Diet versus Exercise


You might think that going to gym three times a week gives you the freedom to eat whatever you want. After all, you’ve ‘earned’ it, right?

Wrong. Exercise alone will not change your body, unless you are also cutting calories. However, diet alone will not lead to long-term success. Every legitimate study on weight loss shows that there is no long-term weight management without exercise or some kind of physical activity.

That’s where the 70/30 rule comes in. 70% of initial weight loss should be from dietary changes, and the remaining 30% from exercise.

The Rule of 70 holds true for a few reasons:

#1 Your diet is more controllable. Exercise is often dependent on your circumstances, and there are times in your life when it’s simply too difficult to maintain consistent exercise.

#2 The quality of your workouts depends on the quality of your diet. If you’re not eating well, you tend to feel tired, heavy and lethargic, and your workouts are not as effective.

#3 It takes more effort to rely on exercise for weight loss than to rely on your diet. The right food choices can reduce your kilojoule intake by thousands every day. It would take over five or six hours of exercise to get the same benefit.

#4 If you purely exercise to lose weight, you tend to pay less attention to your diet. This makes it even more difficult to lose weight. In a second or two you can easily eat hundreds of kilojoules, and it would take hours to exercise those off.

So diet is more important to weight loss than exercise. BUT without exercise only a portion of your weight loss is from fat — you’re also stripping away muscle and bone density.

To really change your body and get a toned, healthy look, you have to do both: watch your diet, consume fewer calories than you burn, and exercise with a combination of cardio and strength training.

Need help? Get started with our free eating plans and dietary advice or find a workout that’s just right for you.

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