It’s never easy to lose weight, but many people believe that the best way of hitting your weight-loss targets is by intense dieting. Although diets reduce your total consumption of calories, there’s a loophole you need to consider.
If you don’t exercise too, your other bodily functions can be affected. Dieting with no exercise helps you in the short-term to shed pounds, but it’s difficult to determine whether you can sustain that weight loss in the long-term. So, let’s take a look at the facts about weight, exercise, and dieting, and how all three are interconnected.
Dieting Aids Weight Loss
Everyone knows calorie deficits are essential to lose weight. You lose weight when you use up more calories than you’re consuming. But it’s important to be aware that it isn’t only fat that you lose when you diet. Water is lost too, and in some cases, you may also be losing lean muscle mass. Losing fluids from your body is typically temporary, fluctuating from day to day.
However, if you lose muscle, that’s a more significant problem. If you lose muscle, it isn’t only your strength that’s affected – your insulin sensitivity and metabolic rate are affected too. People who have reduced muscle mass simply can’t burn fat as efficiently. Therefore, you have to be sure that you’re losing fat and not muscle when you’re dieting.
Can Dieting More Intensively Compensate For No Exercise?
When you decrease your calorie intake drastically, your body goes into starvation mode with your metabolic rate slowing down in an attempt to conserve enough energy. Human bodies are designed to preserve themselves as their top priority, and they respond to situations in which they perceive they’re in a famine by slowing their metabolism.
The impact of that is that when you begin eating your normal diet again, the slower metabolic rate means you gain weight again, and often even more than you needed to lose in the first place.
Can Exercise Cause Me To Gain Weight?
If you only work out and don’t diet at the same time, you could gain weight rather than losing it. Exercise boosts the appetite, and that could result in you overeating each mealtime. Furthermore, exercising excessively affects the proper balance of the hormones that regulate appetite, again leading you to eat too much overall.
Is Losing Weight Only About The Number Of Calories Consumed?
Caloric balance may seem like the only thing that affects weight, but that isn’t actually true. Lifestyle habits and genetic expressions are also factors that come into play.
The kind of food you eat is important when it comes to weight loss or gain. Some food contains preservatives and additives that impact gut health which, in turn, affects the metabolism and contributes to gaining weight. Some people also inherit genes that naturally predispose them to weight gain.
If your circadian rhythms become disturbed, perhaps by working during the night, your metabolism can also be affected, slowing down the rate at which you burn calories and causing weight gain.
The Benefits That Come With Exercise
Not only is it easier to lose weight in the long term through a combination of eating healthily and working out, but exercise also brings some other benefits too.
Working out produces endorphins that clear the mind and boost the mood, fighting anxiety and stress and combating depression. Exercise can also improve your memory and focus, boosting your brain’s cognitive function. Exercise is a natural way to self-regulate your body’s level of blood sugar, and it can significantly reduce your risk of developing cancer.
In short, exercise doesn’t just enable you to maintain the right body weight, it helps you to stay healthy in the long term.
How Can I Facilitate Weight Loss?
There are certain exercises that facilitate better weight loss. Cycling, running, and other cardiovascular exercises, paired with resistance training help to burn fat while building muscle mass which, in turn, boosts metabolic rate.
It’s also important to eat real foods that are rich in nutrients without artificial additives. Unprocessed meat, sweet potatoes, brown rice, eggs, and kale leaves are all excellent examples of whole foods that facilitate healthier weight loss. Essentially you need to balance your macronutrients across carbohydrates, fats, and proteins to ensure proper nutrition.
Although some people believe that all fats are bad, that isn’t the case. There are good and bad fats, and knowing the difference between them is key. Artificial and industrial trans fats should be avoided while monounsaturated fats such as omega-3 and omega-9 fatty acids are healthy and should be added into your diet.
The amount that you eat is also important. Serving smaller portions significantly affects how many calories you’ll consume. The larger the portion, the more likely you are to overeat, so keeping plates small is key. Keeping junk food and sugary, fatty snacks out of the house, or at least out of sight, is also helpful so you won’t have any temptations.
Removing distractions from the dining environment will also help. If we are distracted as we eat, we’re more likely to overeat later to make up for an unsatisfying eating experience earlier. Avoiding watching TV or looking at your phone during meals is the best way to focus solely on your food and to really enjoy every mouthful.
Losing weight is not just a science but also an art. It’s vital to pay attention to your own body and the way it responds, reacting accordingly so you can maintain your progress. A diet and exercise programme that works for one person may not work for another, so you may need to do some trial and error to find the right programme to suit your needs.
What is clear, though, is that you shouldn’t only exercise or only diet to lose weight. You need to incorporate both healthy eating and working out into your daily life in order to not only facilitate the most effective weight loss but also to maintain that weight loss in the long run.