January 25, 2016

If You Have to Choose: Diet, Or Exercise?

Research shows that when you devote your energy into developing one healthy habit, you spend  less time on other healthy habits. So if you have to choose, which is more important: Diet or exercise?

I would argue neither. From working with hundreds of men and women across the country, the real success stories aren’t the ones from people who’ve dedicated themselves to following one  specific diet, or who hit the gym as religiously as they say their evening prayers. No, the best success stories are from those who have worked to think of themselves differently, who aim at being healthy from a foundation of self-love and strong goals. More than a diet or exercise regimen, you need a good reason to succeed in living a healthier lifestyle. Once you have that, you only have to choose the method with which you’ll pursue it.

Which brings us back to the original question: Diet, or exercise? Of course, both is the best
answer, especially when combining a healthy, whole foods based diet with high intensity
workouts (like with BURST training). However, six new studies (published in Psychological Science)show that people who consider diet to be the most important factor in controlling their weight tend to have lower BMIs than people who believe exercise is the answer.

The theory is that the exercisers tend to overestimate the calories they burn from exercising, and eat more. Numerous studies have shown, however, that changing diet is more effective. I would argue that changing your lifestyle is even more effective, starting with the words you use to think about yourself each day.

Don’t be tempted to throw out exercise altogether – it is a vital component to a successful weight loss journey, and important for promoting bone density in women, alleviating depression and mood disorders, and improving longevity.