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Is Diet or Exercise More Effective For Fat Loss and Muscle Tone?

Posted Feb 20 2009 5:27pm

So when it comes to losing unwanted body fat, is diet or exercise more important? If you were to ask me 20 years ago, I would have told you that exercise was the key to a sexy body. While exercise is important, I think the real key to burning body fat and looking great is the result of a clean diet. If people ate properly, there would be many more toned people in gyms all over the world.

The Best “One Two” Weight Loss Combo is Both Diet and Exercise

Everyone knows that exercise along with a good diet is a great approach to losing weight. The challenge with exercising is that often times life gets busy. There isn’t always time to exercise, but you always have time for a proper diet. My suggestion is to keep your diet clean at all times, and exercise when time allows.

“You Can’t Out-Exercise a Big Mac”

A Big Mac has 540 calories. Do you realize how much exercising it takes to burn those calories? Well about an hour on the elliptical trainer at a moderate pace would do the trick! So after an hour of boring cardio, you are back to square one. You probably won’t lose weight at all especially if you added the fries and soft drink. Large fries would be an extra 570 calories and a large non-diet soft drink would be an extra 310 calories. So how much exercise would you have to do to burn 1,400+ calories? Let’s not even go there!

A Clean Diet Creates a Larger Calorie Deficit Than Exercising

A simple approach to losing weight is to create a daily calorie deficit. Basically, the idea is for your body to use more calories each day than what you consume in food calories. So, there are two ways to create this deficit; either consume less calories or burn more through exercising. Each pound of fat on your body is 3,500 calories. So to lose 2 pounds per week, you need to create a weekly calorie deficit of 7,000or a daily calorie deficit of 1,000. In my opinion it is much easier to create this calorie deficit by not eating those calories in the first place. You would have to spend two hours at a moderate pace on a stationary bike EVERY day to accomplish this!

This is Simplifying Fat Loss a Bit

The body is actually much more complex than simply responding precisely to a calorie deficit. There are WAY more variables that come into play when it comes to fat loss; the type of food you eat, the timing of your meals, the metabolic effect of exercise, the muscle sparing effect of resistance training, etc. There are a lot of things that come into the fat loss picture that I’m not addressing here.

Diet is MUCH More Important Than Most People Realize

If you are eating a bunch of calories, a large part of your time spent in the gym is a waste. What is crazy is that over 80% of all articles in fitness magazines focus on exercise, while diet is the key to getting a great looking body. I am a HUGE believer in regular exercise, I just think that diet is what is holding most people back from hitting their goals.

Diet is What Makes Your Cardio Much More Effective

Show me an overweight person who works outs hard 5 times a week and I will show you a person who doesn’t eat well! The mistake people often make in gyms is that they copy the workout routine of a person who is in great shape. The real reason that person is in great shape is because of their clean diet. True weight loss happens “behind the scenes”. Working out speeds along the process, but the foundation of a great body is in a clean diet.

Bonus: A Great Way to Increase Your Self-Discipline With Dieting

The crazy thing about self-discipline is that it all depends upon the “way you think about things”. We are impressed when we see someone who has strong self-discipline, but you would act the same if you thought like that person thought. Hope that makes sense. Here is the way I think about cardio exercise and diet that works for me. If I know I am going to workout hard later in the day, I will eat strictly. The reason I do this is that I actually want my exercise to mean something and burn body fat. During the day I will eat low calorie foods to prepare for my early evening workout. Often times the evening rolls around and I don’t feel like exercising. Since I skipped the unhealthy food and spent all day getting my body ready to exercise, it would be foolish if I skipped a workout. I force myself to exercise, since I stuck to a strict diet during the day. This is a great way to make diet and exercise play off of each other.


About the Author: Rusty Moore

Want a slim and hot body like Jessica Alba or Brad Pitt? Uncover the Diet and Exercise techniques of Hollywood’s Sexiest Actors and Actresses. Click here for expert, up-to-date, Fitness Tips!

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