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Diet and Exercise – You Can’t Have One Without the Other

Diet and exercise must be combined to achieve weight loss. The human body is a synergistic machine. You can’t do either or.  Diet alone doesn’t rev up the metabolism.  Exercise has many health benefits you can’t get from diet alone and vise versa.

The Diet vs. Exercise Debate
This is one of the topics I touched upon on my FitTalk Show with
Tom Venuto, which he refers to as “Fat Loss Lie #9 – Exercise is not necessary – all you need is a diet”.  AKA the ‘ol Diet vs. Exercise debate.  As Tom explained it, “the issue here is what’s more important, diet or exercise? To answer that, you need to create a caloric deficit. You can create a caloric deficit with just diet alone or through exercise, expending more calories than you consume.”

Dieting alone is 50% of the equation. Yes, you can lose weight with just dieting. Tom provided a great explanation of the The Diet vs. Exercise debate. “If person “a” burned 1,000 calories with a combination of weight training and cardio, and person “b” didn’t do any training and just cut calories, are the results going to be the same? Will persons “a” and “b” health be the same? Will their body compositions be the same? No. The training group will always come out better all the time.

No amount of dieting can ever make you stronger, only training can do that. No amount of dieting will ever make you more physically conditioned or build lean muscle. Only training can do that. Yes, you can lose weight with just dieting, but if you are able bodied, dieting alone is the worst way to lose weight.”

Diet Alone Does Not Lead to Significant Weight Loss
Newly published research by scientists at Oregon Health & Science University demonstrates that simply reducing caloric intake is not enough to promote significant weight loss.  This study demonstrated that there is a natural body mechanism which conserves energy in response to a reduction in calories.

Give Your Metabolism some Muscle
Want to rev up your metabolism? EXERCISE. Super-charge your metabolism and calorie burning by building muscle. If you’re not hitting the gym, you should. Want to know why? Muscle demands energy to just “sit” on your body. Fat does not.

For every pound of muscle that you gain, your body burns 50-70 calories more per day. That means, if you gain 10 lbs. of muscle, your body will burn an additional 500-700 calories per day, and with proper diet, that equates to more or less guaranteed weight loss.

At the end of the day, if you are looking to lose weight and someone tells you that you can lose weight by just following a diet program and you don’t need to exercise, run the other way.  If someone tells you that you can eat all you want, whatever you want and all you have to do is exercise, run the other way.  All the exercise in the world can’t undo a poor diet.

When looking to lose weight and improve your health, exercise some common sense and do your best to make diet and exercise as habitual as brushing your teeth.

Science Daily
Dr. Joseph Mercola
Tom Venuto

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  1. 5 Comment(s)

  2. By Dr Joe | Reply

    Thanks Shari.This is so important. The body is not one dimensional.We need to be adjusting multiple aspects of out life to bring about change in health. The other key points are getting the right mindset and drinking plenty of water( instead of soda juices and caffeine drinks).

  3. By sharifitness | Reply

    Many people think they can short cut their way to weight loss. Some people think that all they need to do is exercise so they can eat what ever they want. Some people think they can get by on dieting alone and this is the mindset most people walking into the popular weight loss centers have. And then there are those who think all they need to do is take a weight loss pill and the weight will magically fall off.

    As always, thank you, Dr. Joe for your comments 🙂

  4. By bodynsoil | Reply

    Great post, I complete agree with your thoughts regarding proper eating mixed with exercise as a means to be fit an healthy. Dramatic calorie cutting causes more weight issues down the line and most often sets up a situation where the individual will experience future weight gain. The “skinny fat” body is due to calorie cutting with little to no exercise, not only does the body adapt to the lowered calorie intake it will rob valuable proteins from muscle while reserving fat stores, often leaving the individual with a bloated mid section.

    The quality of the food you eat plays a major role in the health of your body, skin, hair and organs plus in how you feel. A good combination of nutrition and exercise will do more than make you look good, it will improve the quality of your life.

  5. By sharifitness | Reply

    @Janet (Bodynsoil)

    Thanks for the feedback. Glad you like this post. We all know that many people have the mentality that if they workout, they can eat whatever they want and as much as they want. However, if you are still taking in more calories than you are expending, all the exercise in the world won’t help.

    Then you have the people who don’t exercise, but think if they starve themselves and eat only salad that they’ll lose weight or keep the weight off and as you correctly stated, are nothing more than “skinny fat people”.

    Cutting back too much on calories for an extended period of time can indeed slow the metabolism down even further causing the body to hold on to body fat to survive.

    Although people KNOW that the best way to achieve a healthy lean body is primarily through good nutrition and exercise, for some reason, it’s a bitter pill for most to swallow and feel they can outsmart mother nature 😉

  6. By Cameron | Reply

    Great article Shari. It’s definitely a very bitter pill for people to swallow. We find that nutrition is usually the hardest part for our clients, and the ones that have that dialled in always get the best results. You definitely can’t out train a bad diet though, so I would probably give nutrition a more weight in the equation, but you absolutely need both for optimal results like you said.

    Thanks again for the article Shari, looking forward to reading more 🙂


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