Is diet or exercise more important for weight loss?
This question always seems to linger on everyone’s mind when they are trying to lose weight. Some people make some fatal mistakes on the pathway. I was one of these people, and I’d like to share my story with you.
For many years, I was the so-called “cardio-holic” who’s aim was to out-train all that I would eat daily. My theory was, whatever calories I consumed (mostly the wrong kind) would be burnt off as energy, as I struggled it out at the gym. I’d spend hours on the treadmill running, on the elliptical machine, or doing some form of a brutal circuit training regime. The after-effects were some form of maintenance of my weight — but at a cost to my health. Because I wasn’t eating well, and exhausting my immune and nervous system, I was always getting bouts of cold and flu. This would put me out of the gym for days on end. When I attempted to train again, I was weak and lacking energy. It was a constant battle back then when my daughter was young and in daycare. She would be getting sick, then I would, and the cycle would continue for the whole family. I was at my wit’s end — yet I never stopped this. I look back now and can’t believe I was on the verge of insanity! Doing the same thing over and over — yet expecting the same results!
Never the less, when I embarked on my competitive journey, all of this excessive cardio stopped, and that’s when diet became the “key” factor for my muscle building and leaning out progression. As a physique competitor, I developed a deeper understanding of how important it is to hold a diet as the key factor for your weight loss goals. But in saying this, exercise also played a massive part in the journey. For me, exercise helped build my strength, my muscle and also my stamina.
I completely understand that not everyone wants to put on a fair amount of muscle, but there isn’t harm in being somewhat toned or shapely. You look a whole lot better in clothes, more importantly, you feel terrific. I hated feeling soft or floppy, which can sometimes happen when you stop going to the gym. You feel tighter and more structured when you build some muscle.
Many people can and do get away with not training, but opt to walk or ride a bike. Maybe playing some other sport regularly, that keeps them fit, toned and trim. The right answer depends on your lifestyle, what you enjoy, and what you hold as your ideal physique. The best advice I can provide you is that exercise needs to be something you enjoy doing that works well with your life plans.
At first, you may dislike exercise, and it will take a little bit of time to develop what they call the “high” most of us experience as a result of training. It’s a combination of those feel-good hormones, and we get a sense of being on top of the world. You will come to love that feeling, and surely will notice it when it’s not there!
Dieting may be a challenge some days, but I always view exercise as my overall sanity and my saviour from life. We’ve all had a tough year, and when they took the gym away, it didn’t feel right — I didn’t feel right to be truthful. No amount of dieting could have given me back that wonderful feeling I get with exercise.
In summary, diet is the number one point on your weight loss journey, and exercise plays a smaller part on that side, but a bit part on you internally. You definitely won’t regret either one.
I do hope this has been useful as it’s my own personal experience. I always deem them to be more beneficial than textbook material. If you appreciate this post, please feel free to upvote it, and do come along and get your complimentary goal setting guide for 2021. I’m also on social if you are active in that space.