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Is It Better To Exercise Or Diet To Lose Weight? (500 Calorie Comparisons)

By: Dr. Anthony Balduzzi, NMD - Men's Health Doctor & Founder, The Fit Father Project & Fit Mother Project,

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.

Click above to play the video overview. Also know weight loss results vary.*

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

is it better to exercise or diet to lose weight
Would you rather run for 1 hour or eat a bagel? I'll skip the run.

#2: 1000 situps -vs- 5 tablespoons peanut butter

is it better to exercise or diet to lose weight
That's 200 damn sit-ups PER tablespoon of peanut butter.

#3: Elliptical trainer (52 min) -vs- 1.25 cups of granola

is it better to exercise or diet to lose weight
Is 1.25 cups of sugary granola worth 52 min on the elliptical?

#4: Shoveling Snow (52 min) -vs- 2/3 cups mixed nuts

is it better to exercise or diet to lose weight
Sometimes you have to shovel the snow. That's life. And nuts are actually healthy – in the right amount. Limit to 1 serving (1/4 cup or a small handful each time you eat 'em).

#5: Jumping rope (45 min) -vs- 40 oz Soda or Fruit Juice

is it better to exercise or diet to lose weight
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

is it better to exercise or diet to lose weight
Michael Phelps can get away with eating a Big Mac. For the purposes of weight loss, you and I should probably skip it.

#7: Aerobics class (55 min) -vs- 38 tortilla chips

is it better to exercise or diet to lose weight
As much “fun” as this aerobics class looks, I think we should limit the chips and keep the neon headbands in our closets.

#8: Punching bag (45 min) -vs- 1 medium blueberry muffin

is it better to exercise or diet to lose weight
Your boxing partner will probably look nothing like this gal. I promise the muffin at Starbucks will look worse too.

#9: Running stairs (43 min) -vs- waffle w/ 1.5 tbsp syrup

is it better to exercise or diet to lose weight
Again, running stairs is an awesome workout. It harkens back to the football glory days. Yet, it takes a lot of stairs to burn off the carbs from this waffle.

#10: Lying completely still (6 hours) -vs- 1/2 stick butter

is it better to exercise or diet to lose weight
So, what if we just didn't move at all for 6 hours? That'd be equivalent to 1/2 stick butter. If you study cooking recipes, you'll be shocked how much butter sneaks into cooking.

#11: Lifting Weights (55 min) -vs- 1 Fruit Smoothie
is it better to exercise or diet to lose weight
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

Dr. Anthony Balduzzi NMD - Men's Health Doctor & Founder, The Fit Father Project & Fit Mother Project

Dr. Anthony holds dual degrees in Nutrition & Neuroscience from the University Of Pennsylvania, a Doctorate in Naturopathic Medicine, and is also a national champion bodybuilder.

After watching his own Dad lose his health and pass away at the young age of 42, Dr. Anthony founded The Fit Father Project & Fit Mother Project to help busy Moms and Dads get and stay permanently healthy for their families.

Brotherhood Nickname: Mr. Results
Bragging Rights: Has helped over 10,000 families lose over 100,000 lbs of fat and rebuild lean muscle

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Our Fit Father Project Team’s deepest commitment is to helping you live healthier for both yourself and your family. And when it comes to online content, integrity and trust is everything. That’s why our Fit Father Project staff-writers are all trained professionals in the field of health and wellness (registered dieticians, licensed personal trainers, and licensed physicians) – see the full team here. We rigorously run all of our articles through a rigorous editorial process to ensure the accuracy, simplicity, and utility of the information. And we aren’t just a team of “academics” sitting in an ivory tower. We are real people – with jobs, responsibilities, and families – working hard in the trenches and testing our tips & methods out to make sure you can stay healthy for family.

Here is what you can expect from us on our Fit Father Blog and YouTube channel:

  1. All of our content is written and reviewed by licensed health professionals (dieticians, personal trainers, doctors).
  2. In nearly all of our articles, we link to published research studies from the most respected peer-reviewed medical & health journals.
  3. We include research-based videos to accompany our articles to make it easier for you to consume our content, put it into action, and see results.
  4. Inside our articles & videos, we do promote our free meal plans, workouts, and/or paid programs, because we know they have the potential to change your life.
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Thanks for checking out the blog. We can’t wait to support you toward greater health, energy, and vitality. – The Fit Father Project Team

 

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