Health

Is Diet Or Exercise More Important For Your Health?

Healthy and Fitness concept - Beautiful sporty African American on diet holding dumbbell and fresh salad on hands. Isolated on white studio background.
Written by dilligant

The growing conversations around health and fitness prompt people to consider the essentials. Should you eat your heart out and exercise it to balance, or eat in portion control without any exercise? The answers to this question can help you achieve your fitness goal for weight gain or loss.

Moreover, maintaining optimal weight also requires knowing the diet and exercise chart. This guide will help you look into these portions well, so you can establish what is right and healthy for you.

Introduction to the diet or exercise debate

Our lifestyle has changed considerably over the past years due to technological advancements and several other factors. We are no longer as physically active as we used to be in earlier times. Due to this inactivity and lethargy, several physical and mental illnesses have started rising and grasping humans in their claws.

However, we cannot target non-activity and long hours of sitting as the only source of health issues. The food we consume has also changed significantly. We are feeding on more junk items with empty calories and no nutritional value.

With insufficient activity to burn these calories, our weights are increasing, our blood pressure’s rising, and several heart and other diseases are clawing us in. So, this raises an essential question: Should I correct my diet or eat anything I want and then exercise?

Recommendations for Two Different health goals

We cannot outright say which one among dieting and exercising is crucial for health. So, that is why we have divided the two and given our recommendations to what we deem fit per the various health goals:

Goal 1: Weight Loss

If you wish to be healthy by losing some weight, a calorie deficit is a way to go. It refers to the difference you create by burning more calories than you consume. So, the way you can go about it is either consume fewer calories, expend more of them, or create a combination. Now, let’s look into what diet and exercise can do in this scenario:
Diet benefits:
Eating mindfully becomes crucial when you’re looking to lose weight. You need to cut your portions and watch how many calories you intake. However, this doesn’t mean that you stop eating altogether. Instead, feed on low-calorie but fulfilling items that give you enough balance of nutrients to lose weight healthily. Eating whole and minimally processed foods high in protein, fibre, and healthy fats can aid in weight loss.
Exercise benefits:
Exercising can take various forms, from strength training to yoga, aerobics, etc. All these forms help promote and encourage weight loss by increasing the metabolic rate.
➢ Strength training builds muscle mass and increases metabolism to burn calories even at rest.
➢ Aerobic exercises like walking, jogging, and cycling can burn significant calories in a single session of 30 minutes or more at low intensity.
➢ Regular moderate exercises also help regulate hunger hormones to prevent overeating.
All these help in weight loss and belly fat reduction through calorie burning.
Recommendations:
Usually, an 80/20 guide is recommended during weight loss.

Here, 80% represents diet, and 20% exercises to achieve a calorie deficit.

To say any one of them will work would be wrong. You need a combination of the two to achieve the weight loss goal because if you keep eating junk and spending hours in the gym, you are doing yourself more harm than good.

So, it’s better to watch out for both things and maintain a healthy balance per your needs.

Goal 2: Heart health

Protecting your heart requires opting for healthy habits and giving up on unhealthy ones like drinking and smoking. So, let’s see what role diet and exercise play in this scenario:
Diet benefits:
When the intake of highly processed foods rich in sodium increases, the probability of getting ill rises considerably. Added sugars, saturated fats, refined carbohydrates, etc., are harmful to our hearts. So, avoiding or limiting them as much as you can is crucial to prevent these diseases.
Exercise benefits:
When you exercise regularly, even if you don’t lose weight, your heart will be grateful for its activeness. Your blood pressure decreases, and bad cholesterol levels also reduce with moderate to high-intensity cardio sessions. Moreover, it helps regulate your insulin levels which reduces the probability of type 2 diabetes.
Recommendations:
A combination of diet and exercise is crucial to maintain the health of your heart. It can reduce the risk of such diseases. However, you will also need to inculcate healthy lifestyle habits alongside.

Summing up

Both diet and exercise have their contributions to promoting healthy life. You need to find an optimal balance between the two because focusing on simply one can cause significant problems. We only discussed two goals in this guide, weight loss and heart health.

However, if your goal is to build muscle, you need a blend of protein and strength training. Similarly, if your goal is improved mental health, you’ll also have to find a good balance between nutritious foods and exercise.

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