You know when you're flipping through the TV channels, and you come across those infomercials depicting energetic people using a specific contraption to blast their fat to utter annihilation and lose tons of weight? While working out is always a better choice than chilling on the couch all day, this idea of "exercise = lose weight" is somewhat misleading. And many of us know this all too well, especially after giving it our all in the gym for weeks on end, only to see little to no change when we step on the scale. Keep reading to find out why exercise isn't enough when you want to lose weight.
Weight Loss: Diet Matters More Than You Might Think
When it comes to achieving real weight loss results, you can't ignore the importance of eating the right foods. Contrary to popular opinion, no amount of exercise can cancel out poor eating habits. While exercising definitely burns calories, it takes a combination of both healthy eating and a well-rounded workout regimen to really see the pounds come off. According to a 2015 study published in Science Daily, controlling your calories through proper eating choices is a more successful route to go versus exercise alone, especially when you consider that exercising can actually boost appetite in some people.
Proper Food Choices + Exercising = Weight Loss Success
Although diet is the golden key to weight loss, that doesn't mean that exercise is useless. In fact, countless studies have proven that exercise is absolutely critical to leading a healthy lifestyle. Working out helps you build muscle, improves cardiovascular health, boosts your stamina, reduces stress, and releases those feel-good hormones known as endorphins, which will improve your mood and leave you feeling more energetic.
But don't make the mistake of leaving proper food choices out of the equation. It's not the smartest idea to reduce the amount of food you're eating if you're still eating junk. Remember, you're looking to achieve the total package of a healthy lifestyle, which of necessity will include making healthy food choices, such as:
- Cutting down on high-carb foods
- Significantly reducing your sugar intake
- Eating lots of fresh fruits and vegetables
- Consuming healthy fats (e.g., olive oil, avocados, nuts, etc.) in moderation
- Drinking lots of water
- Adding whole grains to your diet
So it's diet plus exercise that really kicks your weight loss efforts into overdrive. If you want to take your health and fitness to the next level, try the one-two punch of reducing your calorie intake through better food choices, and working out on a consistent basis. If you do this, the favorable results you're looking for will be inevitable.