Making healthy lifestyle choices is critical to treating your body right, ultimately warding off disease and promoting longevity. Certain habits, such as eating well and exercising, can also help you look and feel your best. For years now, exercise and physical exertion championed as the most effective vehicle for driving pronounced weight loss. While a viable exercise regime is undoubtedly essential and capable of boosting productivity and easing stress, it is your diet that drives sustained weight loss.
One is more crucial than the other, however, and acts as the ultimate foundation for overall wellness. As important as exercise is for losing weight, boosting your immune system and improving your energy by following a primarily raw, plant-based diet gives your body the fuel it needs to get through a workout, while also offering more weight-loss benefits than exercise.
Running on the treadmill to burn those excess calories you devoured for dinner seems like the easy way out, but starting with smarter eating habits and cutting calories initially ends in better results. As a rule of thumb, weight loss is generally 75 percent diet and 25 percent exercise. An analysis of more than 700 weight loss studies found that people see the most significant short-term results when they eat smart.
Food and specifically proper nutrition is the key driver behind achieving any desired body type—no matter how much physical training you do. It can be summed up with the following simple adage:
“You cannot exercise your way out of a bad diet, but you can always eat your way to a fitter and healthier body.”
Think about what this means. At first, it sounds counterintuitive, but in the end, what you eat either helps or takes away from any benefits you gain through exercise. If you are not convinced, read what follows.
The “500 Calories Per Day” Approach and Does It Work?
To lose a pound of fat, you must burn 3,500 calories. To break it down into manageable chunks, this means burning 500 calories more per day than you take in. Do this seven days in a row, and you will lose approximately one pound. The 500 rule makes weight management simple. In theory, you can drop 1 pound of fat in a week by merely burning 500 calories each day beyond those calories you consume. Eat 2,000 calories, burn 2,500 each day, and in a week you’ll be down by a pound.
Here’s the thing…
It takes 5 minutes to eat 500 calories but can take up to two hours of exercise to burn it off. Most people do not burn 500 calories in a workout. Therefore, this equation will never pan out if food choices ignored, and especially for people who are already exercising. If you go to the gym but do not see any changes on the scale, you would need to add an extra hour of exercise time each day to burn that 1 pound of fat in a week! This doesn’t even take into account the days you go out for dinner or have a “treat” that adds on a few extra calories. On those days you may end up eating 500 calories more than usual, which means you’d have to workout even more to burn them! It’s impossible to keep up!
But to give exercise its due, it isn’t the sole answer to losing weight or keeping pounds off, but it’s an essential part of the equation. Anyone can work out for an hour but to control what you put on your plate the remaining 23 hours; that’s the real deal.0