I just watched a Youtube entitled Diet vs Exercise: Should you prioritize one over the other? . The two experts in the video were obviously proponents of each and so the question was purely hypothetical, but it was an interesting question.
I’d like to think that most of us already know that the combination of the two is the winning one but let’s just say you had to pick.
In order to be optimally healthy we need to both eat well and exercise properly but if you have to pick one, it would depend on what kind of results you are looking for and what your current state of health, both mentally and physically, is.
For example, if your sole objective is to lose body fat then that is where nutrition comes in. You simply can’t exercise away a bad diet. If you want to lose body fat and maintain muscle mass then ensuring adequate protein in your diet is essential, along with a calorie deficit that ensures you get all your essential nutrients. Also, if you are prediabetic or have metabolic syndrome, diet is the fastest route to fix that…you can often fix that within a week with a healthy diet. Exercise helps with each of these but it would take a LOT longer to get results.
If your goal is a physical one, such as aging in place, improving bone density or gaining muscle mass then you can’t do that with just diet alone. You have to resistance train. Feeling depressed or anxious? Dietary changes can help but the quickest way to change your emotional state is through exercise.
The thing is, they work together in all areas and if you make life style choices in one or the other, you need the other to buffer it. If you choose to eat a terrible diet, you sure as heck better exercise more. if you choose to live a sedentary lifestyle, you need to have almost a perfect diet.
And so, my opinion…choose balance. Eat a mostly healthy diet, but stop to enjoy the pie every once in a while, while also exercising regularly but being sure to take a bit of time to lounge around and be lazy.
I hope you are having a fabulous day whatever you are doing!
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