Diet vs Exercise for Weight Loss

diet1We always hear the terms diet and exercised used together when it comes to weight loss. Everyone will tell you to get up and move. Everyone will tell you to skip dessert if you want to lose weight. The questions become clear. Is exercise important to weight loss? Does it really matter what you eat if you work out routinely? Most people believe that the only way to reach any weight loss goal is to have both a good diet and an active lifestyle.

Exercise and Diet

We all know how exercise works. You move your body. The movement gets your muscles moving. Moving muscles need energy. Energy is stored in fat cells. That is the very basics of how exercise burns fat.

We all have a basic idea of how eating works. We eat the food. Our bodies process the food. The food is converted into fat that is stored to be later burned for energy. If we eat too much of the wrong foods we end up with more fat than our bodies can burn and then we have a weight problem.

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Most people do not realize the amount of energy it takes to burn fat.  Look at this: In one mile men burn 124 calories when running. One soda has on average about 240 calories. That means just to run off that 20-ounce soda you had for lunch, you are going to have to run 2miles. Walking only burns half as many calories, so in order to walk off that same soda you are going to need to walk 4 miles.

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In order to lose weight, you are going to have to burn more calories than you consume. So if you really don’t want to watch what you eat, you are going to have to get very active.

What you eat matters

It has been said that you have to consume at least 2000 calories a day in order to maintain a healthy weight. That means that even if you do nothing at all your body is going burn at least that many calories. However, the more calories you take in, the more you need to move.

If you are trying to lose weight, reducing the amount of calories that you take is going to make it easier for your to burn excess fat because you are not putting in more than you can take out. Let’s say that you swapped that 240-calorie soda for a bottle of water, but you still run those 2 miles. You burned of 240ish calories of fat that your body has stored.

Basically if you can manage to take in only the 2000 a day recommendation in calories, you simply are not going to have to stress yourself out to burn them. The goal is to burn more calories than you consume. Whether you eat less calories or increase the amount your exercise, you are not going to lose any weight at all if you don’t do just that.

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So is diet important? Yes, it is very important because if you are filling yourself full of empty calories, you are simply not going to be able to burn them all off.

Is exercise important? Yes, you cannot burn the calories you are eating if you do not get up and move.

Is one more important that the other? No. They go hand in hand. Even if you only cut back your calories and then take the stairs instead of the elevator, you will see results. To see these results and track them better I would recommend that you get yourself a body fat analyzer.

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Article by: Carmen Kerry

Carmen writes health & fitness articles for BodyFatLoss. She researches the latest and greatest methods to help with weight loss, weight gain and fitness.