Exercise vs. Diet
There has been a long debate over the benefits of exercise vs. diet.
Some claim that physical activity is most important for a healthy lifestyle, while others focus on dieting and eating right.
When it comes down to it, this debate depends on your personal goals. Let’s take a look at both angles.
Exercise vs. Diet for Weight Loss
One of the most common health and fitness goals is weight loss. Yet it can also be one of the most challenging. At a basic level, weight loss requires taking in fewer calories than you burn over a long period of time. In other words, you need to eat less and burn more.
In order to burn one pound a week, a deficit (more calories burned than eaten) of 500 calories is needed. This can be accomplished fairly easily by eating a more healthy diet. Portion control is key, but so is cutting down on fats, sugars, sodium, and processed foods.
Aim for a clean, whole foods diet rich in nutrition, and you should have no problem achieving or surpassing this goal. You can up the ante by replacing white flour with whole grains and cutting down on carbs.
For many, however, a pound a week simply isn’t enough. When your weight loss and fitness goals are greater than this, your next best option is increased physical activity and exercise. Not only will you burn more calories, but you’ll also kick your metabolism up a few notches.
If you enjoy cardio workouts, such as running or biking, try to fit these exercises into your morning routine. This will help keep your metabolism higher throughout your day, burning more calories and fat. Aim for at least 30 minutes 3-5 days a week.
Cardio is a great option for weight loss, but be careful. Too much cardio can result in greater feelings of hunger, which might throw a curve in your weight loss goals. Weight lifting and resistance training are ideal options when it comes to exercise. By building muscle, you are improving your body’s ability to burn calories and fight fat for longer periods of time. You will also tone up, giving your body a healthy lift.
Exercise vs. Diet for Health and Wellness
If your goals go beyond weight loss, then dieting should not be your only answer. In the end, a combination of healthy eating and increased physical activity is best. In addition to burning more calories and getting in better shape, exercise also improves your mood and overall sense of well-being.
For those who are already healthy eaters, then a smart training plan may be the best option for you. Start with at least three days a week and build your routine over time. If you’re already hitting the gym and looking great, don’t assume that healthy eating is any less important. A healthy diet can help with stress, sleep, and give you an extra boost of energy at the gym.
It’s all about balance. Think carefully about your health and fitness goals, and find the right balance of exercise and diet for your lifestyle.
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