Type “how to lose weight” into a Google search bar and you’ll get a myriad of different answers. Some trainers will tell you that exercise is the most important factor to lose weight, while others say it’s all about diet. Research shows a combination of aerobic exercise and diet is the best way to lose and maintain your weight. Here’s why.
Does exercise work on its own?
In the study linked above, researchers found that exercise alone can yield good weight loss results – but it needs to be the right kind of exercise. Good aerobic exercise is all about getting your heart rate up to right point, teaching your body to use stored body fat while you work, rest and play. It’s often used by endurance athletes looking to go faster for longer – but it also has huge fat burning capabilities. If you want to know best practices for aerobic exercise, read our blog on the MAF 180 formula, a system to help find your optimal aerobic heart rate to base all your cardio workouts on.
Do you need to diet to lose weight?
The simple answer to this question is no… but if you want to keep the weight off, YES! Aerobic exercise has been shown to yield better results than diet alone, although some people have had great success losing weight only by watching what they eat. Of course, combining the two is where the best weight loss results occur. The research also shows that diet is crucial to maintaining your weight after you lose excess body fat. While exercise alone will help you lose weight, if you stop eating healthily, you’re likely to pile the kilos back on. We’re not saying to stay on a super restrictive diet forever – but learn to consume nutritious foods as much as possible and eat low-nutrient foods in moderation.
What about long-term health benefits?
Both diet and exercise are crucial to your long-term health. Both approaches provide positive health outcomes and help avoid disease risks such as high cholesterol or blood pressure. Once again, the best outcomes are achieved when you combine diet and exercise. You should also be aware that every individual is different. Some people need more exercise rather than fewer calories, others need to maintain a specific diet consistently.
So, what’s the conclusion? Researchers say diet is more important than exercise for maintaining weight loss and overall health. But they suggest that a combination of exercise and diet is the best path forward.
Talk to us today about how we can help you manage both.