Many people wonder if a diet program necessarily has to be completed in conjunction with exercise to effectively lose weight. Well the answer is both yes and no. While you can lose weight without exercising on a diet program, exercising will help you tone your body and make the necessary changes to allow you to successfully maintain your new weight once you get it off.
How Does Weight Loss Occur?
In order to effectively lose weight, the only driving factor is that there needs to be a difference in the number of calories you consumes in a day versus the number of calories that you burn through metabolism and daily physical activity. These calories do not necessarily have to be burned during exercise to successfully lose weight as long as there is a difference between these two numbers.
In one recent study, researchers concluded that people doing exercise and diet lost the same amount of weight as those people doing just a diet, leading them to believe that diet alone can be enough to shed excess pounds. The main goal of losing weight is often to protect against diseases linked to fat around the abdomen such as heart disease. For this purpose, a diet program creates a solution.
Exercise and Other Health Benefits
Those same researchers from the study also noted though it doesn't soley contribute to weight loss, regular exercise does improve aerobic fitness and lowers the risk of heart disease, certain type of cancer and diabetes.
Additionally, people who regularly exercise are more likely to maintain their target weight after a weight loss diet than those that do not. Conditioning your body requires discipline that generally will spill over to your food choices and other areas of your life. This will keep you motivated and keep you on a path to continued physical fitness and healthiness that may otherwise be forsaken.
Regular exercise also prevents you from having to continuously diet once you reach a target weight. By eating healthy, well-balanced meals, you can maintain your weight quite easily and remain physically fit and trim for years to come after a successful weight loss diet. Also, the more muscle mass you acquire, the more efficiently your body will burn calories (even while at rest).
Which is Better – Exercise or Diet?
If you are obese, it is best for your health to lose the weight as soon as possible, and for most people that means through some form of dieting. However, the benefits of exercise cannot be understated. Exercise can also be a great way to relieve some stress from your challenging diet program. Though research may prove that dieting alone is enough, people that practice both tend to be in better shape and more physically active and fit than those that just diet.
If you are looking to lose some weight, by all means, begin a diet program. But to improve the health of your heart, muscle tone and overall strength, add an exercise program to your life as well.