When it comes to overall health and wellness, diet and exercise play a big part. However, is one better than the other when it comes to weight loss and weight maintenance?
In terms of weight, you are 80% what you eat. If you’re trying to lose weight, you will get results if you focus solely on what you put in your mouth.
Tracking your food intake has been proven to be beneficial to weight loss. Not only does it create awareness for what and how much you’re eating, but it shows food patterns and what is keeping you full and satisfied.
Counting calories, although a popular method for losing weight, is not as important. First and foremost, no two calories are created equal. Compare an apple and a cookie. Both may have the same calorie content, but the apple has more health benefits. Items higher in saturated fat typically have more calories. Healthy fats, such as nuts and avocado, may have similar calories to certain processed food, but have more health benefits.
So, how does activity fall into the equation? Studies have shown that incorporating activity with a healthy diet, leads to 20% more weight loss. In addition, it is essential to maintaining weight loss. According to a recent Consumer Affairs Study, weight loss maintainers averaged 12,000 steps per day. Average weight individuals clocked 9,000 steps per day. The obesity group averaged 6,500 steps per day.
If you’re not a fan of exercise, think in terms of moving more. Pacing while on the telephone can be as beneficial as taking a walk outside. Steps are steps. Our bodies are designed to move, not to be sedentary. Get up and stretch every hour. Park farther away in the grocery store parking lot. Take the stairs instead of the elevator, when applicable.
In conclusion, if you want to lose weight, a healthy diet will get you results. If you want to lose 20% more weight, and keep it off long term, incorporating activity is necessary.