Do you think limiting your number of daily calories is most important when trying to lose weight? Or is burning the extra calories through exercise more beneficial? Diet and exercise are both important to maintaining a healthy lifestyle, but one is more crucial when it comes to losing pounds. You’ll finally be able to answer the age-old question: “is it okay to eat that whole pizza for dinner since I went to the gym today?”
The Benefits of Dieting
Dieting and losing weight often go hand in hand. Being mindful of your calorie intake goes a long way toward shedding pounds. A 14” pizza is around 2,200 calories, which is the equivalent of about 23 apples. Fruits and veggies contain significantly fewer calories, but with their water content and fiber, they still manage to fill you up. Because they are more nutrient-dense opposed to calorie-dense, eating more fruits and vegetables allows you to consume fewer calories daily while also enjoying their health benefits.
The Benefits of Exercising
Limiting your calorie intake and eating right are only half the solution. Exercise helps your body burn calories. Incorporating aerobic workouts for as little as 15 minutes a day can decrease your weight by 10 pounds each year. Keeping a daily exercise routine can also increase your metabolism, the rate at which you burn calories. Additionally, exercise offers more benefits besides weight loss including lowering your cholesterol and blood pressure, which can reduce your risk of heart disease. Studies also show exercise can prevent the development of certain cancers, including colorectal and breast cancers.
Diet vs. Exercise
In order to lose weight, you must burn more calories than you consume. To counteract the calories from an entire pizza, you’d have to run just short of a marathon. A focus on diet is much more impactful when trying to losing weight because exercising will only burn a small number of calories compared to what the average individual takes in. But a combination of the two is the best path toward achieving your ideal weight and living a healthy lifestyle.
For more information on the right diet and exercise guidelines for you, talk to your primary care physician at Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Group. If you’re having difficulty losing weight through diet and exercise alone, find out if you’re a candidate for weight loss surgery. Register to attend one of our surgical weight loss seminars, conveniently located at both St. Luke’s Health–The Woodlands Hospital and Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center in Houston.
Baylor College of Medicine | Diet or exercise: Which matters more?
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