When we think of weight loss, we consider two huge factors:
Diet and exercise.
Exercise is obviously very important. We want to have a healthy, active lifestyle. However, we naturally spend a lot of time and energy focused on diet. The question then becomes, how much time should we be spending on diet versus exercise?
In a study on the efficacy of diet versus exercise for weight loss, diet was shown to be significantly more effective. In the areas of weight loss, fat loss, and body fat percentage decrease, the individuals on a “diet only” program lost at least two times as much weight as the “exercise only” individuals. Those on a diet and exercise regimen lost slightly more than the diet only group.
What does that mean for us? There must be a guideline on how much diet is responsible for weight loss that doesn’t involve mysterious factors and translated data indexes.
After trying to pin down a specific number in percentage from the the scholars and gurus, it appears that diet is indeed more important than exercise. Most agree that the best weight loss protocol consists of 80% diet. Be it caloric restriction or quality food, diet is the biggest factor responsible for chucking that weight.
However, it is really important to be careful. This is by no means a get out of gym free card. Most studies reveal that diet or exercise alone do not amount to the two in tandem.
It comes down to stress. Exercise is stress, but it’s a helpful kind. That is, unless you are so inflamed from over-exercising that your body simply can’t calm down long enough to repair itself and goes into fat storage mode because it thinks it’s dying.
At the end of the day, you need to do what your body tells you is right. If you feel great, are losing weight and packing on muscle via more than 20% exercise, then great! If you visit the gym more often than you visit your spouse and kids and still feel bloated and tired, perhaps you should reconsider your method.
You’ll know if it’s working. Your body will tell you. Listen to it.