Exercise vs Diet: What matters?
“Sarika, I want to lose weight fast. I go to the gym twice a day. You give me some strict diet of juices and salads only”
“I am a runner. I am famished by the end of the run and then I eat dabaa ke.”
“I love desserts. Then I workout extra the next morning.”
These are very common things that I hear from my clients. Many people believe that if you exercise regularly, you can eat anything. Right? WRONG!
You can never out-exercise a bad diet!
There, I said it! You just can’t. So does this mean that diet is more important than exercise? Well, it depends on your health goal.
- Weight loss: If losing weight is your primary goal, then diet will be more helpful than exercise. Losing weight is all about creating a calorie deficit. It is very easy to create that deficit with diet than with exercise. It will take a ton of effort to burn off 500 calories than to restrict yourself 500 calories. So for losing weight, dedicate more time in the kitchen than in the gym.
- Increase your energy: Your energy depends on your blood sugar levels. A nutritious and balanced meal will prevent sudden surges and dips in your blood sugar level. This will ensure that your energy levels are maintained throughout the day. The antioxidant-rich foods fight fatigue thus keeping up your energy levels. Food also affects the release of many hormones which in turn affect our energy levels and mood. Hence here also diet is more important. However, exercise, especially outdoor exercise has proven to boost energy and mood both. But in the absence of a healthy diet, it doesn’t work.
- Stronger heart and sharp brain: Exercise has its own benefits. It improves blood circulation, reduces stress, lowers cholesterol and releases feel-good hormones. It also improves and maintains your muscle tone, helping you stay lean and fit. A high-intensity workout can increase your cardio capacity thus making your heart stronger. Exercise also keeps your brain sharp and your metabolism going. So exercise definitely is more important in this case.
Verdict: Both diet and exercise are important for a healthy mind and body. Don’t give up one for the other. They are not options but are mutually exclusive.
“Weight is lost in the kitchen, but health is gained in the gyms.”