Diet vs. Exercise. Is Success Really More Diet then Exercise?

Have you ever heard the phrase “weight loss is 80% diet and 20% exercise”, or even 90% diet to 10% exercise?

There is no doubt that diet and nutrition play a very big and very important role in our health and especially with weight loss, but I do think that the above phrase is a little misleading.

If your mindset is that the majority of your success comes from diet, you would most likely choose to just focus on diet and maybe not even incorporate exercise at all. After all, it’s only a small part of the equation.

Let me explain why I think this is the wrong way to look at this equation and why if anything, if you had to choose one aspect to focus on, I would put more weight on exercise.

If we have 2 identical people starting at the same time. They are the same weight, same height, same age, everything is identical except one will focus on getting their diet right with no exercise and the other will focus on a keeping a really good exercise schedule but will continue to eat as they normally have been.

Let’s pick a period of 3 months to check back in with them.

Who do you think feels better? Diet or exerciser?

Who do you think is stronger? Diet or exerciser?

Who do you think has gained more independence? Diet or exerciser?

Who has gained more confidence? Diet or exerciser?

Who has gained more muscle? Diet or exerciser?

Who has increased their metabolism more? Diet or exerciser?

Who has increased their performance more? Diet or exerciser?

And lastly, who has lost more weight? Diet or exerciser?

Every answer to every question I asked above, the answer is the exerciser, except for maybe the last one, who has lost more weight. That one could be toss up or lean more towards the dieter as the answer but there is one important fact you need to remember about the dieter. Since they are not exercising, specifically strength training, up to 27% of their weight loss can be from muscle loss. Not good! So again, in the long run I think the exerciser wins this answer too!

I am not pointing this out to say that diet is not important, it is very important, but only to point out that no matter what your goal is, exercise must be a part of your plan, especially the strength training aspect.

Combining the exercise and nutrition components is the secret sauce to success though. Doing both together will bring you to success much quicker. There is no doubt about that. But the bottom line here is that there are too many benefits that exercise creates that dieting alone cannot, and if you had to choose one to focus on, I would always recommend exercise.