If you are like the majority of folks out there and are concerned about your health, weight and/or fitness level, then you are probably asking yourself which would be more beneficial and give the greatest and most immediate results: diet or exercise? Let’s take a look!
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as of 2010 an alarming 69.2% of us who are at least 20 years old are overweight and 35.9% are obese. Those numbers are quite astounding, considering all the options out there for keeping the weight down. But then again that brings us back to the original point of indecisiveness in the populace.
Here are the basics: burn more calories than you consume and you’ll lose weight. In order to lose 1 lb, you’ve got to burn about 3500 calories. So, to drop 1 lb a week by dieting you’d have to consume 3500 fewer calories per week than normal. If 3500/7 = 500 then you’d simply consume 500 fewer calories per day to lose that 1 lb per week. It sounds easy right? With a little willpower it won’t be long before you reach your goal weight.
But of course it is very important to remain consistent on all bases, or all of your hard work would be for nothing. Focusing only on certain days of the week instead of leveling the calorie reduction out over the week will slow your metabolism resulting in quick weight gain once you ease up on your calorie restrictions. But by finding your diet and sticking to it then you can feel and look great the natural way.
We have all made plans to begin a workout routine, tomorrow, and it’s easy to feel good about what we’re going to do. But the hard part is actually doing it. The first few days of any new workout are usually the hardest since our bodies aren’t used to it, but I cannot stress enough the benefits of a good exercise routine. When trying to lose weight it is essential to keep up a healthy and active lifestyle.
But we know how difficult it is to decide on the right routine, don’t we? Should you focus on cardio or weights? Should it be running or cycling? Or should you focus on bodyweight circuits? There are a lot of options when it comes to picking the most beneficial for you and your goals. But first you must set goals, because without them you will most definitely run out of steam after a couple of weeks with little to show for your efforts. So write out your fitness and weight loss goals, and then do a little research to find out what kind of exercises will get you there the quickest.
SO, WHICH IS BEST?
Like I said before, there are a certain number of people who choose one or the other and see results, but in truth the majority of people find a healthy mixture of the two to be most effective. Watching what you eat doesn’t mean never eating tasty food again, but it does mean switching that delicious bacon cheeseburger up for a healthier and less fattening choice sub more often than not. And I cannot say enough how beneficial it is to eat more of a plant-based diet verses meat and other animal by-products. There is some good stuff in a lot of these products, but there is also quite a bit of not-so-great-for-the-body stuff in them too. Keeping what you consume in mind is very important to maintaining the healthy lifestyle that you want. Setting your fitness goals and going after them is just as important as eating right. Make your goals, and then fit your workout routine and diet around that. Customization can be your best friend or your worst enemy. So don’t overdo it because that could easily lead to a lapse in your resolve ending in some unwanted weight gain and self-judgmental feelings.
In the end, your best bet is to keep a balance of both exercise and diet. But when I say “diet”, I don’t mean a two-week slam diet to get skinny, I mean a lifestyle change. It is extremely difficult to exercise away a bad diet, but when you change your eating habits and your fitness habits, good things will happen. The best results come when you’ve got the resolve to change permanently, not just for a couple of weeks or months. Start gradually, then increase in your diet and exercise as time permits and as you get more comfortable. This is the natural way and the best way to lose the extra pounds, so go for it!