Diet Is Often More Important Than Exercise, But That’s Not The Whole Picture

Day 218

Today, I reduced my jogging time to 60 minutes after 2 really good days where I lost .3 kg each day (total of .6 kg). The results were not as good today. I gained .2 kg. Was that because I ran for 60 minutes? I am not sure about that at all. But something a little odd happened with this run that may have had a factor in gaining a little weight today.

Before running, I measured myself at about 77.5 kg. After the run, I weighed in at 77.0 kg. That is way too low. It led me to believe that I either got the wrong weight before the run or that something odd happened that caused me to lose very little weight during this workout.

My diet was pretty good, considering that I had only risen from 76.4 to about 77.5 before the run. And after, I ate approximately .3 kg of food and a small amount of water. So I dropped from roughly 77.4 to 76.6 overnight, for a pretty small gain of .2 kg. I can’t pinpoint the reason for the gain. It was just weird that I did not lose more weight during the run. It is normal to not know exactly why you lose or gain weight on a particular day. And I have never determined the reason for during-workout weight loss fluctuations. So long as it’s just an odd day here or there, I don’t fret over it.

It is often said that diet is more important than exercise. While it is true in some respects, this kind of generalization is very misleading. Sometimes, exercise is such a crucial component that it is at least as important as diet.

When people say diet is more important, what is true about this generalization is that no amount of exercise will allow you to compensate for a very large diet and overeating. If you eat 4000 calories and your body will only use 2500 calories and store the excess, then you are likely going to gain a whole lot of weight. It would take a heck of a lot of exercise to burn off 1500 calories on a daily basis.

Now, I am not giving you a perfectly scientific example here, but the example serves the purpose of showing you the reason that diet is important. Depending on your size and metabolism, your body is usually going to need somewhere between 1500 and 3000 calories. Some need more, and some need less. So you would have to test to determine how much your body needs without exercise. It could be 1800 for you, or it could be 2900. And if you go over that amount, you will generally gain weight because the body will end up storing the excess.

Now, here is where the statement that diet is more important than exercise can be misleading. Let’s assume that you don’t even eat that much but still gain a little bit of weight over time. You are not ballooning up overnight. But over the course of months, you notice that you slowly but steadily gain weight. Let’s say are down to about 2000 calories, and you naturally feel you need that much food even without exercise. Yet, you are steadily gaining over time.

Further, let’s say you can’t adjust to eating less, and it might even be unhealthy to eat less since all bodies need a minimum amount of various nutrients. So what are you to do? Well, the obvious answer here is that exercise is very important for you. You have your diet pretty much in order, but you are still slowly gaining weight. Now, at this point, the statement that diet is more important than exercise is pretty much meaningless to you. You are already doing well on your diet but are still gaining weight. In this predicament, exercise is at least as important as your diet. If we look at it in simple terms, it’s going to be around 50% of your path to success.

Let’s summarize this. If you are already doing pretty well on your diet without exercise, that sometimes is still not enough to lose weight or keep the weight off. That’s when the balance of the “diet vs. exercise scale” tips more towards exercise as being important. It’s not exactly 40 or 50 or 60 percent. But it’s a vital component that you cannot in this situation that I am describing. If eating less is not a viable option, then your only other available option (other than something risky like surgery or drugs) is going to be exercise.

Now, this article is not going to tell you how to exercise or diet. Losing weight is a little more complex than one single article. However, my Pentamize book can show you exactly how I lost weight using a combination of diet and exercise.

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