What’s more important for weight loss: what you eat or how you exercise? The truth is a combination of both.
Have you ever heard someone tell you that weight loss is 100% diet? Or that exercise is critical if you want to lose weight? Like most things in health and fitness, such extreme views aren’t completely true. The facts lie somewhere in the middle.
Diet for weight loss
To lose weight, you need to create a calorie deficit. And that’s where diet comes in useful. You can create a calorie deficit but increasing your energy output (through exercise or every day activity). But many people find it easier, more practical, and less time consuming to create a deficit by eating a little less.
To use diet for weight loss, eat fewer calories than your body needs. Remember to take into account your BMR and your activity and exercise needs.
Exercise for weight loss
Exercise is a useful part of the weight loss equation. It gives you another tool for creating the calorie deficit. Not everyone wants to eat less in order to lose weight. And people who are small or light have minimal calorie requirements. For these dieters, the idea of cutting too many calories will result in a very small food intake. Add in some exercise instead, and you can keep your calorie deficit in place but still eat a reasonable amount of food.
The best combination of diet and exercise
Pair up diet (to control your “calories in”) and exercise (for more “calories out”) for the best approach to weight loss. Let’s say you need to create a 500 calorie deficit every day (your personal number will vary). You could do this by reducing your calories by 250, and expending an extra 250 through activity. All activity counts. It doesn’t need to be a workout class or gym session.