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Diet vs exercise: Is weight loss 75-90% how we eat?



Obviously, most people lose weight by implementing a combination of dietary and exercise regimens. However, is watching your diet of greater consequence than physical activity when wanting to shed pounds?

Hence, is it more detrimental to splurge on a diet day than stay in bed and watch TV on a workout day?

Keep in mind, weight loss is generated by a caloric deficit. We must burn off more calories than we consume.

I’m not a nutrition or metabolism expert and can’t say for sure if weight loss is 75 to 90 percent of what we eat and just 10 to 25 percent based on calories shed during exercise. In fact, the ideal approach to dropping pounds probably varies based on someone’s age, metabolism, general lifestyle, and weight loss goals.

For me, a husky 40+ male, there’s definitely a winner in the Diet versus Exercise debate – It’s next to impossible to out-train a carefree diet.

Over the years, I’ve learned jogging 4 to 7 miles daily 4 to 5 times per week allows me to eat more liberally without gaining weight. Also, my body is a little firmer after a few weeks.

However, if I want to drop more than just a few pounds in 90 days, I have to reduce my daily caloric intake – even when jogging 25 miles per week (5 miles per day, 5 days per week).

In contrast, I’ve noticed I can shed significant pounds over the same period while following a strict, reduced-calorie diet and not implementing an exercise program at all.

Running 5 miles per day 5 days per week in the scorching sun might sound impressive to your ordinary couch potato but will only burn an extra 500-750 calories for most people. So, treating yourself to that 700-calorie milkshake after your run is counterproductive if you’re focused on weight loss.

… And it’s not all about those yummy milkshakes either.

Parched after running in the heat, I’d consume two fruit drinks containing about 270 calories per bottle. I thought I was being good because those drinks contain a lot of beneficial nutrients and are certainly a lot healthier than a large milkshake from McDonald’s.

… And then I wondered why I wasn’t losing significant weight.

After 3 months of consistent, hard running, I enhanced my cardio and felt better physically and mentally but had only shed 7 of my desired 35 pounds.

Even if my weight loss goal over 3 months was a stretch, I’d put in a lot of grueling work to lose a measly 7 pounds.

I later surmised that while those fruit drinks were nutritionally beneficial in some ways, consuming an extra 540 calories on my running days hampered my weight loss mission.

The caloric tradeoff between exercise and consumption seems so unfair.

If you want to eat that 400-calorie slice of chocolate cake tonight and haven’t made any previous caloric sacrifices during the day, you’ll need to walk 4 miles before bed to burn it off or eliminate 400 calories from your diet tomorrow.

Don’t make the same mistake as me and assume the pounds will melt off quickly by simply following a strict exercise regimen – especially if you’re over 35.

For real weight loss at a rate faster than a snail’s pace, watch your caloric intake, first. And remember, even if you’re eating healthy and running 5 miles per day it doesn’t mean you can splurge on calories.

Is weight loss 75 to 90 percent diet?

For me, a husky 40+-year-old male without any serious pre-existing conditions, it seems to be at least 70 to 80 percent.

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