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Diet vs Exercise - Which is more important and why?

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  • Laney_7Laney_7 Member Posts: 13 Member Member Posts: 13 Member
    Yes, many people need more activity in their lives. Both diet and exercise are needed for health. As far as weight loss, I firmly believe it's 80% in the kitchen. My favorite maxim is "you can't outrun your fork".
  • J72FITJ72FIT Member Posts: 5,803 Member Member Posts: 5,803 Member
    Laney_7 wrote: »
    Yes, many people need more activity in their lives. Both diet and exercise are needed for health. As far as weight loss, I firmly believe it's 80% in the kitchen. My favorite maxim is "you can't outrun your fork".

    You can run but you can not hide... haha
  • nooshi713nooshi713 Member Posts: 4,482 Member Member Posts: 4,482 Member
    Diet is way more important for weight loss. One can easily consume 1000 calories in 30 minutes. Most would need to work out for 3-4 hours to burn 1000 calories. Every time I have lost weight, it was by eating less. In the past, I have gained weight when I exercise a lot because I get too hungry.
    edited December 2020
  • freda78freda78 Member Posts: 327 Member Member Posts: 327 Member
    At 20 stone it was diet, 100% the most import issue for me. Now I am in the 11 stone zone with a stone or so left to lose what matters to me is both diet and exercise.

    So surely the answer here is "it depends". It depends on your circumstances and it depends on your goals.
  • heybalesheybales Member Posts: 18,915 Member Member Posts: 18,915 Member
    All that stated, FOR ME, I find that exercise and a strict workout plan helps me in the food department for a few reasons. 1 - I want to properly fuel my workouts and recoveries, 2 - I'm more mindful of my weight and what I'm eating, 3 - that "healthy" mindset carries over into my food choices.

    So, in my case, exercise can be a key to my SUCCESS - more because of the mindset it induces. Losing weight and maintaining a weight all still boils down to CICO, but I find it easier to be in that place if I'm more focused on fitness than eating. So, in my case, fitness is more important....but that is because it is immediately supported by nutrition. If my exercise falls by the wayside, my eating very quickly follows....just a mindset/way my brain works.

    This reason for me too - I think I've finally accepted it.
    The food choices not as much perhaps - decent nutritional level, but not great. I'm an example of what a body can do being pushed with poor nutritional provisions.

    My mom in comparison has been working out for years, wants to do her own leaves and mowing and snow shoveling, likes her 2 sets of stairs in house (2 narrow for my liking).
    Some mutual friends will give me sideways glances about not doing snow shoveling perhaps until they go try to help - then they understand.
    And her diet sadly limited with other health issues but keeps trying.
  • age_is_just_a_numberage_is_just_a_number Member, Premium Posts: 428 Member Member, Premium Posts: 428 Member
    What and how much you eat is important for weight loss - maintenance - gain.
    Exercise is important for muscle maintenance and gain.
  • cgcdavis7cgcdavis7 Member Posts: 82 Member Member Posts: 82 Member
    Conceptually, I need both 100% to lose weight. I notice I become loose and lazy when I don't workout which leads to a calorie overage. And obviously I can't lose weight if I'm not in a deficit. I personally need both and can't lose without incorporating both since I'm not an Olympic trainer and I love food.
  • heybalesheybales Member Posts: 18,915 Member Member Posts: 18,915 Member
    Interesting focus on the topic - which was left open ended.

    I scanned through and there were a few comments of another focus but not that many and brief.

    Diet or exercise for mental & emotional well-being, which has bigger impact on you, and what nuances discovered?
  • heybalesheybales Member Posts: 18,915 Member Member Posts: 18,915 Member
    Considering I commented with honeybadger I can't seem to do diet without the exercise - I've not really been able to separate the effects.

    So I'm out for comparison.

    But I will comment that merely the effect of having time during a workout to think about things without distractions (biking without music, usually running without too), I think about priorities and projects, helps greatly.
    Of course sometimes it's what is going to be missed because I'm doing the workout, but still.
    edited December 2020
  • lemurcat2lemurcat2 Member Posts: 7,322 Member Member Posts: 7,322 Member
    heybales wrote: »
    Considering I commented with honeybadger I can't seem to do diet without the exercise - I've not really been able to separate the effects.

    So I'm out for comparison.

    But I will comment that merely the effect of having time during a workout to think about things without distractions (biking without music, usually running without too), I think about priorities and projects, helps greatly.
    Of course sometimes it's what is going to be missed because I'm doing the workout, but still.

    I think I may have said this already upthread, but I also have a lot of trouble with diet outside of exercise (other than for a short period of time), and I think a huge part of that is that exercise is important for my mental well-being, as well as my focus, my ability to prioritize.
  • NovusDiesNovusDies Member, Premium Posts: 8,936 Member Member, Premium Posts: 8,936 Member
    heybales wrote: »
    Interesting focus on the topic - which was left open ended.

    I scanned through and there were a few comments of another focus but not that many and brief.

    Diet or exercise for mental & emotional well-being, which has bigger impact on you, and what nuances discovered?


    My transformation (mental and physical) began at 100 percent diet and zero percent exercise. As I have lost weight and added exercise the percentages have been moving from one bucket to the other. I still have a few pounds to lose but exercise is now the primary driver. From a mental standpoint, exercise tests me and when I pass, it proves capabilities that I might not have otherwise be sure I had or recaptured.

    But it can still be a very much day by day question too. I think I am most bolstered by the biggest win of the day. For some time that has been exercise. In a highly food tempting time of year with a little SAD thrown in from the short days sometimes getting that -50 to +50 calorie number at the end of the day is the bigger win.
  • heybalesheybales Member Posts: 18,915 Member Member Posts: 18,915 Member
    NovusDies wrote: »
    heybales wrote: »
    Interesting focus on the topic - which was left open ended.

    I scanned through and there were a few comments of another focus but not that many and brief.

    Diet or exercise for mental & emotional well-being, which has bigger impact on you, and what nuances discovered?

    From a mental standpoint, exercise tests me and when I pass, it proves capabilities that I might not have otherwise be sure I had or recaptured.

    ... sometimes getting that -50 to +50 calorie number at the end of the day is the bigger win.

    Hmmm, I guess on reflection it does feel good to have hit the numbers - especially if there were temptations.

    It's so hard for me to feel like that is the same type of reward in overcoming whatever.

    Probably the age-old problem if when it's here and now and in your face, usually physical - it's easier to put an importance on it.
    When the effects are delayed and future and not so material right now - harder to keep that importance.

    Very strange, I can do it with finances though, and other things sometimes. (though the desire to better air seal and insulate the new place for future savings hasn't inspired beyond buying material)

    Oh the fickle mind.
  • Ikeeptrying2Ikeeptrying2 Member Posts: 156 Member Member Posts: 156 Member
    AnnPT77 wrote: »
    A sustainable balance of both to make it work long term.

    'Sustainable balance' can only be defined by the individual.

    Ignoring mental and emotional well being in the overall mix is a mistake.

    MFP is kind of a weird place to me sometimes, for reasons you hint at. I know it's because of the main topics the site is oriented around: They're what we discuss, of course.

    Still, so many discussions would make it seem like exercise, calories, and maybe nutrition are The Meaning of Life, or all that's needed for health or well-being. So many other things involved in health, but especially can be important for balance and quality of life: Knowledge (history, math, science, whatever), practical skills, psychological well being, creativity, cognitive ability, social skills, family . . . .

    On the one hand, I know it's not unusual for people to be mono-obsessed. It's possibly even required for succeeding with some goals (thinking of professional musicians, elite athletes, etc.) Still, I worry about some of the people in threads where someone is figuring out how to fit multiple hours of exercise into their day, now that they've gotten their eating to some point of adequacy or perceived perfection.

    Balance. Yup.

    Having been on/off MFP over the last 6+ years... I can't agree with you more.

    Perhaps it's those that are relatively new comers to the process that struggle with the balance. To be honest, at first I did as well. Thankfully it didn't take me too long to realize that the path I was on was more destructive than beneficial.

    This is the risk of being obsessed chasing a number on a scale or particular body shape/condition/look. I see it here often and I now shy away from those threads since I often get ignored. Eventually people figure it out for themselves or they end up abandoning the process altogether.
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