Diet or Exercise: Which is An Effective Weight Loss Technique?

a plate of diet foods and dumbells are kept on a table along with a measuring tape

Effective Weight Loss Technique? 

It can be difficult to determine whether you should prioritise nutrition or exercise — or if the answer lies somewhere in between — with so many health interventions available, ranging from the 80/20 rule to exercise-free diets. Now let's find which is better: workout or diet?

Weight loss

You must be in a calorie deficit to lose weight, which means your body expends more calories than you intake. This can be accomplished by consuming fewer calories, increasing the number of calories burned through physical home exercise to lose weight or a combination of the two. 

Heart health is important

Heart health is influenced by both exercise and food. 

Various aspects of health 

A balanced diet and exercise can also help you with other aspects of your health. 

  • Muscle development 

You should practise resistance training with progressive overload and eat adequate protein throughout the day to grow muscle. To stress the muscles, progressive overload includes gradually increasing workout volume and load – through heavier weights, more sets, or more reps. 

You won't gain muscles just by consuming a high protein diet if you don't test your muscles with resistance training. Similarly, it will be tough to grow muscle if you practise strength training but do not consume enough protein. As a result, both food and exercise are essential for muscle growth. 

  • Mental well-being 

A diet rich in healthy fats, fibre, probiotics, veggies, and fruit has been linked to improved mental health and a reduced risk of anxiety and sadness. Low levels of some minerals, such as zinc, vitamins D and B12, and omega-3 fats, have also been related to poor mental health.

Exercise can also help with mental health in the short and long term. It encourages the release of feel-good endorphins like dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine, which improve your mood and stress levels briefly. Regular exercise has also been linked to a lower risk of moderate depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues. Regular exercise and a nutritious diet, in addition to any treatment advised by your healthcare provider, may help you feel better mentally.

Weight loss

  • Dietary Advantages 

This could explain why the 80/20 rule, which asserts that weight loss is achieved through an 80/20 diet and 20% exercise, has become so popular. If you want to lose 500 calories a day, for example, you could eat 400 fewer calories (80 per cent) by eating lower-calorie dishes, smaller portions, and fewer snacks. Then all you have to do is burn 100 calories (20%) through exercise. 

Focusing on eating whole, minimally processed foods that are high in fibre, protein, and healthy fats is a simple strategy to manage calorie intake and encourage weight reduction without monitoring calories. To read about top foods to reduce weight, you can go through this.

  • Advantages of exercises

Exercising can reduce weight but with exercise, one can also take a weight loss combo. Strength training can help build and maintain the mass of muscles, and this can increase one’s metabolic rate with time, hence allowing people to shed more calories at times when one is not exercising. 

  • Diet and exercise in combination 

The 80/20 rule can be a very good guideline to follow, but it’s not necessary that one has to follow this rule to achieve weight loss targets. For example, you might decide to meet your daily calorie deficit of 50% through nutrition and 50% through activity. 

Heart health

  • Dietary Advantages 

The things we eat can either help or hurt our hearts. Dietary patterns linked to a lower risk of heart disease include minimally processed vegetables, fruit, whole grains, healthy fats, and lean animal and plant-based proteins, all of which are low in salt. 

The well-known Mediterranean diet, for example, is beneficial to heart health. It's high in antioxidants that help combat dangerous chemicals called free radicals, as well as healthy unsaturated fats from olive oil, fish, and nuts, dietary fibre from whole grains and vegetables, and antioxidants from whole grains and vegetables.

  • Exercise's Advantages 

Exercise has been demonstrated in numerous studies to help reduce your risk of heart disease, lower blood pressure and LDL (bad) cholesterol levels, enhance the size and strength of your heart, and improve cardiorespiratory fitness. Even if you don't lose weight, consistent exercise may provide you with these benefits. 

  • Diet and exercise in combination 

One of the most effective ways to lower your risk of heart disease is to combine a nutritious diet with regular physical activity. Quitting smoking, limiting or eliminating alcohol, maintaining a healthy weight, and managing stress are all examples of lifestyle changes that can improve your heart health. 

Take Away 

For good health, both exercise and diet are very important. Weight loss requires a calorie deficit, which can be achieved by dietary changes, while exercise has numerous benefits in reducing belly fats that help you maintain your results. It's best to eat a minimally processed, whole-food diet rich in healthy fats, fibre, and lean protein to maintain good overall health. While it's tempting to choose one over the other, diet and exercise complement each other, and combining the two will improve your health and quality of life.