Although calorie counting has not proven to be the most effective way of losing weight, there is one principle that is always true: In order to lose weight, you need a caloric deficit. So, what is a caloric deficit? Well, that’s just a fancy way of describing a situation in which your body is burning more energy than it eats.
Some fitness enthusiasts focus on weight loss, while others focus more on the desire to gain muscle. However, both of these goals require that you shed excess pounds. With that in mind, let’s discuss the right balance of diet and exercise and why it is so important to find the right way.
Diet Alone Isn’t Enough
You have probably met those people who are constantly dieting, yet always overweight. Most of us are too nice to point out that their methods are not working, and so they often do not get the criticism they need in order to correct the problem.
There are several reasons why a diet without exercise can fail to produce the desired results. One of the major reasons is the fact that protein and carbs tend to be converted into fat when they are not used. You see, the human body is meant to be active. When it isn’t active enough, the body will try to adapt by conserving its energy. You may want to get rid of that excess fat, but your body sees it as a reserve fuel tank and wants to conserve it accordingly.
Exercise Alone Isn’t Enough
Exercise alone is also unlikely to produce the results that you want. If you want to understand why that is, then consider this: What would happen if you hired an architect to build your home with shoddy materials? The answer is obvious. Even if you hire the best architect in the world, you can’t expect a good house to be built from bad materials.
In most cases, the human body works in the same way. If you stuff yourself with junk food all day long, your body has nothing with which to work. However, it will have plenty of excess energy to convert into fat stores. No matter where your fitness priorities may lie, you don’t want that.
Most authorities seem to be of the opinion that diet is more important than exercise. Since this is a universally-acknowledged fact, let’s take a closer look at the issue and determine why this is the case.
Why Diet Is More Important Than Exercise
As we said from the start, you have to create a caloric deficit if you want to lose weight. As a result, those who eat more calories will have to work harder in order to obtain the same result. After a certain point, you can no longer overcome the deficit. The average workout simply doesn’t burn enough calories to make up for a diet that is excessively high in calories.
Let’s look at some numbers on the subject, just so that you can understand how hard it can be to overcome that deficit. You might think that you can work a little harder and make up for that cheeseburger and those greasy fried potatoes, but you probably can’t. According to this source, the average workout burns between 100-300 calories every 30 minutes. Thus, an hour-long workout would only burn about 600 calories. A study done by Harvard Medical School found that the average fast-food meal contained over 800 calories! That means you would have to work out for at least an hour and a half to burn off that one single meal.
More Evidence For The Importance Of Diet
There is another piece of evidence that should be considered. Fitness has become a trend in America (and probably many other countries as well), and this has created a situation where more people are exercising than ever before. Although only about a third of Americans get the amount of exercise that experts recommend, the percentage has been steadily increasing for years now.
Based on this report, we can see that Americans are more active than ever before. Since 2000, the number of Americans who exercise regularly has increased by significant margins. At the same time, we can see that America still has an obesity problem. In fact, this problem appears to be getting worse.
This is proof that proper exercise alone is not enough. People are exercising like never before, but they just can’t seem to overcome the fact that the average American diet is far too high in fat and carbs. Until this problem is addressed, it won’t matter how many people go to the gym.
While we agree with the experts who say that diet is more important than exercise, we want to emphasize that both proper diet and sufficient exercise are necessary to live a healthy life. Studies have repeatedly shown that people who exercise regularly and eat well are likely to live longer and healthier lives.
As mentioned in the article linked above, a huge percentage of Americans are overweight or obese. Some estimates are as high as 75%! Although these numbers do vary a little bit among various groups of people, there is no doubt that we are experiencing an obesity crisis of a serious kind. If our article has helped you to gain the inspiration to overcome your unhealthy lifestyle, we will have done our job. If you appreciate these efforts, we hope that you will follow us on Facebook using the big “F” button below.