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Exercise vs. Diet: Which Is More Important for Weight Loss?
To stay healthy, the best formula that anyone can apply in their life is to eat healthy and stay active. This is one of the first suggestions that would come your way when you start your journey to weight loss. However those who recommend this did not keep the practical considerations in mind while giving you these tips.
Yes it’s true, you cannot rely alone on exercising to lose weight and similarly you cannot lose weight just by following a strict diet. But there has always been a debate that what is more important exercising or dieting? Scroll over as we look into what should be more important to you during your journey to losing weight:
1. Talk About Calories
According to most of the experts and physical fitness trainers, weight loss and weight gain revolves around calories consumed and calories burnt. This means we lose weight when eat less calories than we spend and we gain weight when we eat more calories than we spend. Thus to lose weight you need eat lesser calories and burn off more calories. Interestingly to lose 1 pound in a week, a person will either need to reduce his/her intake of food or beverages by 500 calories a day with no physical activity or will need to run 3.5 miles every day without cutting down on his/her diet. The result achieved by both the actions will be same but then we are not living utopia world where all this can be easily achieved.
2. Calories Get Burned Even When We Do Not Exercise
Fitness expert Dr. John Briffa analysed a study where the subjects were given instructions to follow exercise regime with no dietary interventions. The group was divided in two sections, additional exercise group and no additional exercise group (controlled group). The women in exercise group were instructed to exercise for 45 minutes a day -5 times a week for 1 year. There were changes in diet for both the groups. After an year, it was observed exercise group lost 2.2 kgs of fat. This means this group required to give in 178.5 minutes a week to exercises ad when you multiply with 52 weeks and divide it 60 to convert in hours, it turned out that on an average each woman spent 77 hours to lose 1 kg of weight. Thus to lose just 1 kg of weight, 77 hours of moderate exercising is not something very impressive.
3. Exercise Focused Weight Loss Programmes Yield Low Efficacy
We must keep in mind that calorie expenditure due to physical exercise is much lesser than the calories we spend by just staying alive. Even in state of no activity, our body keeps using calories at the “resting metabolic rate”. In addition to that calories get burnt in the process of digestion as the food first gets absorbed by the body and then gets digested. This is termed as “Thermic Effect Of Food”. Another reason why calories keep getting burned is through fidgeting, that is “Non Exercise Adaptive Thermogenesis”. As you get out of bed and do your daily routine works, you spend another 10 % of your calories. Thus even without exercising you are already burning a lot of calories, in fact adding exercise in the routines will only bring a small difference in your total caloric expenditure. However this does not mean you should not exercise at all.
4. People Over Estimate Calories In VS Calories Out
This is a common tendency among all individuals to overestimate their calories out as they feel that even from a small workout they have burned off a lot of calories. Similarly while consuming food, they under estimate that they have hardly consumed in extra calories. Thus one needs to be very conscious about what they are eating and how much they are eating and how they will get their calorie count correctly.
5. Incorporating Diet And Exercise
An obesity expert, Dr. Yoni Freedhoff says that people struggle more in kitchen than in the gym. Working out in gym everyday for 30 minutes or more, going for walks or jogging or parking car away from place, all this is lot easier than packing up a healthy meal for lunch in the kitchen or maintaining a food diary. According to Dr. Freedhoff “this is basically because we don’t get endorphin rushes by chopping vegetables”.
6. Watch Out For What You Eat
Dr Freedhoff says, a person should be willing to look into what he or she is eating. A self introspection will help by asking yourself, “could I live like this forever” and if the answer is “no” you will need to change something up”. You need to keep a track on what you eat. He also adviced to spend 2 to 3 minutes on your food diary every day, this will surely give better results than hitting the gym. He further points out that you should not expect to see results in a few days, imagine your weight loss as martial art training, where in you cannot just join in and get black belt.
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