Is it better to exercise or diet to lose weight?
This is a hugely important question that will determine how you approach weight loss. Will you spend an hour on the treadmill before work, or will you cut back on portion sizes?
First off, there's a huge misconception that you NEED to exercise to start losing weight. That's totally incorrect.
Formal exercise is actually the least important of the 5 key steps to lose weight.
There are 4 foundational steps you need in place to lose weight BEFORE starting a structured workout routine.
Read our foundational article ‘Weight Loss For Men Over 40' to discover the 5 key weight loss steps you need to follow.
Fact #1: To lose weight, eat fewer calories than you burn.
Fact #2: It's easier to NOT EAT 500 calories than to burn it.
I'll prove this to you with these 11 comparisons images below. These images will help you easily answer: is it better to exercise or diet to lose weight? Enjoy these images (especially #10)!
Here's 11 comparisons of what burning 500 calories vs eating 500 calories looks like…
#1: Jogging (for 55 min) -vs- 1 bagel w/ cream cheese
#2: 1000 situps -vs- 5 tablespoons peanut butter
#3: Elliptical trainer (52 min) -vs- 1.25 cups of granola
#4: Shoveling Snow (52 min) -vs- 2/3 cups mixed nuts
#5: Jumping rope (45 min) -vs- 40 oz Soda or Fruit Juice
Skipping rope is a fantastic exercise. I love it personally. HOWEVER, is it really worth drinking 500 liquid calories from this sugary soda? Also remember: fruit juice is nearly as bad.
#6: Swimming laps (47 min) -vs- 1 McDonald's Big Mac
#7: Aerobics class (55 min) -vs- 38 tortilla chips
#8: Punching bag (45 min) -vs- 1 medium blueberry muffin
#9: Running stairs (43 min) -vs- waffle w/ 1.5 tbsp syrup
#10: Lying completely still (6 hours) -vs- 1/2 stick butter
#11: Lifting Weights (55 min) -vs- 1 Fruit Smoothie
Last but not least, perhaps the most effective exercise form of all: LIFTING. Yet, even an hour of pumping iron can't offset one of those damn sugary Jamba Juice/Naked smoothies. Fruit smoothies are total scams for weight loss. Know that.
The Question: Is it better to exercise or diet to lose weight?
The TRUTH: Exercise is important. BUT….It's absolutely IMPOSSIBLE to “out-exercise” a bad diet. Calories stack up too quickly from even the smallest foods. Please know: I am a HUGE proponent of the importance of exercise; I'm not trying to discount exercise. I simply want you to know that if you want to lose weight…
1. Clean up your nutrition first.
You can easily lose your first 10-20lbs with nutrition alone.
2. Start with this plan: The Fit Father Weight Loss Meal Plan