We all know the simple formula for weight loss:
- Working out + Dieting right
And there’s no doubt that a combination of both is the key to weight loss, fitness and health, but if we had to choose between theese two what should we go with?
Yes, we should all eat healthier and yes, we should exercise daily.
But can we choose one of them, when we know they’re both crucial for our well being?
Well, we shouldn’t do that for sure, but if we had to make that choice and we put these two against each other, one surely leaves us with more results than the other.
So, today I’ll guide you through the facts leading to the truth about what’s more important diet or workout.
Let’s get started!
Basics On Calories and Energy
It’s been known since forever that if you want to lose weight you should eat fewer calories than you expend.
So, a common sense rule would be:
Eat whatever you want, as long as you make sure to burn the calories afterwards.
But, it turns out it’s not that simple.
Our body is more complex than that and it’s not all about that simple equation:
Calories in vs. Calories out.
A Calorie Is Not A Calorie
Every calorie is a calorie, same as every pound is a pound, but what’s inside that calorie is what really matters.
What’s important is actually the biochemical reaction, that one calorie causes when it’s processed by our body.
And the fact is not every calorie causes the same biochemical reaction in the body.
There’s data nowadays that shows us not all calories are the same.
You can lose weight if you eat fewer calories than you burn, but if you get your calories out of sugar loaded energy bars, soda drinks and processed foods you’ll end up with no results.
That’s why so many girls nowadays are struggling to lose weight – they don’t know what’s actually healthy food.
And I have to agree it’s pretty hard, with all those “diet” labeled products on the market that are not actually promoting weight loss – but that’s another chapter :)
Some calories cause weight gain, obesity and diabetes, while other promote weight loss, health and well being.
So, no, you can’t rely on that simple “rule” that you can burn whatever you’ll get inside you.
It’s more complex than that.
Calories Burned Through Exercise Are Relatively Small
The truth is:
Exercise is just a tiny component in our daily energy use.
We spend most of our calories daily by just staying alive.
Our body spends most of the energy on the daily activities we all do, called the “resting metabolism”.
That’s actually the amount of energy your body burns just for its basic functioning, to keep you alive.
Also, a small amount of energy is used to process the food we eat called food breakdown.
And last, physical activity that accounts to only 10-30% of the daily energy use.
This means that even though you’re in control of all the calories you intake in your body, only 10-30% of your calories out can be in your control.
This is where the “20% workout 80% diet” saying actually comes from, since looking at the bigger picture, adding exercise barely makes a dent in this overall caloric expenditure.
This doesn’t mean that exercise is not important, in fact exercise is probably the one single best thing you can do for your health.
But if we looked it up from a caloric point of view, studies shows that exercise does not help us burn that many calories and lose that much weight, when done alone.
Workout Increases Appetite
The more you workout the more hungry you are – and that’s a fact!
And this is a good thing if you’re on a healthy diet, since by eating more of the macronutrients, vitamins and minerals, you’ll feel better, look better and have more energy for the daily activities. But, if you’re using workout as your only weight loss weapon – not so much.
You’ll end up loading up with more calories that you won’t be able to burn in the gym.
You’ll just run in a circle not being able to lose weight or get healthy.
So What Should We Choose?
I hope you never have to choose between these two, since they’re both SO good for you!
But if you do want to choose, I’ll suggest you to go with diet.
You cannot out train a bad diet and that’s a fact.
If you’re constantly relying on malnutrition, sugars and junks and hope to burn them all with a one hour visit to the gym – you’re wrong.
There’s no point in working on your ab muscles while you’re feeding them with fat on daily basis – they’ll never come out.
They won’t come out without exercising them either, but it will be easier to pop them out.
Exercise is still the best thing you can do for yourself, if followed up with a healthy diet.
I was exercising for 3 years before I finally managed to get my abs (and all of the other muscles) out, since they were hiding behind the walls of fat I built myself with wrong food choices, while I thought I was doing everything right.
That’s why I am working on my first e-book on learning healthy food.
With so much misleading info out there is so hard to decide what’s right and what’s wrong, so I’ll help you to make a better self.
I’ll help you learn every single thing about healthy food and nutrition along side with some pretty simple and delicious fitness recipes!
So don’t forget to subscribe, to get it in your inbox FIRST!