Some people might say that losing weight is simple. Your friends might tell you that all you need to do is punish yourself at the gym to get into the best shape of your life. Others might advise you to follow a restrictive diet that’s almost zero fat and zero carbs. But we all know that’s so much easier said than done. Right?
- 1 So which is really more important? Is it diet, or exercise?
- 1.1 Does it really work?
- 1.2 Will dieting alone make you lose weight?
- 1.3 Why is exercise important?
- 1.4 It helps control your weight.
- 1.5 It can prevent various diseases.
- 1.6 It improves your mood.
- 1.7 It can improve brain function.
- 1.8 It improves the quality of sleep.
- 1.9 It keeps your heart strong and healthy.
- 1.10 It can prevent Type II diabetes.
- 1.11 It relieves pain naturally.
- 1.12 It puts the fun back into your sex life.
- 1.13 It is a way to have fun and be social.
- 1.14 It improves the overall quality of life.
- 1.15 Excuses people often make when they’re urged to exercise, and how they can be solved
- 1.16 “I don’t have time!”
- 1.17 “I don’t have the energy.” OR “I’m too tired.”
- 1.18 “I hate sports!”
- 1.19 “I’m too shy.”
- 1.20 “I have physical limitations.”
- 1.21 “I have family members to take care of.”
- 1.22 “Exercise is boring!”
- 1.23 “I don’t have extra money.”
- 1.24 “My body won’t go back to how it used to be anyway!”
- 1.25 “I hate exercise. Period.”
So which is really more important? Is it diet, or exercise?
A lot of health enthusiasts might suggest the 75-25 rule, which is 75 percent diet and 25 percent exercise. This means that you need to start working out and eating healthier food. This also means that we should consume less calories than we expend.
Does it really work?
Well, let’s not forget to take into account other factors that could affect our weight loss goals. These include your environment, energy, resources and determination. Each person has his or her own life to live. Some might able to afford to hire a private nutritionist and personal trainer to help them achieve their fitness goals, while others might not have the luxury of time and money to even go to a gym to work out.
Will dieting alone make you lose weight?
Yes, eating less and staying away from fatty, salty and sugary foods can eventually lead to weight loss. But this does not work for a lot of people, and does not produce permanent results. Not only that, diet without exercise can also lead to fluctuations in your weight, which is bad for your health.
While being healthy means staying within a healthy weight, losing weight does not always mean being healthy. This is because the only requirement for shedding several pounds is calorie deficit. This means that you can just eat less to achieve your weight goal. But is it healthy?
Reducing your calorie intake does make you lose weight. But dieting alone to become slimmer means you will need to sustain a lower calorie intake for a long period. This can signal your body into thinking that it is being starved or deprived. So, in the long run, you’ll have stronger cravings for sweets and carbs. As a result, you’ll gain more weight than what you’ve lost by following a strict diet. On the other hand, exercising can help you burn more calories, which means that you’ll be able to reduce your weight faster, too.
Why is exercise important?
When you diet and don’t exercise to weigh less, you may be able to lose weight from fat but you’re also losing muscles and bone density. If you want to burn more fat, which is what’s important in getting fit and having the best the body, you need to work out. This is because fat takes up more space than muscles. So, if you lose more fat, you’ll look slimmer and feel better.
Here are some more reasons to convince you that exercise or regular physical activity is as important as dieting when you’re trying to lose a substantial amount of fat from your body:
It helps control your weight.
While eating less leads to weight loss, exercise helps keep the weight off for good. As you already know, working out lets you burn calories. The more you engage in physical activity, the more calories you will burn.
Even if you don’t work out at a gym, you can still burn calories by keeping yourself active throughout the day. When you take the stairs instead of the elevator, you’ll be able to burn calories. By walking instead of taking a taxi to and from your destination, you are also opting to be more active. In other words, you need to be constantly and consistently on the go while you follow a strict diet regimen.
It can prevent various diseases.
Heart diseases, high blood pressure, diabetes and even some cancers can be prevented by leading an active lifestyle. This is because exercise can boost the production of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) or good cholesterol, decreasing unhealthy triglycerides in your body. Aside from that, working out boosts blood circulation, decreasing your risk of cardiovascular diseases, stroke and other fatal illnesses.
It improves your mood.
If you’ve feeling down or lethargic lately, try doing 30 minutes of brisk walking or jogging. You’ll feel an instant emotional lift and a chance to blow some steam off after a stressful week. Any physical activity can stimulate brain chemicals, like endorphins, that not only fight off stress but also helps you feel better.
It can improve brain function.
While there are synthetic drugs that can help boost brain power, exercise is an all-natural and free alternative that helps this vital organ working at its top condition. This is because working out increases blood flow into your brain, which activates the nerve cells, improving cognitive function.
It improves the quality of sleep.
Working out in the morning or afternoon can help you fall asleep faster and your sleep longer. You won’t wake up several times throughout the night, which can make you feel more exhausted than rested the following morning.
It keeps your heart strong and healthy.
Heart disease is the number one cause of death in the United States alone. Although diet is important to keep fat from clogging your arteries, exercise can significantly drop your risk of this fatal disease. In fact, it can reduce the likelihood of heart failure by 50 percent. Jogging daily can reduce and control blood pressure.
To convince you even more, you have to know that no drugs or pills can make you heart stronger than exercise and diet. So, if you want a healthy heart and longer life, make sure to keep yourself active.
It can prevent Type II diabetes.
Diabetes is one of the most dreaded diseases that cause disabilities that severely impact a person’s quality of life. Regular exercise can help reduce the risk of diabetes, as well as prevent any complications for those who are already suffering from the disease. This is because working out can aid in increasing insulin sensitivity and controlling blood sugar level. When you lift weights, do cardio or other forms of exercise, you build muscles, which in turn absorb more glucose from the blood. As a result, your blood sugar levels are kept in check.
It relieves pain naturally.
When you do yoga, kickboxing, Zumba or spin cycle, brain chemicals called endorphins are activated. These are natural pain and stress relievers in your body. The more you exercise, the lesser pain you’ll feel. What’s more, exercise can increase sex drive, euphoria and immune response. This is the reason a lot of people are hooked on jogging or running.
It puts the fun back into your sex life.
When you’re out of shape, you always seem too tired to even get intimate with your spouse or partner, which can put a strain into your relationship. If you want to revive your sexual intimacy, it helps to engage in physical activities regularly, as this can improve energy levels while making you look and feel great about yourself.
Research also show that working out can enhance arousal and prevent erectile dysfunction.
Going to the gym, doing yoga or even jogging around the park can be a great way to meet new friends and enjoy. If you exercise with your family or friends, exercising can be a good excuse to bond and have fun with them.
It improves the overall quality of life.
If you keep yourself physically active at all times, you will lose weight, you will look and feel great and more youthful, you will be free from diseases, you will have more fun, you will be able to sleep better and more. All of these can make your life better. With that said, it’s time you consider exercising on a regular basis.
Despite these compelling reasons why one should always make it a point to include exercise in their daily to-do lists, there are still those that find reasons not to.
Excuses people often make when they’re urged to exercise, and how they can be solved
“I don’t have time!”
When you’re working from 9 to 5, you’ll have little to no time for other activities, especially when it comes to getting fit. You might find yourself exhausted and drained at the end of every day, preventing you from making time for yourself. This is especially true if you have a family to take care of.
By the time you get home, you usually find yourself caught up in your responsibilities. When you’re done with all the chores, all you’d want to do is lie in bed and call it a day.
Other people spend their free time on the internet. They get so engrossed checking out what everyone else is doing on their newsfeeds that they can’t spare a few minutes on the treadmill or elliptical machine.
Not having enough time is actually not an excuse. Even when you’re at work, you can spend a few minutes do some stretches, breathing exercise and even yoga. Spend your break times wisely and productively.
“I don’t have the energy.” OR “I’m too tired.”
People who are not used to exercise would probably have this excuse. What they don’t know is that physical activities, like weightlifting, yoga, dancing and jogging, can actually increase energy levels. This because your body produces endorphins or feel-good hormones that can make you feel more energetic.
To fight off the feeling of being too tired to exercise, remind yourself that doing so will give you more energy. Also, it helps to work out at a time when you have the most energy, like when you wake in the morning. If you’re really having trouble getting started, start small. You can start by walking a quarter of a mile every day for a week. Then, you can increase the coverage after two or three weeks. What’s important is that you are able to start getting active. Once you’re body gets used to the routine, you’ll be able to do more.
“I hate sports!”
Exercise doesn’t always require you to participate in something you do not like. You can still get in shape by doing yoga, dancing, joining a Pilates class, cycling and the like. Keep in mind that any activity that gets your heart pumped up for a sustained period counts as exercise. This means that even taking the stairs or walking on your way to and from work can be considered physical activities, too.
“I’m too shy.”
Shy people are most likely to shun working out at a gym. But being physically active doesn’t always mean gym memberships or classes. You can actually work out right in the comfort of your own home. You can watch fitness videos, do yoga or get on a treadmill to shed off unwanted weight.
As soon as you start losing weight, you’ll be more confident about your looks. You can then enroll in a gym or a yoga class so you can reap all the benefits of exercise.
“I have physical limitations.”
Some people suffer from chronic pain or have disabilities, which may hinder them from most fitness activities. However, you can talk to your doctor about the kinds of exercise that are appropriate for you. You can also discuss your condition with a fitness expert who can customize a workout program that will help you lose weight without causing you more pain.
Remember: exercise can improve your overall health, which means that you’ll have more energy, strength, stamina and flexibility to do the things that you weren’t able to do in the past.
“I have family members to take care of.”
Some of us have kids or elderly folks to take care of round the clock. This could prevent a lot of people from making time for themselves, especially when it comes to their fitness.
If you really are committed to start getting fit, you can unload some of the burden by discussing your predicament with other members of your family. You can talk to your husband, for example, and agree on a schedule that includes a few minutes to an hour for exercise. Alternatively, you can hire a nanny or caretaker or ask a friend or neighbor to watch your children or elderly parent for you for an hour.
You might also want to start teaching your children about health and fitness by letting them join you in your workout sessions. There are exercises that you can actually do with your kids.
“Exercise is boring!”
Doing something you don’t like doing can, indeed, be boring. But if you opt for an activity that you actually like, you’ll be surprised at how much getting in shape can be fun.
It can also help to work out with your friends or your spouse. You can also join fitness classes, like yoga, spincycle, Zumba, hip hop dance and the like. What matters is that you engage in an activity that will not only help you lose weight but will also allow you to have some fun.
“I don’t have extra money.”
Working out doesn’t always have to be in the gym. Again, if you really want to get fit, you can do it in your home. You also don’t have to buy those expensive active wear if you’ll be working out in a gym because you can wear anything that’s appropriate for exercise, like a fit shirt and a pair of leggings.
You might also want to look into fitness programs and packages that fit well in your budget.
“My body won’t go back to how it used to be anyway!”
If you have kids or have gained a lot of weight over the years, you might think that you can never get back the body you used to have. You might also think “What’s the point?” But just because you’ve had children or have gotten too fat, it doesn’t mean that your body will stay that way forever. If you’ve tried a diet plan or workout that didn’t work, maybe it wasn’t the right one for you. So, it’s best to consult an expert before starting a new diet or exercise program. That way, they can advise you on a diet plan or fitness regimen that will target your problem areas and make you maintain a healthy weight.
“I hate exercise. Period.”
As mentioned above, there are several ways to get in shape. There’s definitely one or two things that you’ll enjoy doing. If you don’t like working out in a gym, you can buy a treadmill and do it at home. You can also start by walking at least a mile every day.
You might also want to take swimming lessons, dancing classes or yoga classes. You can also try your hand at surfing, skateboarding, horseback riding, cycling, etc. It might seem hard at first. But once you get used to it, your body will start to love the benefits exercise can offer you. So, you’ll start to crave the feeling of your heart getting all pumped up and your muscles getting worked out.
What you need to always keep in mind is that exercise must be a vital part of your daily routine to keep yourself healthy at all times.