Exercise Vs. Diet: Which is Better for Fat Loss?

Exercise or Diet Fat Loss
12 Feb

Last Updated on May 22, 2023 by Michael Brockbank

Everyone has their own preference when it comes to fat loss. Some will put all their efforts into exercise while others may focus more on a diet. But which is better when trying to shed those extra pounds? In reality, that totally depends on you.

For most people, losing weight isn’t really all that difficult – well, from a physiological standpoint anyway. In many situations, it’s a person’s own lack of effort that proves whether fat loss is possible or not.

It’s one thing to say you’re going to lose 50 pounds this year, but it’s another to actually do it.

So, what are the comparisons between exercise and diet?

Fat Loss with Exercise

Don’t think of exercise as doing push-ups, sit-ups or gym aerobics. In the long run, anything that has physical activity involved is considered exercise. It’s all about getting the heart rate up and burning calories and fats.

For example, my heart can peak at over 150 beats per minute by playing the Xbox Kinect. Doing so for about 30 minutes burns enough calories for a complete breakfast.

Burning Calories and Fat

Physical activity forces your body to use the elements you have stored to create energy. The more active you are, the more energy you’ll need.

This doesn’t mean you can instantly burn 20 pounds of fat by pushing yourself into a 5K run. However, physical activity does mean you quickly begin to burn away those fat stores throughout the body.

The impact areas rely on what kind of exercises you commit to. For instance, after playing the Xbox Kinect every day for the past month and a half, my upper body is far more defined than it used to be. Unfortunately, this really has done little for my stomach because many core muscles are not used while playing most Kinect games.

Improving the Cardiovascular System

HeartburnAnother aspect of putting more effort into exercise is strengthening the cardiovascular system. The stronger your heart and the veins that contain your blood, the better off you’ll be. In fact, being overweight and obese often leads to cardiovascular disease – often because of the lack of physical activity.

There is a myriad of physical dangers by living a sedentary lifestyle. Some people have been known to even drive themselves into a heart attack by being more active than what the body can handle.

In other words, exercise and physical activity is vastly important to reduce the risk of heart disease, high blood pressure and other cardiovascular issues.

Increasing Overall Strength

Dwayne JohnsonEven those who don’t want to look like Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson benefit from increasing overall strength. I know I geeked out a little when I was able to pick up a 50-pound bag of dog food at the grocery store without realizing it.

You don’t need to focus on looking like a body builder. Doing things around the house, yard work, shopping and other daily life activities are enhanced through regular physical activity.

Increasing overall strength also plays into improving the immune system and prevents damage, such as reducing the risk of breaking a bone. Another side effect of a strong body is a shorter recovery time from various injuries as well.

It’s not about whether you can bench-press a small village. It’s more about creating a strong body that is less likely to fail during certain situations.

Could you realistically survive a zombie apocalypse, or would you be fodder during the first wave?

Enhancing Stamina

Playing With KidsA lot of people will exercise to vastly improve stamina. This is one of those things that not many think of in terms of living. But when you run after your child throughout the house, push an overflowing shopping cart or try to put in the effort to clean your home, stamina is used.

When my kids were younger, I hated not being able to keep up. Even though I pushed while at the park or when playing games, it was still a grueling effort.

Now that they are teenagers, the game is afoot – and I need to be at my peak self if I want to make them work for their victories.

Stamina isn’t just used by athletes. It’s something that will affect nearly every activity throughout your day. To assume you don’t need it is quite foolish.

Something else you may want to consider. Exercise also improves your sex life by enhancing strength and stamina. For those who value that sort of thing, it pays to be fit for more than just visual appeal.

Improving Brain Functionality

Many studies show how exercise is linked to brain functionality. By maintaining a regular routine of physical activity, you can vastly improve cognitive abilities as well as rational thought.

I’m not saying you’ll turn yourself into a Nobel Prize winner after a few sessions on a treadmill. However, studies suggest how you will improve memory and the processing power of your mind by sticking to an exercise routine.

And it’s not just the ability to solve problems and remember facts that benefit from exercise, either. In fact, I’ve noticed a significant difference in my overall workload and productivity throughout the day after starting my 2018 challenge. It’s all about focus and concentration in my instance.

Fat Loss with Diet

OK, so we know being physically active is beneficial, but what about picking the right diet? How much of an impact does food make on the human body when it comes to fat loss?

What you eat will definitely make an impact on how many pounds you lose and how quickly you’ll lose them. For those who focus on a high-protein/low-card intake, the pounds will shed rather quickly. However, this often also leads to decreased energy levels and low-blood sugar depending on the individual.

You Don’t Need Restrictive Diet Plans

Portion Control EatingTo be honest, I’ve lost more than 60 pounds without focusing on strict diet plans. I still eat the same stuff I did before, only I consume far less of it. This is aside from the fact that I also include healthier alternatives throughout the week.

There’s no doubt that you’re diet plan will affect fat loss. If you live a sedentary lifestyle, fewer carbs and sugars may be necessary. If you’re more active, proteins and glucose production are valuable.

Don’t assume that any one diet plan is going to benefit you. There are too many physiological variables that will affect your success. While some people praise something like Weight Watchers, others will fail miserably.

It’s all about personal preference and what your body needs to operate efficiently. Sometimes this means modifying a diet plan to include elements you’re lacking.

Giving the Body What it Needs

A proper diet gives the body what it needs to survive. This is everything from supplying energy to staving off things like Alzheimer’s and Osteoporosis. You are what you eat, and your body will definitely let you know when something is awry.

The best diet plans will help your body revamp its metabolism while demonstrating fat loss. In fact, many foods are often viewed to burn fat. But in reality, it’s a myth that some foods by themselves will cause the body to shed pounds.

Food does play a role in how many calories and fats you’ll burn, but its through indirect means. For example, the human body burns more calories digesting proteins than it does with carbohydrates. In a sense, high-protein foods helps burn away fat.

Something else to keep in mind is how food will impact your energy levels. Edibles that enhance your energy often lead to you doing more physical activities without realizing it in some instances.

Ever feel motivated to scrub down the kitchen “just because?” You may be storing excess energy and looking for a way to burn it thanks to your diet.

Improving Brain Functionality

Brain PowerLike exercise, food will improve the way your brain works. In fact, many foods types are often touted to prevent various mental diseases and degradation.

What you eat impacts the overall health of your brain. This includes problem solving abilities as well as emotional status. After all, how you mentally feel is a product of how the brain reacts and processes information. It only makes sense that an improved brain leads to an improved sense of self.

Now, eating a bushel of blueberries isn’t going to guarantee you’ll have a photographic memory. But prolonged exposure to healthier foods will enhance how the brain works overall in terms of remembering details.

Finding the Right Balance

What this all boils down to is personal preference and performance. While some will excel in fat loss through diets, others will have a profound experience with exercise. There’s really no right or wrong answer here aside from which you prefer.

Everyone is Different

Everyone is different when it comes to what works with exercise and dieting. No one can guarantee you’ll lose a specific amount of weight, especially since so many things come into play. For instance, having a negative outlook on traditional exercise will influence your success when trying to do push-ups or sit-ups.

For me, it’s all about creating a good balance that I enjoy. I like certain foods, so I’ll continue to eat them. However, I’ll also eat less of them and make sure I burn enough calories to “afford” to eat them. I also love playing the Kinect, which leads to burning an extra 1,000 calories per day.

While it may not work for you, this works exceptionally well for me. After all, I have lost more than 60 pounds so far.

Overall Improvements to Yourself

Pros And ConsWhat do you want to accomplish? Are you simply looking into fat loss or do you want to improve various aspects of your life? Questions like these are going to impact your decision regarding the best course of action.

Personally, I like the idea of toning up my body while putting in less physical effort for certain tasks. Not to mention feeling good while everyone else suffers from the flu or being dragged down by a cold.

Your Level of Commitment and Motivation

The best course of action for you is determined by your level of commitment and motivation. If you can stay committed to a specific diet plan for fat loss, then that may work the best for you.

Fat loss can happen in a number of ways, but all of them require a certain level of motivation and determination. Whether it’s sticking to the best diet plans or keeping up with a certain number of reps in an exercise routine, you are the catalyst.

Don’t assume you won’t have to put in an effort to lose weight. Even diet pills state on the label you need to add them with a proper diet and exercise.

Fat Loss Doesn’t Just Happen

For me, it’s a mixture of modifying my diet while increasing physical activity that promotes fat loss.

It takes effort and focus to lose weight regardless if you’re dieting or exercising. Finding the best method is all about what you want to accomplish and which you’re capable of maintaining. Like I said, there really is no right or wrong answer. It’s all up to what works the best for you.

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