Exercise vs. Food for Weight Loss—What’s More Effective? So… weight loss. The process is unique for each person. No one can say for sure how different lifestyle changes may affect an individual body, but there are certain things we do know. With the help of a trained medical professional, it’s entirely possible to discover a promising path to weight-loss success while still caring for your body’s needs. A healthy, balanced diet and exercise are a MUST for weight loss, right?

… Right?

Exercising for Weight Loss Isn’t Real

First, let’s get this out of the way: yes, exercise is good for you (great for you!) but it’s just not that great for weight loss.

Near the end of last year, Vox magazine published a piece citing over 60 different studies on the topic. As it turns out, exercise is way more than the calories in, calories out rationale most of us were taught. The way we burn energy is way too complex to boil down to a number.

Exercise only accounts for a very small percentage of our daily calorie burn. Scientists actually theorize that after a certain amount of exercise, you start burning calories differently anyway, meaning you’re not working double-time, you’re just working yourself tired.

Even more of a bummer? Exercise may be working directly against your weight-loss regimen by encouraging indulgence, actually making you hungrier and kicking your body into energy conservation mode.

Weight Loss Through Dietary Planning

The best way to control your weight, whether that’s losing, gaining or maintaining, is through a well-balanced diet! Again, we’re not just talking “diet” like a trendy plan or restricted caloric intake (although with a doctor’s help, monitoring and creating a caloric intake plan can be very helpful!) but the content of your food.

Exercise vs. Food for Weight Loss—What’s More Effective?

Food sustains your body, and since each body is different, each dietary plan should be too, right? If you’d like to get started but don’t have a plan, here are some helpful tips for eating healthy and dropping a few pounds at the same time.

  • Cut out processed foods, like fried foods, fast food and packaged dinners and substitute those with dense leafy greens, fibrous fruits, healthy fats and organic proteins.
  • Eliminate refined sugars and refined carbohydrates; and remember, natural sugar is still sugar and should be eaten in moderation!
  • Watch your portion sizes! Eat slowly, paying attention to what you’re ingesting, until you are full. (We strongly suggest meeting up with a nutritionist if you’re looking to cut or add calories to your daily food intake!)
  • Replace sugary drinks like sodas (yes, even diet), juices, sports drinks, etc. with water—add a bit of lemon if you need some flavor. Aim for drinking half of your body weight in ounces each day.