There is no doubt about the importance of a proper diet and regular exercise to shed weight, stay healthy and get in shape. Research supports the critical role of these two factors in weight control. However, which is the better choice? According to a recent report in the journal Systematic Reviews, a healthy diet is a better option for weight loss. The study notes that people who only change their diets lose more weight than those who only increase physical activity. Another study found that those who exercised for 30 minutes or more a day actually had higher rates of weight gain than those who exercised less.
The reason why exercise doesn’t provide dramatic weight loss results, say experts, is because it’s not easy to burn off calories. The key to weight loss is therefore to avoid those calories. When it comes to weight loss, it is better to avoid eating unhealthy food that leads to weight gain rather than hitting the gym hard to shed those excess pounds you gained through an unhealthy diet. You should also pay attention to portion sizes after a workout as if you don’t, you will simply undo the hard work. Therefore, if you find that your exercise regimen is not providing the results you want, rethink your diet.
This doesn’t mean you have to stop hitting the gym or cut your regular walk. Exercise comes with a ton of healthy benefits, from heart health and immune system function to mental health and sleep improvements.
However, the ideal solution for successful weight loss is to combine diet and exercise. A review in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics says combining both diet and exercise provides better long-term results over a year.