Diet or Exercise: Which Is More Important for Weight Loss?
According to the CDC, 36% of adults and 17% of children are obese in America. None of us want to be making up part of that 36%, but losing weight is easier said than done. So many people think that hitting the gym 5-6 days a week will result in a slimmer waistline, while others believe that dieting alone can get you to your weight loss goal. Truth is you need a balance of both in order to maximize weight loss! Although exercise benefits our physical and mental health while burning away fat, it is not a productive avenue of weight loss if your diet does not change. To put things in perspective, it would take 50 minutes of exercise to burn off one 20oz bottle of soda (average 250 calories). Most people would need to burn off more than one soda at the end of each day and many of us don’t have the time to workout for such a long period of time. On the other hand, it’s not good to rely solely on diet for weight loss either. When dieting without exercise, you’re losing muscle and bone density which is making your body weaker and more prone to injury.
The key to losing weight is to expend more calories than you consume. The average woman should be consuming approximately 2,000 calories per day, while men should be closer to 2,500. Personalized calorie calculators can be found online that use your age, weight, gender, physical activity level, and weight goals to provide a more accurate recommended caloric intake. Once you have determined your daily recommended calories, start keeping track of your calories using a food log. Remember that things like dressing or sauces and beverages count! Then look at your dietary habits and form a new nutrition plan to help you achieve your goal. In addition to dieting, it is recommended to exercise for 30-60 minutes 6-7 days a week.