Diet is more important than exercise

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Minervx_2
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03 Jun 2016, 4:38 pm

Hopefully some of you can learn from my mistakes. I overestimated the importance of exercise in weight loss. Last year, I had a routine of working really hard in the gym and then coming home and eating fast food (my stupidity). I was stuck at 280 lbs for a whole year, and while I did have a bit more muscle, I wasn't losing anything. It's better to improve the diet first, and then start exercising more. I think exercising can aid weight loss, but diet is 80% of it.

Even on a broader scale, gyms were relatively rare in the United States until the late 20th century. For many decades, people stayed healthy without ever stepping foot in a gym. And now, we have record obesity numbers and record amounts of gym memberships. We have campaigns such as "Lets Move", but they entirely miss the point. Restaurants have conditioned us into believing that double-than-necessary portion sizes are okay. Processed food companies are adding lots of sugar and fat into foods (even foods that labeled as healthy). And we're told that our problem is that we don't exercise enough.



BaronHarkonnen85
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07 Jun 2016, 9:30 pm

That's been my experience too. I've recently started dieting and losing weight. Before that, I was exercising four days a week. I felt better, but I wasn't losing weight.

Here is a video from Dr Aaron Carroll explaining how exercise is not the key to weight loss:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fCtn4Ap8kDM


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07 Jun 2016, 9:39 pm

I back the assessments in this thread 100% in regards to what you eat being the most-significant to your health.


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aspieinaz
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08 Jun 2016, 4:16 am

I've heard it said that no amount of exercise can make up for bad eating. I think that's true.


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aspiemike
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10 Jun 2016, 5:51 pm

The key in weight management diets is carbohydrates intake. Refined sugar being the worst source. The more carbs you consume, the less likely you lose weight. I have heard a 50/30/20 rule is helpful (carbs/protein/fat). Although my meal tracker indicates I am more 45/30/25.


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13 Jun 2016, 5:32 am

It's not purely carb intake, it's calories.

Eating healthy does not mean a thing if you're over-eating in calories and energy needed by your body for the day.

Eating 100 salads, 10 vegetables, 10 fruits, and having 5 servings of healthy meats such as chicken and 5 servings of cereal w/milk is more calories than a single hamburger a day.

You will lose weight regardless of what you eat if you are eating in a calorie deficit, but it's healthiest to eat healthy and nutritious foods and to also incorporate at least some form of exercise.

Strength training is actually important in weight loss if you don't want to lose weight in muscle. You can't prevent it but by continuing to train the muscles you can minimize it.

This is something some people aiming for a 'toned' physique don't take into account - they will look like sh*t if they have low body fat because they don't train their muscles.

Low muscle + low fat = skinny/malnourished look.

Proper nutrition + proper training + proper rest = low fat, moderate muscle tone.

It's a matter of something like this:

Image

vs.

something like this:

Image

What I say though applies most especially to those only slightly overweight.

Those significantly overweight or obese may as well just try and lose the weight in both muscle and fat for a long time until they're only slightly overweight, at that point strength training isn't a bad idea.



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13 Jun 2016, 4:25 pm

I agree. I was at 220 last year and now I'm at 155 and working towards 140 (I'm 5'9"), and I haven't changed the amount I work out much, just ate less and tried to make healthier choices. I do want to start doing strength training, but that's to tone and gain some muscle (I want strong arms :D).


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24 Jun 2016, 8:37 pm

I agree that it is the industry that has instilled the false belief we can exercise and the junk food weight will come off. It is quite normal here to eat half a bag of crisps and if you walk and not super fast and you're rather small like me, it still takes three ours to walk that off. Best case.

Exercising is good in so many ways. But for weight loss? It is just a cop out for those producing unhealthy foods and drinks, they can always claim you exercise too little. Thing is their food is too calorie dense. But they will still make it the consumers fault when they get fat.

There is no way around it. To have good weight a healthy way you have to eat real foods and to lose weight you must eat food a little lower in macro nutrients but that still have the micro nutrients you need.

The good news is that real food tastes better. It might not at first, but once you get used to it, it might feel quite icky to think of crisps and snicker bars.



kdm1984
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26 Jun 2016, 2:06 pm

You are absolutely correct. Excess calorie/portion size is the number one reason for the obesity epidemic in our modern culture. People don't realize that a good mile-long run only burns about 100 calories on average. Even if you use an incline (force) to help burn up to 3x more calories, you're still only burning 300. Given that many restaurants have meal sizes around 1,000 calories, and it takes 3,500 calories to make a pound, it's abundantly evident, empirically, that you cannot lose weight by exercise alone. Exercise is an adjunct to help aid weight loss; it is not the primary solution. The primary solution is cutting down how many calories we consume (and by cutting down, I mean just that - not starvation). Weight loss will only occur if we create a small deficit (say, consuming 1200 calories a day if you need 1800 a day to maintain weight) and consistently keep that deficit up over the period of months.

Anyway, long story short - I'd been 5'2" and 115 pounds for most of my adolescence until I started overeating in grad school and gained 25 pounds between 2007 and 2008. I then lost those 25 pounds from 2008-2009 over the period of six months by doing exactly what I stated above. I would eat about 1500 calories a day (I'm 5'2" and female), work out and burn about 300 doing incline treadmill to create a further deficit, and then watched the weight come off gradually.

It's never returned.



frag
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27 Jun 2016, 6:48 am

Hypothyroid made me gain almost 20 pounds and then I gained a few more pounds from just adding a little too much to my meals. Even getting on medication for hypothyroid didn't help at all with the weight gain it caused, well... it did in the way I can eat more normal now and not gain anything more, while before meds my caloric need was 700 a day only (gasp!). I'm trying to work out a good way of eating that I can live with, but it's not always the easiest. I eat with a friend who is vegetarian and can't eat anything spicy or upsetting. Why does it have to be complicated? I hate food, LOL.



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27 Jun 2016, 11:41 pm

I came across a really good reason for you to stop drinking sodas / soft-drinks / pop / soda-pop / etc.


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ZelmaMeyer
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08 Jul 2016, 12:54 am

I think diet and exercise goes hand in hand . Simply doing one thing would not be beneficial .



frag
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08 Jul 2016, 4:19 pm

I think it does when it comes to general health. But just for weight loss it is most diet. Exercise is more for toning, heart health, general endurance etc.

People often get sad when they are told that exercise plays a minor part in weight loss. Because many people simply don't care about health, they care about how they look, and slender is what beauty is these days. So they can be like "All that exercise for nothing", feeling low that it did not make them skinnier. It is hard motivating people to exercise on pure health reasons. How others see them from the outside seems more important for them. :(