Exercise vs food for fat loss

The old chestnut. Which is more important? I’m sure if you ask just about anyone who goes to a gym what their goal is and they will say ‘to lose weight’. Likewise, once the mornings get a bit lighter there will be lots more people out hitting the pavements before and after work in the expectation that doing some exercise will get them in shape for summer.
Well the bad news is that exercise is a very small player when it comes to fat loss. What goes in your mouth is absolutely the main player when it comes to losing weight. For instance, say you hop out of bed and go for a brisk 30 minute walk before breakfast 3 times a week. That will burn off around 450 calories in total and you will be thinking “yes, that will drop me half a kilo a week, no problem”. Uh uh. There are 4000 calories in half a kilo of fat so you need to do TEN TIMES that amount of exercise to burn off half a kilo from exercise alone. But, if you reduce your calorie intake by around 500 calories per day AND do those walks, then you should drop that half a kilo a week.
To put it in perspective, if you walk for 30 minutes and then have a flat white or a glass of wine, you have just used up your exercise calories. A calorie deficit in your daily diet will always be the most effective way to lose weight. That’s not to say that exercise isn’t a part of a healthy lifestyle and when you combine it with the right nutrition, it works well for fat loss.

Posted on August 1, 2015 .