diet v exercise

(62 Posts)
deeplybaffled Mon 11-Nov-13 22:54:01

I have a nasty feeling that one won't really work without the other.
And whilst I'm not fantastic at either, exercise comes more naturally to me than only eating healthy stuff, alas.
am about to re start 30 day shred again post holiday break, but suspect that alone may not be enough to get me from a size 14 to a 12, dammit.
so can anyone advise as to the relative importance of diet and exercise - and suggest any modest diet tips that I can incorporate into day to day life? I know myself too well to believe that wholesale diet changes to lentils and brown rice will be sustainedsad
thank you!

MrsGSR Mon 11-Nov-13 23:43:15

I've seen 80% diet 20% exercise stated a lot for weight loss. But I think it's probably different for each person. You can lose weight just by dieting, but exercise will make you look so much better.

MrsGSR Mon 11-Nov-13 23:45:51

I missed the diet tips bit. Have you tried using myfitnesspal.com or similar to track what you eat? There was a study a while back that found keeping a food diary lead to people eating less as they were thinking more about what they were eating.
I found tracking (accurately with food scales) really interesting, some of my portion sizes were way off!

timidviper Mon 11-Nov-13 23:53:10

I've read somewhere that exercise is only about 15% of weight loss.

I have been low carbing (on the bootcamp threads) and am finding that a more sustainable way of eating than others I have tried but I do believe that it is just finding something that suits you whether low cal, low carb, low fat or whatever.

Flatasawitchestit Mon 11-Nov-13 23:56:52

You need to remember that majority of your body shape is defined by your diet.

Eat clean, and these days there is a shit load of inspiration out there free. If anyone is on instagram #cleaneating or #clean and you'll have thousands of posts that will gee you up, inspire you and recipes to help you cook nice meals.

I've got a blog and ig page if you'd like links PM. Me.

Lazysuzanne Tue 12-Nov-13 11:02:46

It's impossible to quantify, activity level can almost be measured with a linear scale but diet is more wide ranging.

Also different people will respond to different things.

Body composition in terms of how much fat and how much lean tissue you have is probably slightly more dependent on how active you are.

Really the two things interact.

Lizzylou Tue 12-Nov-13 11:09:30

For me, I know full well that exercise might help tone me up and improve my fitness and mood but to lose weight I need to watch my diet as well. I cannot just exercise without making changes in my diet and expect the weight to fall off.
My friend is one of those people who can do 3 spin classes a week, eat pies, sandwiches stuffed with fattening stuff, drink wine every night and lose weight and inches.
You know what works for you!

Lazysuzanne Tue 12-Nov-13 11:23:58

Perhaps it's more helpful to look at these things as dials which can be adjusted until you get the results you want.

A little more resistance training, a reduction in processed foods.
Slightly higher intensity cardio.
Experiment and you'll find what works for you!

eurochick Tue 12-Nov-13 11:28:34

You need to create a calorie deficit to lose weight. That is a lot easier to do though diet or diet and exercise, than exercise alone.

The Shred will probably burn about 200 calories - that's 2 bananas, or half a sandwich. It's really, really tough to create a meaningful calorie deficit through exercise alone.

However, you need to exercise for health and to tone your muscles, so you really need to be doing both.

Lizzylou Tue 12-Nov-13 11:34:25

God yes, it is so easy to eat more because you have exercised. Then you work out that you have eaten 700 cals worth "because you deserve it after a workout" and only burned off half of that on the treadmill or whatever. I use MFP and it is pretty eye opening once you log everything you eat and all of your exercise. I never eat my exercise calories, they are just a bonus. But some people do. 000000

Lazysuzanne Tue 12-Nov-13 11:34:34

It's not just about calorie deficit, exercise leads to metabolic changes which predispose you to having more lean tissue and lower body fat levels.

Lizzylou Tue 12-Nov-13 11:34:50

Apols for excess of 0000s at end blush

Oblomov Tue 12-Nov-13 11:35:52

I agree with the
80% diet
20% exercise.

AnythingNotEverything Tue 12-Nov-13 11:43:11

I think it depends entirely on how you judge success. Do you want to drop a dress size or hit a particular weight? Exercise will help with the first, and food/diet will help more with the second.

Lazysuzanne Tue 12-Nov-13 17:35:08

I agree with the 80% diet 20% exercise

I'm struggling to reconcile this with my own experience but I suppose it might depend on what your starting point is?

If your diet is very offtrack and you have alot of fat to lose after years of overeating then I suppose it would seem as if 80% of the lifstyle adjustment needed would be in the area of diet.

or are people referring to the amount of effort required....in as much as they find it takes much more willpower and/or planning to keep their diet on track?

sydlexic Tue 12-Nov-13 17:41:13

I always think it is like money. You can earn more or spend less but if you do both the results will be quicker.

SparklyFucker Wed 13-Nov-13 11:33:27

You can't out train a bad diet...

Lazysuzanne Wed 13-Nov-13 12:25:28

I see your point Sparkly, but then again it depends what you mean by bad diet. ..exactly how bad?

My idea of a bad diet might be someone else's fairly good diet.

Whilst there is an upper limit to how sedentary a person can be there is (almost) no upper limit to how bad a diet can be.

Lazysuzanne Wed 13-Nov-13 12:34:06

I think most people will be able to be slim without exercising (ie just by eating carefully) but if you want an athletic or muscular physique, if you want to be 'in shape' you will probably need to exercise, and include some strength training.

Afaik most people tend to become increasingly insulin resistant as they age, so even staying slim just by careful eating becomes harder as you get older.

Mollydoggerson Wed 13-Nov-13 12:58:01

I find it is easier to eat well if I exercise. If I sit around my mentality about food gets a bit lazy, so while the science might be 80% diet 20% exercise, it is much easier to commit to the clean diet if you are treating your body to healthy exercise as well.

Now if only I could do all of the above.

Lazysuzanne Wed 13-Nov-13 13:15:18

I don't think there's anything scientific about the twenty/eighty formula, ask the same question on a fitness or strength training based forum and the response would be very different!

Hi Suzanne - based on all the exercise/fitness websites and magazines that I read, I think you would probably get what sparkly said - you can't out-train a bad diet - and the 80/20 split is oft quoted. I also agree about the 'dials' though, great analogy and everyone is different.

Having said that, if its a straight choice between the two, I would always tell someone to exercise rather than diet, the health benefits are probably greater, with the possible exception of people who are obese/morbidly obese. There are actually some studies that show that for longevity it is better to be slightly overweight, if you are fit and slightly overweight - entirely possible, then even better smile.

Lazysuzanne Wed 13-Nov-13 17:56:40

in response to 'you can't out-train a bad diet' I would say that you cant diet away the atrophy of your musculo-skeletal system caused by a sedentary lifestyle wink

I've heard that being underweight is bad for you, I've also heard that calorie restriction may increase lifespan, if being slightly overweight is good for you does the extra body weight need to be lean tissue or fat?

it's all everso confuseding Sleep!

I know confused!! I think that theory about longevity/calories is correct in respect of fasting regularly for short periods (5:2 or 16:8 for example) - not to be confused with long term low calorie dieting which is a different thing and definitely not good for anyone.

BsshBossh Fri 15-Nov-13 09:53:15

OP are you still there? Dieting exclusively worked for me. Last year I lost 3 stones on diet alone. I didn't cut out any food groups, nor did I make much effort to eat more healthily. I simply ate less (portion control with the help of MyFitnessPal). I took up exercise this year but I don't do it to lose weight (I still use diet for this - in my case 5:2); I do it for pleasure, to feel terrific, to give me more energy, to build muscle and get more toned.

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