Is dieting or exercise more important to lose weight?

Relying on losing kilos only on physical activity or reducing food intake is a simplistic theory that does not work.

I’ll get straight to the point: If your priority is weight loss, science says it’s best to combine both factors, but if we had to choose, the diet would be more weight loss.

What’s the problem with this approach?

The reality is that this is a very reductionist question. First, because if we have to choose, we are wrong. Without physical exercise, weight loss will be more difficult to maintain over time. And second, because it is never a good idea to think of exercise merely as a simple means of compensating intake. Exercise cannot be an atonement for our sins. Anything we do as punishment will not be sustainable over time.

How much exercise do I need to do to “burn off” that soda or chocolate donut?

To “burn off” a cola drink (140 kcal), a person needs to walk for 30 minutes at moderate intensity. And to burn off one chocolate donut (260 kcal), you will have to run for more than 25 minutes. This doesn’t seem like an acceptable thing.

It is true that physical exercise is an essential part of the equation to lose weight, but not because in the short term we are going to compensate for calorie intake, but because in the medium-long term we will generate more muscle mass, which That increase our metabolic expenditure. , among many other benefits. I insist that exercise can never be seen as an asceticism to free oneself from excesses.

Adults: What happens during menopause?

Author of an article published in a magazine obesity They studied for twelve months what was most effective for losing weight in women at this stage: diet, physical activity or a combination of the two. The result was that the average weight loss was greater in the group that followed diet and exercise (10.8% of body weight), compared to the group that only followed diet (8.5%) and the group that Only exercised (2.4%). Therefore, we can say that it is best to combine diet and exercise, but, if you have to choose, diet alone will give you better results than exercise alone.

How much exercise should we do to lose weight without dieting?

If you’re still committed to this path, here’s the short answer: We have to do more than we think and that generally suits the everyday human being’s personal and professional situation.

If you want the longer answer, science provides it, too: In some studies that analyzed how significant weight loss could be achieved through exercise alone, participants participated in one session of physical activity, five a week. Burned between 400-500 kcal or more over the day. This is achieved by doing 225 to 420 minutes of high-intensity physical exercise per week. Don’t worry, I’ll do the math: If you train five days a week, that’s between 45 and 1 hour and about 20 minutes a day. If you do this seven days a week, that’s between 30 minutes to an hour per day. It’s something difficult to fit into the lives of many people.

The additional problem is that, even if we were able to try and generate additional energy expenditure…, it’s not math! If our body sees a sudden change in calorie expenditure, it is very possible that it will become confused and try to defend itself. Our systems do not understand the reason for this energy expenditure and, if they see it as a threat to their balance, they will do something to solve it. What will our body do to protect itself? Implement strategies to maintain your survival. For example, increased appetite and slowing metabolism.

In short: there are no shortcuts.

The good news is that, although wearing tights makes us lazy, there is evidence that we can get big benefits from strength training (two 20-30 minute strength sessions a week, something that doesn’t even have to be dramatic). can do. When will we start?

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