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Exercise or diet? If you’re wondering which is more important, stop it!

It’s the age-old question: which is more important when you’re trying to cultivate a new, healthier you – exercise or diet?

Put simply, diet is a more important component. If the food and liquids that you are putting into your body aren’t sufficiently beneficial, or they’re just downright unhealthy, you’re wasting your time going for that jog, walk or session on the rowing machine. 

However, the real answer to the above question is that exercise and diet are almost equally important because one spurs the other on. 

Daily exercise brings a wealth of benefits, one of which being that it inspires you to ingest the right, nutrient-rich foods and liquids. However, a refusal to get up from the couch leads to lethargy setting in, from which the temptation to reach for that takeaway menu intensifies. 

Many people who start out on the road to weight loss try to devise a calorie deficit. Granted, a calorie deficit is going to be essential to shed those pounds if you are overweight. However, if that calorie deficit becomes a glorified form of starvation, you are wasting your time. 

Starvation diets have never been more popular than they are right now. That’s because the health and fitness industry is saturated with “experts” who stand to gain from promoting the latest weight-loss fads. 

The problem is that they are largely unsustainable for the average person. Weight loss – and sustained weight loss at that – cannot be achieved by a fad diet. 

The calorie deficit recommended by many diets is so extreme that irritability and weakness are guaranteed to set in as the day progresses. Many diets also makes scant or no provision whatsoever for exercise. 

Make your goals realistic and achievable

While you may do all you can to persevere with very low calorie diets for a few weeks, the misery attached to feeling hungry means that it is a completely unsustainable long-term vehicle for weight loss. The same sentiment goes for every “amazing new diet” doing the rounds in magazines and on social media. 

The great thing about exercise is that it creates an endorphin release that promotes an intense feeling of physical and psychological well-being. When the endorphins are pumping, you will feel upbeat, positive and capable of eating healthy for the rest of the day, without the need to starve yourself. 

When starting out on a journey towards achieving a healthier, lighter, more chiselled you, engaging in a programme of fat and muscle measurement is a very worthwhile undertaking. 

This will help you to continually gauge your progress, which will mean you are more likely to stick with your exercise plan in the long run.

The best measurement option available is a DEXA body composition scan, which accurately tracks changes in your body’s levels of fat and muscle over time. 

Too many people over-emphasise the importance of what the weighing scales say about their body. 

DEXA doesn’t just provide the data on your body’s fat and lean mass, it identifies exactly where in the body you are carrying it, which in turn will allow you to tailor your exercise and diet structure accordingly. It is a scientific approach to helping you achieve your body image goals.

When it comes to turning your life around, you’re better off pinning your hopes on irrefutable scientific data over fad diets that are doomed to failure.

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