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If you’re training your guts out for weight loss you’re doing it all wrong! We ask the question: Exercise Versus Diet?
According to the latest scientific research, exercise won’t help you lose much weight at all.
For years now, exercise and physical exertion has been championed as the most effective vehicle for driving pronounced weight loss, but the latest breakthrough research confirms it is actually your diet that drives sustained weight loss.
“To lose weight effortlessly, you need to eat less – not exercise more,” says Dr Michael Mosley. “Exercise is brilliant for all sorts of things but it’s a terrible way of losing weight,” he told A Current Affair.
Losing weight is a complicated process, but basically it comes down to creating an energy deficit – that is, burning more calories than you eat.
Many of us believe the path to that energy deficit is more exercise: making energy out higher than energy in.
More hours running in the park. More hours on the exercise bike at the gym. More hours in the pool.
Conventional wisdom dictates that, if you want to shed kilos, a punishing exercise regimen is the way to do it – but conventional wisdom has it all wrong.
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Yeah, exercise burns calories … the trouble is, it burns a lot less calories than most people think.
Most people don’t burn 500-1000 calories in a workout, therefore this equation will never pan out if your food choices are poor. This is especially true for people who are already exercising. If you already go to the gym but are not seeing any changes on the scale, then you would need to add an extra hour (or more!) of exercise time each day just to burn that 1 pound of fat in a week! Do you have the time, energy and the desire to go to the gym twice every day?
“People underestimate how much exercise they have to do to burn off fat and studies consistently show that people do not lose much weight if they just try to exercise.”
Here are 6 reasons WHY diet is more important than exercising for weightloss;
- Exercise alone is almost useless for weightloss: You simply cannot out-train a bad diet, period. Studies have proven that exercise alone cannot drive significant weight loss. One review involving 60 studies found that while 100% of our energy comes from food, we can only burn 10-30% of it with exercise.
- Exercise increases your appetite and cravings: Such studies have confirmed that those who adhere to rigid exercise regimes also tend to increase their calorie intake simultaneously, gradually negating the impact of their workouts over time.
- An increase in physical activity has not countered rising obesity levels: Despite each year $390 billion worth of fitness plans being sold, the obesity rate has almost tripled in the last 30 years. This alone confirms that exercise is not enough to prevent weight gain or the onset of chronic disease.
- Exercise can undermine weightloss: When we move, we tend to eat more and likewise, we eat less when we are not exercising. How much we eat is connected to how much we move, a phenomenon now known as ‘metabolic compensation’. The more you stress your body with exercise – the greater the physiological changes which elevate cortisol levels, impact your hormones and can actually lead to plateaus and/or fat storage.
- It’s hard to create a significant calorie deficit through exercise: You do the math- if 1 pound (0.45kgs) of fat = 3,500 calories and an average gym session burns approx. 350 calories – that’s 10 x 45-60minute training sessions to lose 0.5kgs!
- Nutrition controls your body fat and weight – training influences your body shape: Once you have your nutrition under control, changing your body composition with weight training is the easy part.
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Diet vs. Exercise Conclusion
The evidence is clear, exercise is excellent for health but it’s just not that important for weightloss. Focus on your diet first! It will give the weight-loss results you’re looking for. 100%. Because you cannot out-train a broken diet.
So WHY exercise at all?
Exercise might not be the most effective way to lose fat, but that’s no excuse not to exercise. Exercise boosts mood, releases stress and anxiety, increases circulation and blood flow around the body, prevents cancer, helps you detoxify, cuts your risk of heart disease and helps people who’ve already lost weight keep it off. Exercise has indisputably proven itself to be the world’s best drug – better than any pharmaceutical product any physician could ever prescribe. Sadly though, exercise is not a weight loss drug.
If you do wish to keep active for mental and health purposes, exercise within your fat burning zone (low intensity 110-130bpm), this way you will not cause any stress to the body. And the benefits of training in your fat-burning-zone? You will burn fat exclusively, won’t crave sugars after the workout and be able to do this daily, flushing toxins out of your system and reaping the benefits from the endorphin release. Best low intensity workouts are fast walking, yoga and pilates.