We all know that there are two primary components of losing weight: diet and exercise. At the most basic level, It has to do with calories going into the body and calories being burned by the body. Naturally, it is a great deal more complex than that, but that doesn’t change the fact that diet and exercise are the two things that any healthy and effective long term weight management program requires.
But most of us don’t have time to dedicate the majority of our days to ensuring that we’re doing everything right in both categories. So many dieters have found themselves wondering what is more important, eating right or exercising more. While they are typically willing to focus on both things, they want to know where the majority of their attention should be directed.
A new study from the International Journal of Epidemiology has now determined that while exercise remains important to a diet, it is the food that is eaten that has the largest impact. Therefore, if you are planning to do both but are wondering which one is most important to get right, then look to your kitchen to find the answer.
This study was conducted by researchers at Loyola University, beginning in 2013. They had hypothesized that they would discover that they would find proof that exercise is the critical element to a weight loss diet. However, after two years of research, what they have determined is that it is actually a person’s diet that has the largest impact on the amount of weight that they carry. The researchers found that this is true not only to how much a person can lose, but also how much they will gain.
The authors of the study did point out that being physically active is “crucially important” to improving both fitness and overall health, but they also found out that there isn’t all that much evidence to indicate that it would be the primary solution to reversing the trend in obesity.
This latest research is only the most recent in a growing number of studies that have been showing that exercise isn’t the main consideration for weight loss. In fact, a Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics meta-analysis showed that while exercise is important to health, the only time that people actually lost a noticeable amount of weight in a diet was if they combined their exercises with a calorie restricted diet. So, among diet and exercise, it appears that diet is the main factor for successful weight loss.