Exercise vs. diet

“If you had to choose between just exercising and just dieting, which do you think will be more effective for losing weight?”


This is a question I am asked often by my personal training clients, to which I usually reply, “both are integral for fast effective weight loss.”

However… If you eat little to nothing but don’t exercise you are still probably going to lose a lot of weight, but if you eat like a pig and exercise loads you are unlikely to lose a significant amount.

So surely this one is a no brainer? Diet is more important for weight loss right?

Well perhaps not, unfortunately the weight you lose on a diet isn’t just fat, a lot of it is free fat mass (muscle) which is bad for 2 reasons:

1. Free Fat Mass (muscle) is highly metabolic, meaning it burns lots of calories just to maintain itself.  By losing all of that muscle  when dieting you are shooting yourself in the foot, because at the end your metabolism is going to be slower, and your body will be burning much less calories than before you even started.

This is what happens to Yoyo dieters, who can’t seem to keep the weight off and often put even more on after a diet, their metabolism has been completely destroyed by losing all of that calorie burning fat free mass.
2. People who diets obviously want to look good, but although you are losing fat, your shape is unlikely to change and your various parts of you will end up looking loose and saggy. (Think Gillian Mckeath!) Also if you lose fat and muscle to quickly you will end up with excess skin.

This is where exercise is important. By including a weight training programme into your weight loss strategy (yes even you girls, if in doubt read this article!) not only are you going to be toning and shaping your body to give yourself a better look, but you will be increasing your metabolism through the building and maintenance of fat free mass.

Exercise is integral for weight loss for a number of reasons (which I will save for another article). When looking to lose weight fast and to keep it off, you have to be combining diet and exercise for the quickest and best results!



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