Is it how much you EAT or how much you EXERCISE - the definitive answer!!

(37 Posts)
mirai Wed 09-Oct-13 10:21:22

Please tell me which you think, citing proof where necessary wink

summerbreezer Wed 09-Oct-13 10:26:48

Weight loss is 80% down to diet. V difficult to exercise off excess calories.

Feeling fit, strong, healthy, toned is down to exercise. Both are important.

MrsPMT Wed 09-Oct-13 10:29:55

For weight loss? If so I'd say how much you eat is most important as long as you aren't completely sedentary. Exercise makes you fitter & more toned but IMO, need to eat less to lose weight.

Anecdotal proof, about a year ago I got a fright when I stepped on the scales to find my weight had risen to 12 stone, I decided to take extra exercise (classes/walking) to try & get my weight down. A year later it was still the same, I was fitter & looked better but still overweight.

Have recently cut down & following a healthy eating plan & the weight is really coming off.

ceeveebee Wed 09-Oct-13 10:30:08

I agree it is down to what you eat.

My only proof is my own experience. I have always exercised frequently but used to see this as an excuse to eat what I wanted, and then wondered why I never lost weight.

3 months using MfP to track calories and keep them below 1500 per day, I lost 1.5 stone. I still more or less eat what I want but smaller portions of it. And I don't drink as much alcohol or as many lattes as I used to either

AnythingNotEverything Wed 09-Oct-13 10:35:37

I think it depends on whether you measure success in inches or stones.

For the former, HIIT and weight training is best, for the latter, pure calorie counting is best.

Although saying that, I think different techniques work for different people.

I know I feel and look better when I eat clean, high lean protein and low carb, drink lots of water, and do a mix of cardio and weights (or at least core exercises with squats and lunges) 3 times a week. It doesn't make a huge difference on the scales, but can shave off two dress sizes.

Dahlen Wed 09-Oct-13 10:37:11

I think you need both but food makes more of a difference than exercise. Exercise boosts your metabolism so that the calories you've consumed can be burned off more easily. However, if you eat too much, no amount of efficiency in your metabolism will help.

I've never struggled with my weight but I do pay attention to what I eat. The only time I've been able to eat however much I wanted without thought was when I was running 8 miles most days and 15-20 on weekends. That's probably not going to be workable most people.

I think exercise is as important however because a fit, healthy body naturally craves more of the right sort of food IMO. Plus, because you have much more energy, there is less sitting around boredom eating.

mirai Wed 09-Oct-13 23:26:25

Damn... I was hoping that group wisdom would have the opposite answer! I am useless at dieting as I hate denying myself anything, whereas finding time to exercise I find relatively easier!

HeySoulSister Wed 09-Oct-13 23:53:35

Just exercise then

I find it puts me into a 'eat healthier' frame of mind

Mirai - I am with you on this!! World's worst dieter and having joined RC group in January I have lost very little but love the exercise!

rootypig Thu 10-Oct-13 00:07:46

What you eat. The easiest way is to skip dinner. Sort of like a daily version of the 5:2 diet. Never fails. If you're properly, seriously hungry when you wake up, you are losing weight, ime.

mirai Thu 10-Oct-13 00:53:43

I tried fasting recently. I think I was the only person in the history of 5:2 to put weight on!! grin

friendly what's RC?

mirai Thu 10-Oct-13 00:55:05

Ohhh Rosemary Conley! Yes I think it's good that they emphasise the importance of exercising too smile

rootypig Thu 10-Oct-13 00:58:29

Mirai I couldn't do 5:2 either. A day is just too long for me not to eat, and I ate double the next day. But I can't be arsed making dinner at the moment for various reasons, DH is happy to fend for himself, DD is a baby....and so more often than not in the last few weeks I've skipped it and had chocolate and tea instead (instead of as well grin). I wake up starving, have big breakfast and lunch....and by dinner I'm ready to skip again. Works well for me.

mirai Thu 10-Oct-13 10:24:02

Chocolate and tea, sounds like my kinda diet!! grin

fascicle Thu 10-Oct-13 10:59:47

To answer your question - really it's a question of input (food and drink) vs output (other stuff plus exercise). Food is a more important part of the equation as far as weight is concerned (i.e. you could achieve weight loss/healthy weight by changing food intake but without adding exercise).

That said, I do think exercise can make a difference to weight, very much depending on what you do. (If you regularly ran for an hour at a 10 min mile pace, you'd burn off around 600 + calories. If you walked briskly for an hour, you'd burn about half that - about 300 calories.)

I think exercise is beneficial for lots of reasons in addition to weightloss, so always worth doing. Apart from physical health benefits, it gets your head in a good place, which could have a beneficial effect on eating habits.

Nancy66 Thu 10-Oct-13 13:20:25

As others have said, diet plays a much bigger part.

However, if you love food and exercise well then it does give you a little bit of licence to eat more. regular exercise can speed a metabolism and I can burn 600 calories a go in a workout. That means I can have an occasional blow out and not worry about the consequences.

For me - regular, high impact workouts (4 a week) and a diet made up of 75% good, 25% piggy indulgence works and keeps me around a steady size 10-12

FruitSaladIsNotPudding Thu 10-Oct-13 13:35:19

I think they're probably about the same - but exercising is harder. Say you wanted to lose a pound a week, you need a daily calorie deficit of 500 (I know it's not quite that simple). Cutting out 500 calories every day from your food is easily doable - lose a couple of biscuits and smaller portions and you're there. But exercising enough to use 500 calories? That's going to be about an hour of hard exercise, I'd say, and how many people will stick to that day in, day out?

That said, for me, if I want the weight to stay off, I need to exercise. I need the mindset it brings which makes me WANT to look after myself and eat well, and I need the increased muscle mass which makes my weight less prone to going up.

Op, if you want to exercise, but don't want to diet, how about doing loads of exercise and just cutting out snacks in the week and cutting back on portions. Works for me! Have you looked at the no s website?

mirai Fri 11-Oct-13 02:36:56

Interesting fruit, because I think that controlling diet is harder. If I'm "on a diet" it controls my mind for every waking minute! I feel guilty if I stray off it, deprived if I'm "not allowed" to eat my favourite foods, or as much of them as I want, and eventually I will have blow out and feel guilty. It's a shite way to live!

I think I am going to try to find a space in my life for exercise, there's no (little) guilt involved there, just feel good endorphins!

What's the no s website?

FruitSaladIsNotPudding Fri 11-Oct-13 08:10:29

It's a diet, but a really simple one, no snacks, no sweets, no seconds except on days beginning with s is the rule I think. Check out the website and forums - it's really interesting how much success people have had with something so simple.

I am the same about most diets. Feel really deprived. But not snacking the week even I can just about manage, and it makes the difference.

fascicle Fri 11-Oct-13 10:48:50

Nancy66
75% good, 25% piggy indulgence
I think you've got the makings of something there - move over 5:2 wink. Actually, I think you've described the diet I'm on!

mirai Would agree that diets (official, prescriptive ones) seem to be restrictive and somewhat negative, while exercise seems like a positive addition.

specialsubject Fri 11-Oct-13 10:52:59

short term dieting is a waste of time.

unfortunately the human body is very efficient and you need to do a lot of exercise to burn noticeable calories.

eat healthily, don't pig out, move around. Sweets, cakes, biscuits are treats, not every day. Control portion sizes. Don't eat low-fat food. There is no other way.

oh, and don't skip meals. Makes you hell to live with and a terrible example for kids.

TheAngryCheeseCracker Sun 13-Oct-13 08:32:22

Excercise and eat normally (Like our parents generation) works best for me.

Exercise may not burn all that many calories, but it speeds up your metabolism.

Also it is good for your mind, releasing dndorphines, so fewer cravings.

Also, it leads to better food choices, as running with, say, a belly full of McD does not feel great.

You sleep better when you exercise, so no sugar cravings ( which you get when tired)

You can eat normally, including normal carbs like pasta, rice, potatoes.

Works for me, I could never "diet" but simply swimming or cycling every day works a treat. And I get to eat delicious food like baked potato with beans and cheese with no guilt.

TheAngryCheeseCracker Sun 13-Oct-13 08:36:23

If you look at animals, it makes sense too.

If you want your horse or dog to be healthy, you exercise them every day and feed them well.

Nobody would advocate to not walk a dog and just feed them less, now, would they?

Exercise is essential.

eightytwenty Sun 13-Oct-13 08:40:56

And on a similar note, having lost 3 stone last year by using mfp and discovering a love of exercise, I now swim for 2 hours a week, run twice and do a spin class (tri training), but since the summer I have managed to put on 11lb (sad) .

Have re started bad habits which I'm now going to have to lose again. My new size 12's are feeling tight and I'm go

eightytwenty Sun 13-Oct-13 08:41:58

Going to get control before it's too late!

Am therefore in agreement with everyone else!

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