We often hear people saying – “A healthy mind resides in a healthy body” but now the question is how to get a healthy body. Some would say diet, some would say exercise. There is always a debate on which one is better and how they help us in getting a healthy body. Experts say both go hand in hand but diet plays more important role than exercise but still many people don’t understand this and spend thousands of rupees on gyms with a hope to get a healthy body. Gym, exercise, yoga are just helpers to make our body healthy and lose weight but the real game is in diet’s hand.

Why diet overpowers exercise when it comes to losing weight? A study says that the reason behind this overpower is that exercise increases the appetite, especially when do weight lifting exercise and this kills the ultimate goal of losing weight. 10-15 percent of our total calories gets burned when our body digests the food and another 10-30 percent during physical exercise but what about remaining 60-80 percent? This is where diet plays an important role. There is a 70/30 rule which says diet contributes 70 percent and exercise contributes 30 percent when it comes to losing weight. However, one can alter this rule as per his or her comfort and obesity to either 60/40 or 80/20.

diet Vs exercise

Let us understand why diet is more important than working out and how diet gives an extra benefit which workout alone can’t give you.

1) We eat what we burn

Exercise alone can’t help reducing weight because unknowingly we eat what we burn in the form snacks, fried food and this ruins all the calorie-burn we do in the gym. To negate this effect we have to focus on your diet, our calorie intake, carbs intake, protein intake, drink water etc.

2) Exercise increases your appetite

As discussed above, a study says that physical exercise actively increases your appetite and metabolism rate and thus you tend to consume more calories simultaneously, gradually negating the impact of their workouts over time. To avoid this, diet again plays an important role which includes, what you eat and how much you eat and when you eat. One should note this point that feeling hungry is an inevitable side effect of losing weight and changing your dietary habits, so you have to control your appetite and avoid high carb diet and can eat snacks like “diet chiwda” or drink fresh juice of pineapple etc.

3) Exercise cannot curb rising obesity level

From 2001 to 2009 in the US, the level of individuals who engaged themselves in physical activities and exercise increased a lot. This did not prevent the rise of obesity among them during the same period, which confirms that exercise is not enough to prevent weight gain or the onset of chronic dietary conditions. So in order to optimize the results of exercise you have to maintain a healthy diet.

4) Diet gives you short term weight loss

A study with 700 applicants revealed that applicants who maintained a healthy and strict diet got short term results even without putting much efforts in exercise. Hence it is recommended to focus on a healthy diet from day 1 in order to achieve faster and better results.

5) Food drives exercise

So far we have discussed a lot about why one should focus on diet and decrease the intake of carbs. We cannot eat less since food is our fuel and this fuel gives energy to work and perform all our daily actions including exercise. So it is very important to note that eating less is not the perfect solution, eating healthy is important as we need good calories that would give our body the required amount of energy and side by side should not increase our weight. The right amount and right type of food would give our body a push to exercise and hence will make a perfect balance of 70/30 rules to get best possible results.

Although the rule says 70/30 and giving diet an upper hand but one should not ignore the remaining 30 as this 30 is also very important. Diet controls your calories which is responsible for your obesity, it gives you the right amount of energy and protein intake which is required for a healthy body. Eating less is not the solution as this would cause muscle loss and is bad weight loss as this would weaken your endurance and stamina. This is where exercise comes as this would make your body fit, maintain your stamina, burn your extra calories and bad fat.

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Mahima Sarin

I love writing on Health and Food.


  • June 25, 2019 at 2:37 pm

    Very good article on weight management. Diet & exercise are needed for weight loss. You can’t lose your weight doing only one thing.

  • July 28, 2019 at 4:35 pm

    Agree with you. It’s very important to understand that only diet or only exercise won’t help us to lose our weight. We need both especially effective diet plan. Losing weight depends on what we eat and burn.


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