Diet vs. Exercise – Which gives you better results?

Right off, please take a moment and answer the following question: If you could only choose one, would diet or exercise give you better results?

Many times when I talk to a friend or family member about losing weight, they indicate that by getting back to the gym, or by becoming more active they can achieve their goals.

I often find myself thinking similarly. When training for a marathon, for example, I often run approximately 20 to 30 miles per week. It is easy for me to rationalize eating whatever I want. I think to myself, I need to carb load so I can have enough energy to run this weekend. Although in reality, running 20 miles only allows me to splurge on maybe one meal. So I end up carb loading way to much, which then converts to excess fat.

When you begin a new exercise routine, do you ever catch yourself binge eating after your workout? Do you justify the behavior because after all, you just barely got done exercising and surely burned more calories than you are going to eat. I know I do it.

So what can we do for success?

Which should you focus on more: diet or exercise?

In an article I found on the Huffington Post, two experts Michele Olson, PhD and Shawn M. Talbott, PhD provide some valuable insight. They suggest that our focus should be 75% on our diet and 25% on our fitness. They further suggest that diet alone can help you lose the weight, but it is the fitness that is going to build the lean muscle and give you a more attractive physique.

I completely agree that more emphasis should be placed on diet. Not only meeting a calorie goal, but eating the right foods. Becoming self aware is the main thing that has helped me.

May I suggest that you download MyFitnessPal to your phone today and begin tracking what you eat. Even if it is just for a week, you can get a sense of what you are eating. Not only will it give you your total caloric intake, it will also give you a breakdown of how many carbohydrates, fats, and proteins your are consuming.

MyFitnessPal has a pretty cool feature that allows you to use your camera as a bar code scanner for foods you are eating. It also has an extensive database that will contain most of the foods you are eating.

When I sit down to eat, I like to place a little scale like the one below to measure out how many grams I am eating.

I just noticed that this item is on sale. It is usually $30, but as I type this, it is only $14.95.

Do you agree? Will you be able to reach your goals by focusing mostly on diet?

Please comment below.

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One thought on “Diet vs. Exercise – Which gives you better results?”

  1. Hey Stranger! (Just kidding!)

    I agree with you!! I have been going to the gym steady for 3 1/2 years. By steady, I mean 4 to 8 workouts a week. I am so much stronger and feel better than I did before finding a gym that kept me motivated. But, no matter how much I workout, if I’m not paying attention to my diet, my weight stays the same or even goes up. When I join one of the gym’s 90 day challenges (I’ve done 3 so far), I lose weight quite fast. This is, of course, because of my focus on my diet. I also use My Fitness Pal and have set my macs to 35% protein, 35% carbs and 30% fat. It is a battle to stay focused on my diet and I am again in need to get motivated to do so. So, thanks for your post! At my age….I need the reminder and motivation!

    Say “Hi” to your parents for me!! 🙂

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