Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Diet Vs. Exercise: Can You Really Have One Without The Other?

Hey, fitness lovers and friends! How's it going? Can you believe we are already 6 months into the new year?!? (In around 2 weeks it'll be July so I guess the year is not so "new" anymore.) How is everyone coming along in their fitness/weight-loss journeys? Still hangin' in there tough? Or have you slacked off a bit? Or maybe you're playing it safe getting just the right amount of exercise and eating just the right amount of food a day to maintain. Whatever your situation may be, DON'T STOP! DON'T GIVE IN! and DON'T GIVE UP!  It gets hard sometimes, especially in the summertime with all the summer picnics and barbeques, but it's never impossible. The reality is, it doesn't matter how many times you fall, all that really counts is that you keep getting up!

So now that I've given my little pep talk, let's get down to the matter at hand, the subject of this post which is "Diet Vs. Exercise: Can you Really Have One Without The Other?" Now anyone who knows me knows my opinion, I've stated it in this blog more than several times, diet and exercise is the key to achieving true total fitness success. (And by "diet" I mean eating healthy balanced meals of fruits, vegetables, proteins, grains, and dairy.) But am I right or wrong? You may be thinking, "Jonelle, it doesn't matter what I eat, as long as I burn it off, I'm good." Or, the flip side of the coin, "Jonelle, my diet is excellent, I don't need to exercise." My response? You already knowBut open your mind and let go of any preconceived notions you may have had before reading this and let's discuss this matter further...

The Diet vs. Exercise Debate

The issue here is what’s more important, diet or exercise? To answer that, you need to create a caloric deficit.  A "caloric deficit" is expending more calories than you consume. You can create a caloric deficit with just diet alone or through exercise.

So Why Exercise?
Dieting alone is 50% of the equation. In addition to the obvious physical benefits that come from exercising, such as more energy and a better physique, there are numerous health-related reasons. Being active will lower your risk of countless diseases and conditions. Lower cholesterol and blood pressure, stronger immune system, and less stress are just a small sample of what you will achieve with an exercise program.

Yes, you can lose weight with just dieting. But the let me pose this question to you, 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? The answer is 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.

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.

Want to rev up your metabolism? EXERCISE. Super-charge your metabolism and calorie burning by building muscle. If you’re not hitting the gym or pushing play, you should. 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.

So Why Diet?
It's unfortunate when a person who works out on a regular basis consumes food that is counter-productive to a healthy lifestyle. A diet of unnatural, unhealthy foods and beverages forces your body to work twice as hard during workouts, and actually works against your physical efforts.

Unlike exercise, which is something you can choose to do or not, eating is a daily necessity. Why not adopt a quality diet that compliments your exercise? Your diet will depend on your individual goals, whether they are to lose weight and be toned, or to build muscle. Building and strengthening your muscles is actually one of the most effective ways to lose weight and keep it off. You cannot expect your body to function at optimal levels and burn fat if you do not take the initiative to assist it with the proper diet. Many diets that are designed for fat loss will leave people feeling tired or sluggish, because their bodies are not receiving the proper nutrients or activity. After all, what good is looking great if you lack the energy to participate in your favorite activities? Psychologically, being worn down can have a negative effect on your mood, outlook, or self esteem. These things will remain positive when you have the energy required to accomplish your goals. 

Concentrate on a healthy diet, rather than one that will speed weight loss, which comes naturally with improved health.  Eat a lot of nutritious, plant-based foods, and ensure that your meats are lean and of reasonable portions. Boost your fiber intake, and reduce salts and sugars.

My Conclusion
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, do your best to make diet and exercise as common place as brushing your teeth.

sources: http://www.hellolife.net and http://fittalknews.com 


  1. I'm loving BOTH right now... and for the first time I've learned how much fun exercise can be!

  2. Exactly! Very well put. Great blog.

  3. Thanks for the compliment on my blog!

    And I love both, too, Wendy! :)

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  5. Great post. I could not agree more that you need both exercise and a good diet for true health. I used to lose weight with just dieting, but then I was weak and unhealthy. You need both!

  6. Great post! There was also a recent article in the Globe and Mail that discussed that debate - you may find it interesting. Here's the link Sorry, folks, but you have to diet - and exercise