Keeping a watch on calories through dietary changes seems to promote weight loss more effectively than physical exercises. But, what really works – diet or exercise?
Working out enough and eating right is not always possible. Like a healthy diet, physical activity is equally important for weight management. Eliminating calories through diet rather than exercise is considered an easier option. But if you want the weight-loss edge, doing both (cutting calories and exercising) becomes crucial.
Diet vs Exercise
Consuming less calories so that you burn more seems to be the direct route to manage your body weight. For those who want to lose a few kilos, it is relatively easier to trim 500 calories from the diet than spending an hour in the gym to do the same.
Researchers at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina studied 14 earlier trials that assigned overweight and obese youth to a diet and exercise program or a diet-only intervention. These programs lasted between six weeks to six months. They found that changing diet, improving diet, reducing calories is enormously important for weight loss both in kids and adults. It also underlined the fact that exercise is important too, but we sometimes overemphasize how important exercise is.
There are several things that dieting can do and exercising cannot. But, the difficult part for most people is to do dieting, for they find it much harder to change their eating habits than to get up and jog. Another problem lies in the execution; exercise is simple but diet is difficult to execute.
The Bottom Line
The bottom line is that you need to do both. Physical activity is important too but nowhere close to the diet. For example, you may be optimally active for weight management but physical activities can never make up for the damage done by an incorrect diet.
Moreover, unhealthy eating practice will have a detrimental effect on your health. If we have to choose between diet and exercise for weight management, diet appears to outweigh exercise and comes a clear winner.
Dieting can only help you lose or manage weight. But, if you want well toned arms, six-pack abs and tight calf muscles, you will need to hit the gym. Eating fruits, veggies and dairy products won’t help in toning the muscles.
If you’re seriously considering weight management, diet should be your utmost concern. Watch out for calories and macro-nutrients. Ascertain that you stay in a caloric deficit. When eating packaged foods or drinks, read the nutrition facts (calorie labels).