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Which is more effective? Diet or Exercise for Weight Loss
In a perfect world we would all
- exercise regularly
- develop a sensible and nutritious diet
- get lots of sleep
- drink lots of water
That would help to effectively return our bodies to our ideal weight.
But if you had to choose one or another, exercising OR dieting…
Which does science say is the most efficient and healthy way to lose weight?
A group of scientists did a study and it turns out the participants that believed DIETING would help them lose more weight than exercise generally had a LOWER BODY MASS INDEX (BMI). BMI is not a perfect measure of healthy body weight, however a lower BMI typically means less body fat.
The above information comes from a handful of studies published in Psychological Science. 1,200 participants in South Korea, China, France, Canada and the United States were asked what they believe the main factor is that keeps people overweight. Height, weight and other measurements were taken.
The shocking revelation was, people who believed EXERCISE was a more important factor for weight loss than proper diet and nutrition actually had HIGHER BMI numbers. They had MORE body fat!
This is because your weight loss mentality impacts your food choices. If you believe exercise is more important than diet for losing weight, you don’t pay as much attention to what you are eating and how much you are eating.
And if you believe that proper diet and nutrition removes more weight than exercise, you are more inclined to pay attention to what you put into your body.
For instance, in one of the above referenced studies, the volunteers were offered unlimited chocolate. Time and again, those that believed staying active was the key to losing weight ate more than their diet-minded counterparts.
How can you use this revealing research to your advantage?
Understand that exercise can definitely help you lose weight. But also remember that effective weight loss means putting the right things into your body in the first place.
Here is a quick checklist to make sure that you are on the right track with regard to your diet and weight loss. Remember, it’s not about dieting – it’s about choosing foods that help you reach your goals!
- Consistently focus on creating a healthy diet and your mental beliefs will help you reach your weight loss goals faster.
- Drink lots of water, which is often times all your body requires when you think you are hungry
- Cut back on fast foods
- Increase healthy fats from nuts, avocado and healthy oils.
- Find and use alternatives for white flour, sugar and salt.
So now you know DIET is the winner in the Diet or Exercise battle.
Of course exercise plays a key role in how successful you are at reaching your weight loss goal….but if you are having trouble sticking with an exercise routine maybe just start with your diet and add exercise later.
Be sure to check out our post on Healthy Snacks that you will actually CRAVE to keep you on track!