Diet vs exercise: What helps you lose weight?

Saravanan "Sharu" Hariram

August 4, 2023

You’ve been exercising each day regularly but aren’t really shedding the kilos. Have you been watching your diet?

A recent study has shown that eating less is far more important than exercising to lose weight.

Everyone knows that the key to weight loss is to consume fewer calories than you burn. For most people, it’s easier to lower their calorie intake rather than burn more calories through increased exercise. That’s why consuming lesser calories is generally seen as being more effective for weight loss.

But a calorie is a calorie no matter what it comes from. You can gain weight eating too much healthy food as well as unhealthy food. It’s just a lot easier to overeat and consume more calories from junk food than from healthy food. But it can be done.

This is where a change in behaviour and habits helps. Exchange dense calorie-packed foods for foods that are less calorie-dense and more nutritionally dense. These are foods that bulkier, less energetically rich, have more or higher quality protein, are lower on the glycemic index and are more fibrous.

Eat five to six times a day, or about once every three hours, to maintain your blood-sugar level. Try and fit in two to three 200-calorie snacks, in addition to your main meals. Ideal snacks contain lean protein, healthy fats and complex carbohydrates. Frequent eating can also help to reduce feelings of anxiety and depression, and keep energy levels high through the day.

That said, exercise is very important to keep lost weight off. People who are not physically active are more likely to gain weight after their weight loss.

Aim to do aerobic (cardio) exercise, such as running or biking, for at least 150 minutes a week. The intensity should vary from moderate to vigorous so that you increase your cardiac capacity without overtaxing your body. Two times a week, also do a 20-minute session of resistance training, such as weight lifting.

Make it a habit to sit less throughout the day. A study published in the journalDiabetologia revealed that the more sedentary you are, the more you increase your risk of heart disease and diabetes.

Reduce calories, eat better, exercise, and most of all, remember that this practice must become a part of your lifestyle.

About the Author

Saravanan “Sharu” Hariram is an ACE Certified Personal Trainer with a passion for bodybuilding. Combining his love for fitness with his career, Sharu did his certification in Sports Nutrition, and Rehabilitation and Healing Nutrition. Currently a Master Trainer with HealthifyMe, he specializes in Weight Management, Marathon Training, and Physical Rehabilitation. In his 20+ years of experience, Sharu has always maintained that one’s mind must have control over their body in order to lead a healthy life. At HealthifyMe, he continues to follow his passion while helping those around him realise their fitness goals.

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One response to “Diet vs exercise: What helps you lose weight?”

  1. I strictly follow workout for obvious reasons of course. It strengthens the body from inside, makes us rough and tough by staying healthy at all times. Strictly against the diet plan. But yes if you are obese then dieting becomes important.

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