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Diet vs Exercise - Which is more important and why?



  • helen_goldthorpe
    helen_goldthorpe Posts: 340 Member
    Diet is the sensible answer, because it is definitely easier to shave calories off what you eat rather than burning them off.


    ...for me, successful weight loss always comes at times when I'm focussing on fitness goals. If I'm training properly I become more interested in fuelling properly, eating nutritious food rather than junk, not drinking the evening before training sessions or races, and the weight starts to fall off (despite often eating more - because as an endurance athlete I need to!)
  • hesn92
    hesn92 Posts: 5,969 Member
    edited February 2022
    I wouldn't say one is more important than the other. I think having a nutrient dense diet and having an active lifestyle are both equally important to a person's overall health.

    For weight loss specifically, I would say diet. It's too easy to over eat.
  • HelPur25
    HelPur25 Posts: 23 Member
    edited February 2022
    I've come to the conclusion, after many years of experimenting with different diets, that there is no one best eating and nutrition plan for everyone. We're not all the same, so why should our diets be all the same?

    That said, I think 85% of weight control is the result of your eating plan, but 85% on your body composition or fitness level is the result of exercise. You could have a great eating plan and be at a healthy weight, but have very poor strength, posture, muscle tone, etc. Likewise, you could work out like a fiend and have a poor diet. In that case, the negative effects could show up in your weight, skin, energy level, etc. So, I guess it depends on what you're trying to improve.
  • briscogun
    briscogun Posts: 1,096 Member
    Read some of the comments, but the question is kind of open to interpretation. "Best" for what?

    For weight loss, its diet. Eating less calories than your body burns is the only equation that matters.

    For overall health, exercise will serve you better long term.

    I recently heard somewhere that there was a study of key health indicators, longevity of life, health issues, etc, and the people that exercised had longer lives with less health issues than the "skinny" people who did NOT exercise. Now these weren't morbidly obese folks but the implication was that skinny and not moving wasn't as desirable as having some extra weight but being more active.

    So diet for weight loss, exercise for health.
  • Fuzzipeg
    Fuzzipeg Posts: 2,276 Member
    Having the right diet "for You" is the only way to go. Diet is defined as the way "you" eat. By providing the right nutrition for your "specific needs" no one else's means providing everything in a balance which makes it possible for you to live the life you want, with the ability to breath and move because everything is correctly in balance so you can Exercise for fun.
  • jmf552
    jmf552 Posts: 46 Member
    I recently discovered the "Younger Next Year" book series and I like the overall philosophy of it better than any of the dozens of diet/exercise/health approaches I have read over the years. The authors' idea is that if you just want to lose weight, it's diet. If you want to be healthy, it's exercise. If you want both, do both. And the two have multiple synergistic effects on each other. An expert in one of the books says words to the effect that generally it's better to be healthy, even if you are somewhat overweight, than it is to be thin and unhealthy.

    But again, doing both makes the most sense. The "which is most important?" question creates a strawman fallacy. In reality it is not an either/or choice.
  • azuki84
    azuki84 Posts: 212 Member
    diet > exercise. you can exercise 24/7 but if you eat kfc 24/7 or eat nothing 24/7 what do you think will happen?
  • ninerbuff
    ninerbuff Posts: 46,841 Member
    Anyone can lose weight dieting. It doesn't mean that physically they are in good shape nor as healthy though. Exercise is important espeically with all the keyboard work and commuting time that people sit idle today. Part of the reason many are overweight.

    A.C.E. Certified Personal and Group Fitness Trainer
    IDEA Fitness member
    Kickboxing Certified Instructor
    Been in fitness for 30 years and have studied kinesiology and nutrition

  • beagletracks
    beagletracks Posts: 6,003 Member
    Diet is more important for weight loss. Diet and exercise are equally important for overall health. (As I’m sure others have said.)
  • J72FIT
    J72FIT Posts: 5,937 Member
    edited June 2022
    Diet is imperative to get it off, exercise to keep it off. They go together like peanut butter and jelly. That said, the most important piece of the puzzle is patience…