Diet vs Exercise is an age-old question that has been asked by beginners and fitness guru’s alike.
Which is more important, diet or exercise? To be honest, the answer isn’t an easy one. There are a lot of factors involved in diet and exercise. Most people will just jump the gun and tell you that diet is the only thing you ever need to lose weight. While diet is a majority factor in losing weight, it doesn’t mean that you don’t need both diet and exercise. In fact, one without the other will only produce mediocre results. Let’s take some time to debunk some of the myths regarding why one might seem better than the other.
Myth: A Healthy Diet Is All You Need
#1 – A Healthy Diet is All You Need to be Healthy
This myth is easily debunked. Although having a healthy diet program is a very important factor in being healthy, exercise is of the utmost importance if you want to live a healthy lifestyle. Let’s say you eat very healthy and you decided to give working out a break. You have your meals planned and prepped for the week and they all provide healthy food choices. You stick to your diet and hardly ever have any cheat meals. Over time you start to notice that you put on a little bit of weight that you didn’t notice before. What’s the deal? You’re eating healthy and you’re still gaining weight? Well, that’s because you decided to stop working out.
When you have a healthy diet in conjunction with lifting weights and exercising, your metabolism will be sky high. Fat will melt off of you faster than you can imagine. If you decide to cut out one or the other, your metabolism will take a nosedive. You can’t live a healthy life and have a fast metabolism with a healthy diet alone. You absolutely need to have a diet and exercise program in place to reach your goals.
#2 – The More You Workout, the Hungrier You Are, and the More You Gain Weight
Now, this is a myth for the people that try to justify not working out and only eating healthy. At some time or another, a myth was created that said when you work out you have a larger appetite that leads to fat gain. The truth is, this couldn’t be further from the truth. It is true that exercising will increase your appetite. It increases your appetite for fuel for your muscles. Do you want to know the secret to achieving a fast metabolism? Muscle.
Building muscle is what burns the greatest amount of fat in the shortest amount of time. When you exercise, your muscles are depleted of nutrients and need to refuel. This extra hunger you feel is your muscles wanting to grow after a hard workout. So feeding yourself healthy food after a long workout is actually the way to lose weight. The fear that these extra calories will cause you unwanted weight gain is a total myth. Your body responds to your hard workouts be rewarding you with a fast metabolism.
#3 – I Eat Heart-Healthy
Eating heart-healthy is a very important factor in anyone’s life. By choosing to eat foods that ensure your heart stays healthy, you are prolonging your life for years. But that is just one piece of the puzzle. Eating heart-healthy is just part of the process of maintaining a healthy heart. The next step is to engage in cardiovascular activity 4 to 5 days a week. Cardio has shown to increase the heart health of individuals over 40% greater than those who do not engage in any physical activity. So if you’re wondering if you’re doing enough for your heart, just ask yourself if you have both a healthy diet and exercise plan to get the answer.
Myth: Exercise is All You Need
#1 – I Can Burn Off Anything I Eat
I’ve seen people falling for this myth so much it’s scary. If you plan on drinking a triple latte, sugar-laden, pumpkin spice drink from Starbucks while you slowly peddle away on the bike, don’t be surprised if you don’t lose any weight. When people start thinking that a little bit of exercise gives them a pass to not having to maintain a healthy diet, things can quickly go wrong. You literally cannot burn off calories faster than you can consume them. In fact, you can consume 3 to 5 times more calories than you can burn off in one period of time. That should be a clue that this is a myth that everyone should avoid.
#2 Women Will Get Bulky From Working Out
This myth goes along with #2 of the healthy diet myths. This is a real fear that some women have. I have heard women say that they do not like lifting heavy weight because of a fear of looking too bulky. This myth should never prevent you from working out and lifting heavy. Just like the myth above, the best way to maintain a fast metabolism is to lift heavy weights coupled with a healthy diet.
The reason that some women appear “bulky” in the gym, is because they are either missing the diet mark or the exercise mark. You need a healthy diet and exercise to lose weight and neither one alone is going to get you there. If you ever see a woman that you consider to be too “bulky”, know that she might have a great workout regimen, but her diet is not a healthy one and vice versa.
#3 – Cardio is The Only Way To Lose Weight
I’m sure everyone has seen the people that are only interested in doing cardio in the gym. They believe that working out will have no benefits for them and cardio is the ultimate key to getting in shape. This is a very common myth in the diet vs exercise debate because cardio does help you lose fat. The problem comes in when people start believing that cardio is all they need to get in shape. While cardio is very beneficial to your health, a fast metabolism is built through exercise and proper dieting.
If you are barely eating enough calories to make it to the gym while engaging in cardio, your body will respond with the flattening of your muscles and loosening of your skin. Without a proper diet, people that engage in rigorous amounts of cardio can end up doing damage to their internal organs due to the stress on their body and lack of nutrients. This should be a warning sign to anyone considering taking a side on diet vs exercise.
Diet vs Exercise should not be the huge debate that it is. If you want to lose fat and build muscle, neither one of them will get you there on their own. To create a fast metabolism that burns through fat while building muscle, you need a diet and exercise program to get you there. So now that you’re armed with this knowledge, go out and spread the word. Hopefully, we can have everyone engaging in both diet and exercise to lose weight, instead of relying on one of the two.