Is changing your diet a better choice than exercise?

Is changing your diet a better choice than exercise?

When it comes to getting fit and healthy, there are several options on the table. One way to go about it is exercise: whether you decide to hit the gy

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When it comes to getting fit and healthy, there are several options on the table. One way to go about it is exercise: whether you decide to hit the gym or go running, it’s a popular choice for those who want to get into shape. However, the other side of the coin is food and your diet: sometimes the best choice is actually to cut down on some of the more fatty and unhealthy foods as this is often a less time-intensive way to make the change. This article will explore the two sides of the health coin, and will attempt to come to a judgement on which one is best for someone who wants to lose weight, get in shape and feel better.

Dietary choices: the holy grail?

 The received wisdom in health circles is that dietary choices are often the most important when it comes to getting into shape and reducing the chances of problematic health episodes. In many ways, it’s easy to see why: a poor diet can lead to all sorts of complications, especially given that each food item has so many different elements that can pose health risks. From too many empty calories to high levels of saturated fat, health complications can abound in these situations.

If you’re finding that you have specific health problems, a dietary change might be necessary. Say, for example, you’re finding that you’re tired out after eating a big lunch or similar. Could it be that you’re eating too many fast-release carbohydrates and not enough slow-release, energy-dense foods that will keep you full throughout the day? In this sort of situation, it’s probably not the case that exercise can necessarily help. It will usually only be by changing the balance of food types and groups that you eat that you’ll be able to get to where you need to be. A personalised meal plan for weight loss could be an appropriate solution if you’ve identified a problem with your eating pattern as it will allow you to tackle those dietary problems that are specific to you and that are stopping you from living a full and healthy life.

Exercise: a viable option

On a purely scientific basis, exercise certainly can solve some of the problems that are associated with weight gain, ill health and more. It’s the case that if more calories are burned off than are put into the human body, you will lose weight. Burning calories is, of course, the natural consequence of exercise – so by exercising more, you will burn off more calories.

However, that mathematical formula doesn’t necessarily mean that it will be an easy job to burn off excess calories. If you’re consuming a high amount of calories, which is often the case for those who are experiencing weight gain or something similar, then you’re likely to find that it takes a lot of exercise in order to achieve your weight loss goals. It’s here that a time cost can come into play: it takes longer to burn off excess calories than it does to not eat certain foods. If you’re pushed for time, then a diet-heavy approach may be more relevant and useful to you than an exercise-oriented one.

However, exercise comes with some other benefits over and above those pertaining to your physical health. It’s a fairly sustainable form of staying healthy in your mind as well as your body: if you’re finding yourself overeating certain foods such as chocolate or crisps due to emotional eating, then replacing that with exercise is a good way to get the endorphins you need flowing around your body.

In sum, there’s clearly no one-size-fits-all answer to the question of whether changing your diet is a more effective way of getting healthy than changing your exercise routine. What works for one person may not work for another: if you have a lot of time on your hands and the root of your overeating is emotional, for example, then exercise may be better. However, if the root of your health problems is simply nutrition-related, then you may find that dietary changes are better. Perhaps starting out with a light mixture of both changing your diet and changing your exercise pattern is wise: that way, you’ll be able to see what works for you and scale up and down as required.