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Diet Versus Exercise For Weight Loss And Muscle Tone

Feb 5, 2008
So is diet or exercise more important when it comes to losing body fat? I am the author of a fitness site so obviously I am a big believer in exercise, but to be honest, you can get pretty dramatic results from diet alone. In fact, I would say that 90% of the people who are having a tough time losing weight are simply messing up when it comes to diet.

In a Perfect World You Should Combine Diet and Exercise

Have you ever been too busy to exercise? Me too! Well, you can't use that excuse when it comes to eating a clean diet. No matter how busy life gets, you always have time to eat well. So, while you may go days and even weeks without visiting a gym, you can eat well every single day.

"You Can't Out-Exercise a Big Mac"

A Big Mac has 540 calories. Do you realize how much exercising it takes to burn those calories? Well about an hour on the elliptical trainer at a moderate pace would do the trick! So after an hour of boring cardio, you are back to square one. You probably won't lose weight at all especially if you added the fries and soft drink. Large fries would be an extra 570 calories and a large non-diet soft drink would be an extra 310 calories. So how much exercise would you have to do to burn 1,400+ calories? Let's not even go there!

A Clean Diet Creates a Larger Calorie Deficit Than Exercising

The best way to lose weight is through creating a large daily calorie deficit. The goal is to for your body to use more calories each day than what it consumes. If you wanted to lose a pound of fat on your body, you have to create a 3,500 calorie deficit over time. If you wanted to lose 2 pounds per week that would be a deficit of 7,000 calories over a week...or a daily calorie deficit of 1,000. Do you know it takes close to 2 hours of moderate cardio to burn 1,000 calories. The best plan is not to eat those calories in the first place!

Fat Loss Is A Bit More Complicated

The body is actually much more complex than simply responding precisely to a calorie deficit. There are WAY more variables that come into play when it comes to fat loss; the type of food you eat, the timing of your meals, the metabolic effect of exercise, the muscle sparing effect of resistance training, etc. There are a lot of things that come into the fat loss picture that I'm not addressing here.

Diet Play a Bigger Role in Fat Loss Than Most People Realize

I would bet that over 80% of the articles in fitness magazines are about exercise. It does make a lot of sense, because exercising is a much more interesting topic. The funny thing is that diet is equally, if not more important to an attractive physique. Don't get me wrong. I am a HUGE believer in regular exercise, I just think people are "spinning their wheels" when it comes to getting fit by not paying enough attention to diet. If your diet is bad, a lot of your effort in the gym goes to waste.

Diet is What Makes Your Cardio Much More Effective

If you are going to do a session of intense cardio or HIIT, you obviously want to get good results. If you are downing fast food and drinking soda on a regular basis, you are just getting back to square one with cardio, you will not lose body fat. If you do that exact same cardio workout and follow a clean diet, you will get a huge fat loss boost from that cardio.

Bonus: Here is a Way to Increase Your Self-Discipline

Self-discipline sometimes just depends upon how you view certain things. It really isn't that a certain person is just naturally more disciplined than other people, often times they just think a bit differently about a certain task. Here is the way I view cardio that almost forces me to follow a strict diet. I tell myself that if I do cardio while following a bad diet, that I am accomplishing nothing as far as getting lean is concerned. Since I do a pretty intense High Intensity Interval Training Routine, I would be mad if I didn't see results! I follow a clean diet, because I can't stand the thought of working out that hard for nothing. It works the other way as well. When I'm following a clean diet, I can't stand the thought of not doing cardio because I know it will be that much more effective!
About the Author
Want a lean and toned body like Jessica Biel or Brad Pitt? Learn the Diet and Exercise techniques of Hollywood's Sexiest Actors and Actresses. Click here for advanced, up-to-date, Fitness Tips!
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