While many tout exercise and physical exertion as the secret for lasting weight loss, it is actually what you eat and the quality of what you eat – your diet – that is the main driver of permanent weight loss.
I’m not saying don’t exercise, I’m saying that it will not necessarily help you achieve your weight loss goals.
Below are the reasons why diet drives weight loss more than exercise does, and some ways you can benefit from this.
Exercise Alone Is Not the Main Factor in Significant or Quick Weight Loss
Numerous studies have shown that exercise without paying attention to your diet does not result in significant weight loss. This is mainly because most of us consume more calories than we burn when we increase our physical activity – without even realizing it. Whether we consume more snacks or just grab fast, convenient, but not necessarily healthy meals on the go, our subconscious eating habits can easily erase the benefits of even a daily exercise program.
To counteract this, try keeping a food log that details each and every calorie you consume as well as your saturated fat and sugar intake. You will see exactly what you eat and areas where you can improve your diet will be obvious.
Your Appetite Increases When You Exercise
We’ve discussed how regular exercise may cause a subconscious consumption of calories. Research suggests that intense physical exertion actually increases your metabolism and appetite. These studies have verified that those who participate in rigid exercise programs also generally tend to increase their calorie consumption at the same time. Over time, this increased calorie consumption will negate the impact of the results of their physical exercise.
In order to keep this from happening, restrict your calories at the beginning of your weight loss plan so that you can optimize the effects of your workouts. You shouldn’t feel excessively hungry on the 30 Day Program, but feeling some hunger is an inevitable side effect of shedding weight, so a little hunger is to be expected.
Increased Physical Activity Effected Rising Obesity Levels
The percentage of people who exercise increased noticeably in the US between 2001 and 2009. However, a corresponding reduction in obesity did not occur. In fact, obesity rose among adults during this same time period. This demonstrates that exercise alone is not enough to keep you from gaining weight or protect you from the onset of chronic conditions caused by diet.
It may be difficult to overcome this challenge, but it can be done by being mindful of the nutritional values of every snack and meal you consume. Just like logging your calorie consumption, when you are aware of the nutritional value of your meals, you can better regulate the amounts of sugar and saturated fat you consume on a regular basis. This will improve your overall health as well as optimize any workout effects.
Food Is the Fuel for Exercise
The relationship between exercise and food is misunderstood by many. Simply put, food is the fuel source that powers exercise. Without the right amount of calories, nutrients, and energy, your body cannot exercise effectively, and in consequence, you cannot achieve your weight loss goals.
You can benefit from this by making sure that you give your body the right fuel or foods to optimize your energy levels. Lean meats, fruits, and vegetables are all excellent sources of energy and by consuming them you will be better able to lose weight consistently and have enough energy for exercise. It is also important to supplement your diet regimen with high quality protein and super foods. The truth is, we will never get enough nutrients that we need just from the foods we eat. That is where super foods and nutritional balancing comes into play.
Diet and Short-Term Weight Loss
While we have focused initially on the role diet plays in long-term weight loss, it is important to know that diet is also the most important factor in driving quick, short-term weight loss. It is estimated that weight loss consists of 25% exercise and 75% diet. The analysis of over 700 weight loss studies underscores this.
This analysis revealed that the majority of participants achieved short-term results by eating smart and dieting. This is important to keep in mind as you focus initially on reducing excess calories before you begin a cardiovascular exercise program and toning regime.
Weight Loss and the Effectiveness of Exercise
Similarly, it is important to note that the mechanics of weight loss limit the effectiveness of exercising without also changing your diet. The American Dietetic Association verifies this, emphasizing that it is nearly impossible for people who are overweight to create the energy deficit of 500 to 100 calories a day required to lose weight without also reducing their caloric intake and managing their nutrition.
Knowing this fundamental rule will save you time and help you achieve your goals faster. You should also consider this fundamental rule when setting your weight loss goals in the first place. This way, you can reduce your caloric intake responsibly but in such a way that you can not only reduce your weight quickly and also keep it off over time.