recumbent elliptical for home use can be a great workout option.
- Proper Diet Facilitates Muscle Building And Fat Loss (With The Proper Workout, Of Course!)
Having spoken about the importance of diet in the first point, it is not that exercise is not helpful at all. It is! Strength training helps to preserve and build muscles.
But, if you only exercise and do not consume proteins, no amount of strength training you do will cause your muscles to pump up. In fact, you would lose out on body muscle stores to support the workout. Hence, exercise is a close second to weight loss, making the diet the alpha. Sometimes, with all the processed foods we consume, we need to look for the best low-sodium protein powders to help us meet our daily protein needs.
- A Correct Diet Is Fuel For Exercise
Imagine a car running without fuel. Can they work? No right? Well, the same applies to our bodies. Food is our fuel. Exercising effectively and achieving the weight loss goals is impossible without the proper caloric intake, energy, and nutrients in your body.
Unfortunately, many people misunderstand the concept of a good diet and stop consuming food altogether and call it ‘dieting’. That is incorrect; you need to focus on eating whole foods that are not processed and high in fibre, along with good quality proteins and healthy fats, to follow a good workout regime.
So, in addition to the diet, strength training with a minimum of 15 minutes of moderate cardio exercise 3 times a week can help you reach your goal. If going to the gym daily is tough, consider investing in the best folding elliptical for your home. This will ensure you get in a workout even on dull days.
While you may be tempted to pick between either diet or workout, remember they are two sides of the same coin. So following a healthy and active lifestyle will help you reach your fitness goals.
Name: Khushali Shah
Occupation: Co-owner of healthyandkhush.com
Hi, I’m Khushali. I have struggled with weight loss my whole life. Having lost over 25kgs in the last few years, I have learnt a thing or 2 about weight loss and healthy living. I love to share science based tips and hacks that have worked for me through my blogs.