Diet Matters More than Exercise?

Exercise IS important, but I've heard I've heard it time and time again that weight doesn't come from exercise AS MUCH as it comes from the depletion of calories that you just never ingest in the first place.
Do any of you subscribe to this and and have you had success with low intensity training? In the past I exercised way too hard, and I ate ... too much because I felt hungry.

Always looking for a balance right?


  • cmriverside
    cmriverside Posts: 32,298 Member
    Set a calorie goal that is a little less than your Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE.) Eat to that number. Lose weight.

    On this site, when you exercise you enter it into the Exercise tab and you are given more calories to eat.

    Weight loss is 100% about a calorie deficit. How you achieve that is up to you. Exercise is for fitness, gives a little wiggle room with calories and for a lot of people it helps to diminish hunger in general (if they are eating enough to start with.)
  • nuttyfamily
    nuttyfamily Posts: 3,082 Member
    I've lost weight not exercising and with exercise.

    It comes down to eating less.

    I like exercise now as it helps with my physical stamina when hiking, biking and running, etc.

  • MommyMeggo
    MommyMeggo Posts: 1,222 Member
    edited December 2016
    Weight is lost in the kitchen. (Food)

    Strength is gained in the gym. (Fitness)

    Edit: Posted too early. All I do is walk since my knee injury and Im losing. I do it for my body not my weight though. Cardio does make me hungry if I dont choose the right food for my satiety.
  • Ready2Rock206
    Ready2Rock206 Posts: 9,490 Member
    Exercise for health. Monitor what you eat to lose weight. As the saying goes - you can't out exercise a bad diet.
  • CaladriaNapea
    CaladriaNapea Posts: 140 Member
    I definitely subscribe to this philosophy. Strenuous exercise tends to make me extremely hungry, and it is also much more difficult to make a 500 calorie deficit with exercise then it is with food. Also, with food, I feel like I can be more exact about the deficit I am creating--when I used just exercise to lose weight in the past, I lost much more slowly, I believe at least in part because the calorie estimates on my treadmill were at least partially inflated. Currently, I am having quite a bit of success by focusing on diet and adding in some light walking. I am considering adding in more exercise now, however, I don't feel an urgency to do it because of weight loss; I simply think it might be good for my overall health.
  • cwolfman13
    cwolfman13 Posts: 40,892 Member
    edited December 2016
    Weight management in general has more to do with what's going on in the kitchen than anything else. You can exercise regularly and lose weight, maintain weight, or gain weight...all dependent on how much you're putting into your face.

    As weight management goes, regular exercise is helpful in that you expend a bit more energy...but really, it comes down to how many calories you're taking in. You can't out exercise a bad diet. And really, exercise expenditure in most cases pales in comparison to the energy (calories) you expend merely existing and doing your day to day.

    I have fitness objectives that are independent of weight fitness objectives dictate my training structure and I follow that specific protocol...I don't just willy nilly do whatever. Some sessions are more intense than might be a 30 minute threshold interval session on the trainer...another might be an easy three hour zone II ride...another might be hills and climbing...another sprinting, etc.
  • skellymama1
    skellymama1 Posts: 83 Member
    Spent 6 months training in the gym with a pt, never lost 1 lb and I had 30 of them spare! However my shape did change and I got much stronger.
  • peleroja
    peleroja Posts: 3,979 Member
    You can create a calorie deficit using exercise or you can create one by eating less, but either way it's the fact that a deficit exists if weight loss is the only thing we're talking about here.

    Exercise for cardiovascular fitness and muscle/joint/bone strength etc., and it's really important for your health to do so IMO, but it's not a great way to lose weight if you don't make the appropriate dietary changes as well.

    That saying about not being able to outrun a bad diet is true for most people, I, I can run for an hour and only burn about 600 calories, so even with a 7 mile run every single day, I'd only be losing about a pound a week if I ate at maintenance (and that's running every single day and not eating more because of the additional exercise.) That's why I think most people find it easier to create a calorie deficit by changing their diets as the primary method, and using exercise mostly for some bonus calories/wiggle room.
  • icemom011
    icemom011 Posts: 996 Member
    In short, op. Yes. It works. Exercise is not essential for weight loss. I've been having a bad year health wise, so not much exercise since May. Lost over 70 lbs. Doing some low intensity body weight exercises lately, enjoying it, but not for weight loss, just for fitness.
  • cbelc2
    cbelc2 Posts: 753 Member
  • JenHuedy
    JenHuedy Posts: 611 Member
    Exercise IS important, but I've heard I've heard it time and time again that weight doesn't come from exercise AS MUCH as it comes from the depletion of calories that you just never ingest in the first place.
    Do any of you subscribe to this and and have you had success with low intensity training? In the past I exercised way too hard, and I ate ... too much because I felt hungry.

    Always looking for a balance right?

    I lost my first 70 pounds or so by staying in my MFP calorie goal and walking during my lunch breaks or on my treadmill while watching TV. No gym, no running, no crazy exercise videos.

    I run 20+ miles a week, lift weights 3 times a week, and average over 15,000 steps a day now, but that's for fitness, not weight loss. I still have to watch my calories or I could easily undo the 6+ hours of exercise I do weekly.
  • zyxst
    zyxst Posts: 9,131 Member
    My main exercise is walking. For me, it's easier to not eat 500 calories than it is to exercise off 500 calories.
  • daj150
    daj150 Posts: 978 Member
    Calories in vs calories out. It's that simple. Although exercise is a great way to make deficits, and trying to do those ridiculous diets scattered throughout the forums...USUALLY none are maintainable long term. Yes, exercise is not always sustainable due to life events or injuries. Anyway, if you can balance calories in vs calories out, you can maintain your ideal weight easily. If you are trying to lose weight, just make sure your calories in are less than calories out.
  • GottaBurnEmAll
    GottaBurnEmAll Posts: 7,722 Member
    Weight loss comes from a calorie deficit. A calorie deficit can be made larger or even created just through activity, but you can also lose weight without doing any exercise.

    I always focused on my total calories in versus calories out while losing weight. Exercise was a portion of that, but the important part was just having that balance.

  • kenyonhaff
    kenyonhaff Posts: 1,377 Member
    Calorie deficit in the end is what promotes weight loss. But I find it a lot harder to stick to my limits when I don't get in a workout. :p

    I do find that using exercise rather than a snack to help with boredom, stress, and the like is a very positive thing to do.
  • crzycatlady1
    crzycatlady1 Posts: 1,930 Member
    edited December 2016
    I lost the extra weight with no exercise factored in. Now approaching 4 years of maintenance I'm more active in my daily activities, but I still don't do structured exercise. I control my weight by calorie intake and it works well for me.
  • Tacklewasher
    Tacklewasher Posts: 7,122 Member
    I can increase my deficit 200 calories by either doing 25+ minutes on the treadmill, or by cutting the personal lasagna in half and eating it over 2 days. If I still eat everything else the same at lunch, that's 200 calories I've not added to my day. Yeah, I'm not as full when I'm done but I'm not starving either. Seems easier to me.

    I still do the treadmill, but have to do less to get to the same deficit.
  • deannalfisher
    deannalfisher Posts: 5,601 Member
    For me, exercise is an absolutely essential part of my healthy lifestyle--not just for the calorie burn but for the overall "fitness mindset."

    When I am swimming regularly, I just FEEL more like an athlete rather than a schlub. . . and that makes me WANT to choose wholesome and nutritious foods. I actually eat LESS when I'm swimming regularly because there's a part of me that looks at a donut and says, "ooh, not while I'm 'in training.'" In training for what? Life, I guess!

    but after swimming, I want to eat ALL THE THINGS ;)