Food Vs Exercise: Is Exercising More, Or Eating Less, More Effective For Weight Loss?
A closing look at the age-old debate: food vs exercise. Who wins?
Diet or exercise – which is more effective, is the question. I know I really need to get rid of the tyre running down my middle. Yes, I also know that exercising will keep my body healthy, help reduce my weight, and that the food I eat affects my weight. We all want to shed those extra kilos, but fail to take into account a few things like willpower, time, and energy. Do I have the time and energy to workout regularly? Do I have the willpower to resist that packet of barbeque-flavoured crisps lying on my counter, and grab the apple sitting next to it, instead? Recent studies have shown that food and exercise are both crucial, in the long run. When you look at the body, weight loss and weight gain depend on the amount of calories consumed, and the amount of calories expended. Simply put, if our calorie intake is less than the calories we expend, we should be able to lose weight. The opposite is also true – if we eat more calories than we burn, we will gain weight. There are countless reasons to exercise regularly. A few of them are:
- Reduced blood sugar
- Reduced blood pressure
- Increased muscle mass
- Increased sense of wellbeing
- Reduced depression
- Increased longevity
Fitness and food are both vital for long-term weight control. However, the amount of weight you lose boils down to the food you eat. It seems that the food choices you make are what make all the difference. People have lost noticeable weight only when they have combined exercising with calorie restrictions. So if you are pounding the streets every morning at sunrise, but also chowing down burgers and fries regularly, you will actually be gaining weight. The body is not burning as many calories as you think, when you exercise. The flip side to this is that if you reduce your calorie intake to half a burger, and half a packet of fries, your body is still hungry. And this is not sustainable over a period of time. Also, when you exercise, your body demands food, and your appetite actually increases. Consuming empty calories will not give you the energy needed to exercise, and you will end up increasing your calorie intake. So how do we lose weight, and maintain it? It’s been noticed that people struggle a lot more with their kitchen than with their gyms. Ask them to go for a 30-minute workout, and they will find the time. Ask them to prep for a healthy lunch or dinner, or even keep a food diary, and they baulk. To lose weight effectively, you need to work in the kitchen, as well as in the gym. The good news is, you can fill yourself up with big portions, and still lose weight! Below is a list of foods that are high on the satiety scale, and low in calories:
- Fresh fruits
- Fresh vegetables
- Water-rich grains, like hot cereals and brown rice
- Starchy vegetables, like potatoes and corn
- Legumes, such as black beans
- Lean protein, like chicken and seafood
Smart eating is about consuming more of good food, rather than settling for less (and possibly junk food). A combination of regular exercise and healthy eating is the best bet for your wellbeing, and for your waistline.