Is Exercise More Important Than Diet for Weight Loss?
Diet and exercise are the two cornerstones of an effective weight loss plan. Without them, shedding kilos can only be a distant dream. But out of the two which one do you think will have more weightage when it comes to losing weight? Have you ever found yourself thinking “I exercise, so I can eat anything I want” or “I eat healthy, so I don’t need to exercise?”
What the study says?
According to a study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. As part of the study, researchers from Arizona State University in the United States enlisted 81 overweight women to join a fitness programme.
During the three-month long study, the women engaged in treadmill workouts three times a week, but their eating habits were not monitored.
Three months later, 70% of the women gained some fat mass during the programme, despite their increased activity.
While the study could not conclude the exact reasons for the weight gain, researchers believe that the participants who gained weight consumed more food and increased their calorie intake. This was because they believed that they had burned enough kilocalories to justify the extra food
Research shows that you don’t have to hit the gym for hours at a time to see the benefits of exercise. Frequent shorter sessions (10 minutes, two to three times per day) of moderate-intensity activity offer similar health benefits as longer sessions at the gym. Adding variety to your exercise routine will help you stay motivated, see results and not get bored.
A well-rounded routine should include cardio exercise (for heart health), resistance training (for strength), functional-fitness training (for balance) and stretching (for flexibility). But don’t just stop at the recommended 30 minutes a day, the amount of time you sit matters, too. Avoid a sedentary lifestyle by getting up and moving periodically throughout the day.
Research has shown that in addition to helping with sustained weight loss, exercise can have several other positive effects on our lives, including decreased risk for chronic disease (think heart disease, cancer and diabetes), effects of stress and high blood pressure. Regular exercise can also help with weight control, strength, sex drive, self-esteem and body image, and improve sleep. Exercise has also been shown to improve brain health with improvements in memory and learning.
You are what we eat
When it comes to weight loss, what you eat matters. It’s clear that you need to restrict calories in your diet to lose weight, but not all calories are created equal. Calories from sugar promote fat storage and hunger. Ever try to satisfy your hunger with a candy bar, only to be hungry again a short time later and eat more? Calories from fat and protein help you feel full longer.
The total number of calories you burn for energy each day is your total daily energy expenditure. In order to lose weight, the amount of calories you burn should be higher than your calorie intake.
By eating the same amount while exercising more, a sustainable energy deficit (where the calories consumed are less than calories burnt) can be created. Regular exercise can also help increase your metabolic rate so you’ll burn those calories a lot more efficiently.
Just a daily energy deficit of 500 to 1,000 kcal will allow you to lose between 0.5 kg to 1 kg per week. So if your daily calorie intake is about 1,500, you should try to burn around 2,000 to 2,500 calories a day through your daily activities, if you are looking to lose some excess fat and weight.
Make Good Food Choices
Your diet is very crucial. Keep in mind My Healthy Plate guidelines: fill a quarter of your plate with wholegrains, a quarter with proteins, and the remaining half with the recommended two servings of fruits and vegetables per day for a well-balanced meal.
Once your meals are settled, it is time to work up a sweat by engaging in regular exercise.
Exercise and diet are both important for long-term weight loss and your overall health, even if weight management is not your goal, there are also many health benefits to a well-balanced diet and regular physical activity. Find ways to include daily activity and healthier food choices in your life. For the best success, start slow and increase gradually. Do consult your doctor before starting any exercise regime, and practise caution when exercising. Remember, safety first!