What is more effective – diet or exercise for weight loss?

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You have probably heard that in order to lose weight fast you need to combine exercises into your diet plan. Others have even gone to the extent of claiming that the 80:20 ratio stands to be the greatest factor in your weight loss process. Well, others still dispute this claim. You may still be asking. Is there a link between your diet and exercise in relation to your weight loss journey? You will discover how the two factors can greatly affect this process?

Will exercise alone help you lose weight?

Exercising alone while ignoring your diet is not a good strategy if you want to lose weight. The reason is very simple. In order to lose weight, your body needs to create what is called a calorific deficit. This is where your body is required to burn more calories than you consume. In other words, you need to eat fewer calories than your body uses every day.

To some individuals, exercise will just increase hunger. Thereby, making them eat more calories than they do burn during the workout. Therefore, if you cannot create this deficit then chances are high that you will not lose weight. Yes, exercises are great for your overall health, but doing them alone is not a good strategy for weight loss.

Exercise will not create a calorific deficit but the opposite

Doing exercise e.g running, for 1hr you may end up burning about 500 calories depending on your size.  Let us take a look at how much calories you consume every day. Accordingly, adults consume about 2000 calories per day. So ideally, 100% of the energy for your body comes from the food you consume. Additionally, you are just able to burn 10% -30% of that energy through physical exercises.

So what happens to the other say 70% that remains in your body? Your body uses some of that amount of energy to carry out various functions through your basal metabolic rate. Unfortunately, you have little control over how your body carries out these functions – to burn the calories. However, the good news is that you have full control over how many calories you put in your body.

Furthermore, if you are doing the wrong exercise and ignoring your diet then, this will just harden your weight loss process. Cardio exercises, in this case, will prove to be great. These include running, walking or biking. Furthermore, you will also need some weight-bearing exercises just to fuel your weight loss efforts.

What then will you get from exercises?

You need to understand that exercises are incredibly great for your health, be it mental, physical, emotional or just the overall wellbeing. They will give you a healthier body, healthier heart and is also a great way to fight off obesity-related illnesses.

However, the effects of exercise on your weight loss varies among different people. Others have lost some weight over time, others do exercise in order to maintain their weights, while others have even reported a weight gain. However, those who actually gain weight, usually gain muscle, instead of fat.

Exercise may increase your hunger levels

Exercise may lower levels of ghrelin, in a short period. Ghrelin is a ‘hunger hormone’ which stimulates appetite, increases food intake and promotes fat storage. While raising levels of peptide YY. Peptide YY is a hormone that helps to reduce appetite and limit food intake. Its secretion is stimulated by the presence of food in the digestive tract, particularly fat and protein.

How hunger levels are increased?

As good as it may be, this satiating effect normally ends after about an hour after your work out, and guess what? Your body now turns to crave the energy it used up. So, before you know it, more calories are pumped in. In fact, more than what was used during your workout. Women tend to give in more to this body demand as compared to men. So, exercise may make you overestimate the number of calories you have burned and tend to reward yourself with food. This can prevent weight loss and as a result, will even lead to weight gain in some instances.

Generally, your appetite is more likely to improve after several days of exercise, not just after one day. In addition, physical activity will influence several processes in your body that stimulate hunger. These activities include increase in metabolic rate, muscle mass, and changes in hormone production. Furthermore, exercises will leave you dehydrated.This may signal to the body that you are hungry.

Is diet alone (without exercise) ideal for weight loss?

Yes, experts have indicated that it is possible to lose weight with diet alone. Although exercise is in most cases an important component. It is possible to diet for weight loss, but you will only be healthy and fit if you combine this with a good exercise plan.

diet withut exercise will give yield you effective weight loss results

Remember weight loss involves many factors such as environment, behavior change, physical activity including your diet. Reducing calories in your diet has proven to be the best strategy and an effective way for most people to lose weight. Working out stimulates the growth of those metabolic tissues. Therefore, weight loss through exercise will mean you are burning mostly fat.

Eat smart

Make sure you are aware of what you are feeding your body. Usually, weight loss is generally 80 percent diet and 20 percent exercise. However, it is much easier to cut calories from your diet than it is to burn them off. Imagine it will take you about three hours to burn a total of 2,000 calories with more intense exercises. Well, that quite a lot of time.

So, how do you eat smart? You need to be striving for a more balanced diet plan that focuses on lean proteins, fruits, veggies, and whole grain carbs. Although low-carb diets may be the most popular and offer the fastest results, they can be difficult to sustain. In addition, do not cut calories too low. This will cause your metabolism to be slow, and instead, you can start losing muscle mass.

You need to create a specific energy deficit for weight loss to happen, although it is not as easy as it seems. How do you do that?  You need to burn a little more (or eat a little less) than your body requires. Thus, the sum total of calories burned during exercise, non-exercise activity, and basal metabolic rate need to be more than the calories consumed through food to produce weight loss.

You need for example a calorie deficit of 3500 calories per week to lose one pound of fat. If you create a calorie deficit of 500 calories per day, you will reach a total deficit of 3500 calories per week. Then that way, you should be able to lose weight no matter how much you exercise.

Why exercise and diet will quicken your weight loss when combined

Eating a low-fat, low-calorie diet and getting regular exercise helps shed pounds. However, when it comes to losing weight and body fat, diet and exercise are most effective when done together as compared to when they are being done separately.

One study involving women was carried out to determine which one was more effectiveness between exercises alone, diet alone or both methods combined.

Well, at the end of the intervention, it was discovered that women in the exercise-only group lost, on average, 2.4 percent of their starting weight (with a mean weight loss of 4.4 pounds). While diet only category of women lost an average of 8.5 percent (with a mean weight loss of 15.8 pounds). However, women who changed their diet as well as exercised regularly achieved the greatest weight loss. These women shed an average of 10.8 percent of their starting weight (with a mean weight loss of 19.8 pounds). In addition, two-thirds of the women in this group achieved the study goal of losing at least 10 percent of their starting weight.

In addition, the study further revealed that Body-mass index, waist circumference and percentage of body fat were also significantly reduced among the three intervention groups. The women who were assigned to the non-intervention control group, who did not change their diet or activity level, on average lost less than a pound; it was a statistically insignificant decrease.

How to exercise and diet

Accordingly, the study revealed that you get quick weight loss results by combining a healthy weight-loss diet plan ( i.e. reducing calories by cutting fat intake and boosting the consumption of low-calorie foods) with regular moderate or intense aerobic exercise.

In addition to promoting weight loss and preventing weight gain over time, regular exercise such as walking, biking or gym cardio machines helps with balance, strength and fitness. Exercise is great for your overall health as it can prolong your life too. So, just start them slowly say 30 minutes and gradually, increase to 45 minutes or 1 hour of activity a day, or more if you are able.

Eating smart will also mean taking care of your servings. Prepare your meals so that you are aware of how much you are consuming each day. Avoid eating out at restaurants. Be in control of your meals so that you stay health and safe.

Pick a good diet and an ideal exercise plan for quick weight loss

Accordingly, many people who try to exercise for weight loss without any kind of diet plan end up failing. This is because they continue eating the same way they did before they started their fitness journey. As a body starts to lose weight and become more efficient, it needs different nutrient levels to thrive. Many people start to burn more calories, but then eat more to compensate for how much they have lost through exercise. As a result, they actually fail to lose weight. They also eat the wrong types of foods, either providing their body with types of fuel that encourage burning muscle, instead of burning fat or providing their body with easier-to-burn sugars that leave their fat deposits entirely untouched. Furthermore, understanding these tips will greatly help you achieve your weight loss goal fast.


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