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6 Reasons Why Diet Is More Important Than Exercising For Weight Loss

6 Reasons Why Diet Is More Important Than Exercising For Weight Loss

For years now, exercise and physical exertion has been championed as the most effective vehicle for driving pronounced weight loss. While a viable exercise regime is certainly important and also capable of boosting productivity and easing stress, it is actually your diet that drives sustained weight loss.

If you are not convinced, here are the main reasons why diet is more important than exercise, along with some steps you can take to benefit from this.

1. Exercise alone cannot drive significant weight loss

Studies have proven that exercise alone cannot drive significant weight loss, primarily because the majority of us unknowingly compensate for the calories that we burn by being more physically active. Whether this is in the form of excess snacking or grab-and-go food choices, our subconscious eating habits can easily counteract the benefits of even the most strenuous daily exercise regime.

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To negate this, commit to keeping a food diary that lists every single calorie that you consume (along with the intake of sugar and saturated fat). This will make your food choices abundantly clear and highlight any areas for immediate improvement.

2. Exercise increases your appetite

We have already touched on how regular exercise can trigger subconscious eating habits, and this is based on research which suggests that physical exertion actively increases your appetite and metabolism. Such studies have confirmed that those who adhere to rigid exercise regimes also tend to increase their calorie intake simultaneously, gradually negating the impact of their workouts over time.

To avoid this, restrict your diet at the start of your weight loss drive in a bid to optimize the impact of your exercise. Remember that feeling hungry is an inevitable side effect of losing weight and changing your dietary habits, so keep this in mind at all times. Then, you should only consider increasing your calorie intake as you increase the frequency or intensity of your workouts, while also regulating your snacks and meals throughout the course of an average day.

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3. An increase in physical activity has not countered rising obesity levels

Between 2001 and 2009 in the US, the percentage of people who engaged in physical activity increased noticeably. This did not prevent the rise of obesity among US adults during the same period, however, which confirms that exercise is not enough to prevent weight gain or the onset of chronic dietary conditions.

This is a difficult challenge to circumvent, but it can be achieved by reviewing the nutritional values of every meal and snack that you consume. This will help you to regulate the amount of saturated fat and sugar that you eat on a regular basis, improving your overall health and optimizing the impact of any exercise that you undertake.

4. Food is the fuel source that drives exercise

Many people misunderstand the relationship that exists between food and exercise, but the fact remains that the former is an underlying fuel source that drives the latter. Without the right caloric intake, energy, and nutrients in your body, it is impossible to exercise effectively and achieve the weight loss that you desire.

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You can benefit from these dynamics by ensuring that you fuel your body with the right foods to optimize your energy levels. Bananas and lean white meats are both excellent sources of natural energy, for example, and their consumption can help you to achieve your fitness goals and lose weight consistently.

5. Short-term weight loss is also driven by diet

We have focused on long-term results so far, but we live in an age where technological advancements and the pace of modern life have made us increasingly impatient. This drives the need for short-term results too, but even then diet is the most influential factor in driving rapid weight loss.

Experts estimate that weight loss generally consists of 75% diet and 25% exercise, while the former also holds the key to your efforts. Analysis of more than 700 weight loss studies underlined this, revealing that the majority of people saw the most obvious short-term results through eating smart and dieting. Keep this in mind when losing weight, as you initially focus on shedding excess calories before you consider undertaking cardiovascular exercise and toning regimes.

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6. The mechanics of weight loss restrict the effectiveness of exercise

On a similar note, it is also important to note that the mechanics of weight loss restrict the effectiveness of exercise as a standalone endeavor. The American Dietetic Association confirms this, highlighting that it is almost impossible for overweight people to produce the required energy deficit of 500 to 1,000 calories per day without managing and reducing what they eat.

This is a fundamental rule of weight loss, so knowing this will save you time and help you to achieve your goals quicker. It should help to guide you when it comes to setting these goals in the first place, as you look to reduce your calorie intake responsibly and in a way that will reduce your weight both quickly and over time.

Featured photo credit: Anna Verdina / Flickr via flickr.com

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Last Updated on December 9, 2019

5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

Everyone experiences mental stress at one time or another. Maybe you’re starting a new career, job, or business, or you feel incredibly overwhelmed between work, parenting, and your love life (or a lack of it). It could even be that you simply feel that you have way too much to do and not enough time to do it,  plus, on top of everything, nothing seems to be going the way it should!

Yup, we all experience mental stress from time-to-time, and that’s okay as long as you have the tools, techniques and knowledge that allow you to fully relieve it once it comes.

Here are 5 tips for relieving mental stress when it comes so you can function at your best while feeling good (and doing well) in work, love, or life:

1. Get Rationally Optimistic

Mental stress starts with your perception of your experiences. For instance, most people get stressed out when they perceive their reality as “being wrong” in some way. Essentially, they have a set idea of how things “should be” at any given moment, and when reality ends up being different (not even necessarily bad), they get stressed.

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This process is simply a result of perception and can be easily “fixed” by recognizing that although life might not always be going as YOU think it should, it’s still going as it should—for your own benefit.

In fact, once you fully recognize that everything in your life ultimately happens for your own growth, progress, and development—so you can achieve your goals and dreams—your perception works in your favor. You soon process and respond to your experience of life differently, for your advantage. That’s the essence of becoming “rationally optimistic.”

The result: no more mental stress.

2. Unplug

Just like you might need to unplug your computer when it starts acting all crazy, you should also “unplug” your mind.

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How on earth do you unplug your mind? Simple: just meditate.

It isn’t nearly difficult or complicated as some people think, so, if you don’t already meditate, give it a try. Whether you meditate for 5 minutes, 30 minutes, or 2 hours, this is a surefire way to reduce mental stress.

Meditation has been scientifically proven to relax your body (resulting in less mental stress), while also reducing anxiety and high blood pressure.

3. Easy on the Caffeine

Yes, we know, we know—everyone loves a nice java buzz, and that’s okay, but there’s a fine line between a small caffeine pick-me-up and a racing heart and mind that throws you into a frenzy of mental stress.

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Try giving up caffeine for a while and see how you feel. And, if that’s completely out of the question for you, at least try to minimize it. You might find that lots of your mental stress mysteriously “disappears” as your caffeine intake goes down.

4. Attack Mental Stress Via the Back Door

That’s right: your body and mind are part of the whole being, and are constantly influencing and affecting each other. If you’re experiencing a lot of mental stress, try to reduce it by calming your body down—a calm body equals a calmer mind.

How do you calm your body down and reduce physical stress? A  great way to reduce physical stress (thereby reducing mental stress) is to take natural supplements that are proven to reduce stress and anxiety while lifting your mood. Three good ones to look into are kava-kava, St John’s wort, and rhodiola rosea:

  • Kava-kava is a natural plant known to have mild sedative properties, and you should be able to find it at your natural health food store or vitamin store. It’s available in capsules or liquid extract form.
  • St John’s wort is a natural flower used to treat depression. Again, it’s found at your local health store in capsules or liquid. Because it uplifts mood (enabling you to see the brighter side of all experiences) it helps relieve mental stress as well.
  • Rhodiola rosea is a natural plant shown to reduce stress and uplift mood, and Russian athletes have been using it forever. Like the other two supplements mentioned, rhodiola rosea can be found at your natural health store in capsule or liquid form.

While these supplements are all natural and can be very helpful for most people, always check with your health care provider first as they can cause side-effects depending on your current health situation etc.

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5. Good Old-Fashioned Exercise

This tip has been around forever because it works. Nothing relieves mental stress like running, kickboxing—you name it. Anything super-physical will wipe out most of your mental stresses once the exercise endorphins (happy chemicals) are released into your brain.

The result: mental stress will be gone!

So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed or just plain stressed, try using some of the above tips. You can even print this out or save it to refer to regularly.

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Featured photo credit: Radu Florin via unsplash.com

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