At some point in life everyone has the desire to lose weight. Unfortunately, the sad truth is that the majority of those who try struggle to lose any weight. No matter who you talk to the answer will probably be the same. Exercise and diet are the key words. These two little words cover a huge range of options. It also raises the question of which is better or more effective at helping you lose the weight.

The options
1. Lose weight by eating less or eating more healthily. The diet option may be the better option for those who have limited spare time. The premise is simple; restrict your calorie intake to less than your body needs to burn daily. The average man needs 2,500 calories a day whilst the average woman should be closer to 2,000. Adjusting your diet and reducing the calorie intake should enable you to lose weight.
2. Any form of additional exercise to your current routine will increase the amount of calories you burn during the day. This will also increase your metabolic rate and can increase the number of calories consumed even when resting. Exercise forces your body to use its fat reserves to power your muscles and this causes weight loss.

There have been many studies performed over the years in an attempt to discover whether diet or exercise is more effective in reducing weight:
• Reducing your daily calorie intake by 500 calories will result in 3,500 less calories per week. This is the same as 1lb of fat. It would be necessary to undertake a very extensive exercise regime to burn 500 calories a day. It is therefore logical that a change in diet will result in a quicker lose of weight than by increasing your daily exercise. Studies have shown that this is only partially effective. If you lose weight by changing your diet, research suggests that it is highly likely you will put the weight back on.
• There has been research completed using tribes in Tanzania who still live by the hunter gatherer lifestyle. This research has shown that the metabolic rate of those who are active all day is no different to the metabolic rate of the average office worker. This research shows that if these tribes’ people were exposed to a western diet they would put on weight despite an active lifestyle.
• It has been shown that metabolic rate does not increase the more you exercise. In fact, the slimmer you become the slower your metabolic rate becomes.

Is dieting better than exercise to lose weight effectively?
Dieting is the fastest and most effective method of losing weight. However, by itself it will be unlikely that the weight will remain off. Exercise and slow changes to your lifestyle will ensure that any weight loss is for the long term. There are also health benefits from regular exercise. It has been shown to decrease the likelihood of various diseases. Exercise can play a vital role in losing weight provided your expectations are realistic. As you lose weight and your metabolic rate decreases you need to re-evaluate your diet and exercise plan to ensure you are taking all the factors into account. This will ensure you are obtaining the right balance between exercise and diet to sustain a drop in weight.

One of the most important factors in weight loss is the support of your family and friends. If you have others close to you who need to shed a few pounds then it is an excellent idea to talk to them and try the process together. If this is not the case, then it is still important that they all know what you are trying to achieve and are there to help you on your journey.

Dieting without exercise can put your health in danger. Why play with your wellbeing when you can combine a proper meal plan with regular exercise to shed weight gradually and healthy? Set up realistic goals and don’t deprive your body from food. There are plenty of ways to eat right without gaining weight, although you might want to get advised from a nutritionist just to be on the right track.

By Jefferey Morgan and!