Diet vs Exercise

Blow By Blow: Diet vs Exercise What Matters Most

What’s more important, what you eat or how fit you are?

You want a sexy, confident body, preferably sooner than later.

When it comes to moving the dial on weight loss and health, exercise is muy importante, but a healthy diet, not a fad or restrictive diet, trumps exercise in big ways.

In fact, exercise only contributes about 20% of your overall body shape.

The other 80% is what you eat.

Keep reading to learn how diet gets results faster and easier.

The 80/20 Rule for Rapid Weight Loss and Health

Not to be confused with the 80/20 rule that states if you eat healthy 80% of the time, you can indulge 20% of the time and still be healthy.

How much weight you’ll lose or gain is largely dependent on what you eat.

Diet tips the scale faster and decides if you’ll store fat or burn it.

Healthy eating detoxes, banks nutrients, hydrates, and surges energy that like magic, will make you want to exercise.

Diet primes you to release energy and excess weight. That’s why it’s responsible for 80% of your health.

Diet vs exercise what's more important
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You Can’t Outrun A Bad Diet: Diet vs Exercise Truths

Clean, powerful fuel is vital to your health and no amount of exercise can undo the harm created by a bad diet.

To get in shape you need to move. But it’s a lot easier to move when you’re properly fueled and you weigh fewer pounds.

If you regularly load the body down with high-calorie, low nutrient foods filled with chemicals and preservatives, exercise will only add more stress to the situation.

Diet Out Eats Exercise 

The most intense exercise program can be outeaten. 

Truly, you can max out your daily calories in one meal. Hello, Thanksgiving dinner and super-sized fast-food meals

Here’s a list of calories burnt during exercise compared to calories consumed in common meals.

Calories burnt in 30 min:

  • Running: 270-335
  • Weight lifting: 112-167
  • Walking: 115-137
  • Dancing: 90-147

Now let’s look at the calories of some heavy American meals.

Calories Eaten in 30 mins:

A large slice of pizza: 500

Fried chicken tenders and french fries: 1,340

Large beef burrito with a side of beans and rice: 1,110

Double cheeseburger, large fries, and a drink: 1340

Of course, calories burnt while exercising help you lose weight and get in shape. 

Unfortunately, one high-calorie meal can easily double the number of calories you burn while exercising.

Trying to exercise your way out of a bad diet is a losing battle.

Burn Fat Faster-Diet vs Exercise What’s More Important

On the opposite side of the coin. Cutting excess calories from your diet is easier than burning those same calories through exercise.

 To burn 600 calories, you’ll need to run fast for 7-10 miles.

The same 600 calories could be cut from your diet by passing up dessert or having a chicken salad for dinner instead of chicken alfredo with pasta.

It’s easier to skyrocket your health and shrink your waistline by tweaking your diet rather than adding more exercise.

Keep Food Cravings Away. Diet vs exercise what's more important. simple ways to banish cravings.
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Diet Keeps Food Cravings Away in  4 Special Ways

Unhealthy food cravings emerge when your diet’s off-balance. These uncontrollable desires often lead to overeating low nutrient, high-calorie foods.

Cravings result from a lack of nutrients, dehydration, and eating heavily processed addictive foods.

While exercise can lower sugar cravings, diet is your best bet to turn cravings around.

Here’s why…

1. Diet Is Your One-Stop-Shop For Nutrients.

Eating a balanced diet fuels you with healthy nutrients. Exercise depletes nutrients.

2. Diet Wins For Hydration 

Water loss from sweating and heavy breathing during exercise can cause dehydration. 

A healthy diet rich in fruits and juicy vegetables increases hydration. Some say that fluids from raw foods are more hydrating than water to the body.

3. Diet Feeds Your Healthy Gut Critters 

Diet is a heavyweight for increasing your good gut bacteria. 

Growth and population of good and bad bacteria in your digestive tract is mostly dependant on the nutrients received from your diet.

When you eat healthy food and fiber, you boost your good bacteria population. These guys want to survive so they cause you to crave more healthy fiber-rich food and crowd out bad bacteria. 

The same is true of bad bacteria in your gut.  Junk food, overly processed grains, and sugars cause yeast and bad bacteria to grow out of control and cause you to desire more junk food. 

Have you ever noticed this junk food craving phenomenon?  

The more junk you eat the more you want. It is almost like you’ve lost control. You have. Those creepy crawlies in your digestive tract are manipulative. 

A healthy diet feeds the good bacteria that lowers unhealthy cravings. Exercise can help increase good bacteria, but not as efficiently as your diet does.

Here is another reason diet can send you on a dangerous roller coaster ride.

4. Diet Stops Insulin’s Vicious Cycle

Break the insulin cycle. Diet vs exercise what's more important. simple ways to banish cravings.

You eat it and then you crave it. Processed carbs create excessive food consumption. 

Exercise can improve this cycle by using the sugar circulating in your body and reducing your carb storage.

But yet again, diet plays a bigger role in breaking this dangerous cycle.

A diet low in processed carbs and sugars keeps your blood sugar stable. 

A stable diet helps improve exercise’s ability to burn fat.

What Is More Important To Track? Diet vs Exercise

It’s pretty easy to figure out if you got your sweat on during the day. Simply going to the gym or for a walk, allows you to check exercise off your to-do list.

Diet, on the other hand, isn’t as easy to measure. Tracking meals and counting calories is tedious. 

You eat numerous times a day. Sometimes mindfully and sometimes not. A taste here and there throughout the day adds up. The average American eats 8-10 times a day.

That’s why it is vitally important to make sure your diet is on point.

You don’t need to count every calorie, but having guidelines about what you will and won’t eat is going to make a huge difference to your health.

Nothing can damage your weight loss and health goals faster than an unchecked diet.

Release Your Beast: Diet vs Exercise To Get Cut

Frustrated by the amount of work you put in compared to the results you see in the mirror? 

A fit trim you may be trying to get out.

Sure, being healthy, powerful, and thick is gorgeous, but if you’re thick because a heavy layer of fat is covering your muscles, you aren’t as healthy as you could be. 

Your diet strips layers of fat that covers your muscles, giving you a lean, trim shape.

Energy Booster: Diet vs Exercise

Both diet and exercise boost energy.

It’s much harder to keep up a fitness program when your diet is full of toxins and foods that cause your body to be sluggish.

Exercising when you’re malnourished, and while you have toxicity in your body is dangerous, and can do more damage than good. 

Exercise Has The Last Word

“This is the thanks I get, for all I do?”

I build muscle, stamina, balance, flexibility. Because of me, you can dance all night.

 I allow you to walk up the stairs without getting winded. I help you detox.

Why do you feel so great after your workout? I make you feel good. Physically and mentally. 

Your heart, lungs…your entire body functions better because of me.

Of course, what you eat is important to me. I mean, I wouldn’t be successful without high-quality food. In fact, the better you eat, the harder I work.

Okay, nevermind. I guess diet’s important…but more important? I am not there yet.

Weight Loss Knockout: Diet vs Exercise

Of course, movement, exercise, sweating, getting your heart rate up is part of being healthy. Life is more enjoyable when your body is capable of doing amazing things. 

Your fitness level gives you all kinds of energy but if you eat the wrong foods,  you’ll end up on the couch feeling like a sack of potatoes. 

The secret to overall health and weight loss is to focus on the areas of your life that move the dial faster and more efficiently. 

Your diet, hands down, beats exercise every time. 

What has your experience been? Where have you seen the biggest results in your health journey? Do you prefer, watching what you eat or hitting the gym?

Diet gets results faster, but sometimes starting an exercise program causes you to desire a healthier eating program. A well-rounded health plan incorporates both diet and exercise.

No matter what route you take, know that both exercise and healthy eating are leading you towards a more fulfilling life.

Weight loss is a side effect of healthy living which makes healthy ways – shapely ways.

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Thank you for being here and chatting with me about all things health. Health journeys made more fun when shared, so be sure to leave a comment below. ❤️

Xoxo,
April

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6 thoughts on “Blow By Blow: Diet vs Exercise What Matters Most”

  1. Thanks April for this detailed post. I always wonder in my mind about this topic – food vs exercise. After seeing your calorie burning chart, I guess I need to walk twice a day may be or add running to my list 🙂 Most of the time I eat clean… but sometimes I eat my emotions..that’s something I’m working on.

    1. Thank you for your comment! More exercise can be a good thing, but you’ll see the biggest results when you take a look at all the things you eat during the day. Calorie counting isn’t much fun, but a day or two of tracking how many calories your most common meals, snacks, and drinks have in them can be eye-opening. Way to go with clean eating. When you feed your body what it needs to stay healthy, you can’t go wrong.

  2. Oh wow. That’s a big reality check for me on how many calories those traditional American foods hold vs how many I burn when I exercise. I think that this information is especially relevant now that we are all home and are stress eating, oftentimes falling back to favorites like the ones that you mentioned. (I know I have.) Thank you for the reminder to focus on healthy eating if we want to keep a healthy weight.

    1. So true! Stress eating or even boredom eating is huge right now. When you’re home all day, checking the kitchen to see what might fit the bill can become an unhealthy habit fast. All the exercise effort really pays off when you’re mindful of your food. Thank you for sharing.

  3. This is such valuable advice. When I had just had my first son a few years ago, we decided we wanted to stop eating out of boxes. We had fallen into a college frat type of eating, I used to call it, haha.

    I was still breastfeeding my little, and had no intention of working out.

    We started eating better and I felt SO MUCH BETTER. I never believed how much just eating real foods would change your life until I saw it affect my body. I started feeling like I wanted to work out, even when none of my children were sleeping well, and I had not yet started drinking coffee 🙂

    Thanks for reminding me of that great time in my life. Time to get back to it.

    1. That is a sweet memory. It is so true that food is medicine. For our bodies and our minds. Thank you for reaching out and sharing. 🙂

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