The Great Debate: Source ONE Nutrition Examines Diet vs. Exercise

It's a question that seems to be on the minds of Americans EVERYWHERE and people are constantly searching for the correct answer: Which is more important, diet or exercise?

Many recent studies show results pointing to nutrition (aka your daily eating regimen) as being more important, specifically when it comes to managing your waistline and shedding excess pounds in general. In fact, an analysis of more than 700 weight loss studies unveiled that people see the biggest short-term results when they eat SMART.

Additionally, one doctor states, “the factors governing energy intakes influence the energy balance far more powerfully than the factors determining resting energy expenditures.” In other words, the energy balance equation that we often see, calories in = calories out isn't simply that black and white or clear cut.

What this truly means is whatever you put in your body affects the way it functions. So if it’s junk food you’re constantly consuming, those artificial and/or processed products can (and will) impact your system negatively, whether you are sedentary or even if you exercise daily. You may have heard, “you can’t out-exercise a bad diet.” Unfortunately, these words of wisdom definitely ring true.

You can find information online as well to the tune of, to burn off the calories of the _____ you just ate, you will need to run _____ miles. But 30 to 60 minutes of physical activity each day, however, isn't going to combat a steady diet of fast and/or synthetic foods.

Healthy eating can often be perceived by many as a struggle, since it's oftentimes associated with the behavior of dieting. Healthy eating is not a diet, though... it's actually a series of positive changes that fit into your lifestyle, and these changes are something which can be maintained for a lifetime.

Obviously, none of this implies that exercise isn't important. Physical activity can boost your heart health, lower your blood pressure, can help beat stress, and may aid in reducing anxiety or even depression. Exercise coupled with healthy eating habits, therefore, is a winning combination.

Sure, you can lose weight with diet alone... but exercise is an important component. Without it, only a portion of your weight loss is from fat, which means you may risk losing muscle and bone density.

So let’s do this: Let’s not choose one or the other or even decide which is more important. Let’s make lifestyle changes we can incorporate into our lives, including both improvements in our nutrition as well as physical activity and finally, let’s not exercise solely so we can “eat whatever we want.” 

Seeing it from this particular point of view versus choosing just one over the other for maximum results can help us learn that diet PLUS exercise is actually a win-win. 

Here's to optimal wellness!

For more information about nutrition and healthy living visit

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