Diet VS Exercise: The Weight Loss Conundrum

Obesity and being overweight are common issues faced by people all over the world caused by excessive fat accumulation in the body. When one’s weight is unchecked and leans on the heavier side, it leaves one susceptible to several diseases and health complications. Some of them are high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, fatty liver disease, strokes and heart disease, osteoarthritis, etc. to name a few. It is important to maintain a healthy weight to keep your body healthy and free from these weight-related diseases. In the pursuit of weight loss, people are often confused about whether to alter their diet or to incorporate exercise into their daily routine. Let’s look into the importance of both.

Diet and its Benefits

The food we eat determines our overall health and directly affects our weight. When we think of diet and weight loss, most people immediately think of reducing their food intake, counting calories, fasting, etc. However, there are better and easier ways to induce weight loss without having to take extreme measures. Here are some methods you can incorporate to lose weight effectively:

  • Eat fiber-rich foods: Fibre-rich foods are low in calories and also keep your body full for longer
  • Drink a glass of water before meals: Drinking a glass of water before your meals will help you to eat less.
  • Drink coffee or tea: Coffee and tea increase your metabolic rate and they’re also appetite suppressants which mean they’ll keep your hunger at bay.
  • Eat healthy snacks: When hungry between meals, opt for healthy snacks such as nuts, fruits, and dark chocolate.
  • Eat a protein-rich breakfast: Eating a protein-rich breakfast will keep you energized and help you avoid snacking later in the day.
  • Avoid refined carbohydrates: Refined carbohydrates such as white bread get digested by the body very fast and promote weight gain.
  • Avoid sugar and carbonated drinks: Sugar and carbonated drinks are culprits for weight gain as they are high in calories.

Exercise and its Benefits

Exercise is important for overall well-being but while striving for weight loss, it becomes even more important. Exercise helps in weight loss by burning off calories and the accumulated fat in the body. It also helps weight reduction by speeding up the metabolic system. Here are some forms of exercise that you can incorporate to lose weight. No matter which activity you choose, it is crucial that you practice it on a regular basis. At least 150 minutes a week of any of the physical activities below will lead to significant weight loss.

  • Walking: Walking for at least 30 minutes daily helps burn calories.
  • Running: Jogging or running is an excellent way to lose weight and get in shape. 
  • Weights: Lifting and using weights can show rapid results for weight loss. 
  • Cardio: Cardio exercises increase the heart rate and burns calories which facilitate weight loss.
  • Yoga: Practicing yoga improves metabolism, tones muscles, and burn calories while increasing flexibility. [3]

Conclusion

Although exercise can help with burning calories and reducing fat faster, adopting exercise alone is not enough to promote weight loss. Studies have shown that a combination of regular exercise and following a healthy diet provides the best results for effective weight loss [2]. As a general rule of thumb, the calories burned in a day should be more than the calories consumed. This ensures an effective weight loss strategy. Hence, combining a healthy diet and an active lifestyle with moderate to intense exercise provides the right calorie deficit for weight loss.

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