Diet or Exercise: the ultimate finding on what is best for Weight Loss

Here's what science and dietitians rely on the talk between diet and exercise—and that ought to be your biggest priority for weight loss.

Diet or Exercise: the ultimate finding on what is best for Weight Loss

You’ve listened to it over and over again: Diet and exercise are the key units to a healthy weight. As it turns out, though, one is far more important than the other. If you would like to drop pounds, focusing on food is your best bet. It’s additionally one of the things doctors want you to know regarding losing weight.

Diet is more important for weight loss, period.

Despite the constant message to burn fat and calories away at the gym, those that solely change their diets, lose additional weight than people who only increase physical activity, according
to a report in the journal Systematic Reviews. In fact, another study in the journal Peer J found that over three years, people who got 30 minutes or more of physical activity a day had higher rates of weight gain than those who exercised less. So why gym time isn't the miracle weight-loss machine we have been led to believe?

Basically, it's way easier to avoid calories in the 1st place than to burn them, says registered nutritionist Marjorie Nolan MS, RDN, interpreter for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Working off a 100calorie cookie is one thing, but it will take hours at the gym to burn 1,200 calories from a burger and fries. “You can not exercise off a weekend of terrible eating,” says Nolan Cohn. Committing to a 30-minute workout program? Easy enough. Turning your entire eating plan on its head? Not so much.

You can not out-exercise a poor diet.

If you do not pay attention to your food amount, you might eat more after a new workout routine, says Nolan Cohn. Not only your appetite will increase naturally from the energy burn, but you also might slack off on healthy food choices. “There’s this idea that you have earned it to eat something because you have worked out,” says Nolan Cohn. “It winds up holding people back.” Half an hour on the treadmill may blast away 300 calories, but just one slice of pizza could totally negate that hard work and then some. This energy to calorie ratio is partly why you will flatten your belly without doing a single crunch.
You might have heard that muscles weigh more than fats. That’s true, but it does not mean you should claim the bigger number on the scale is all muscle. “That is a few pounds, not 20 or 30 pounds,” says Nolan Cohn. “It is not an excuse for weight gain.” If you have been exercising without results, you should blame your diet.

The most benefits come from both diet and exercise.

Still, do not cancel your gym membership. A systematic review of studies found that pairing diet with exercise was more successful for weight-loss than diet or exercise alone. Researches show that focusing on both led to better results or sticking healthy habits, which explains why people who double up are more likely to maintain weight loss after one year. And another study found that almost 40% of people who managed their weight loss after four or five years were still doing 150 minutes of exercise per week.

Plus, exercise does not just burn calories and build muscles it boosts endorphins too, says Nolan Cohn. “It improves feelings of positivity and accomplishment,” she says. “When you combine those forces, it reinforces losing the weight and keeping it off.” Weight maintenance is the beginning when it comes to reasons to exercise. Studies have linked physical activity to every kind of other health benefits, from heart health, immune system function, mental health to sleep improvements. There are so many subtle but powerful health benefits of exercise, other than weight loss. “The list just never ends,” says Nolan Cohn. So if you only want to do one, chancing your diet is more valuable. To live your healthiest life, however, you will want a combination of both diet and exercise.