Thursday, June 23, 2011

Is Diet or Exercise More Important?

Obviously both exercise and diet are important if the goal is to transform the body. But there are times when diet is more important than exercise and vise verse.

Tonight was a great example of a time when diet was more important than exercise. My husband and I went to an amazing dinner party where the dinner and desserts were rich and delicious looking, but I didn't take a bite. I wouldn't, because eating foods outside my diet would really set me back. It's easy to show a net gain of 2 lbs on the scale the next morning and have to take a week to get back on track. However, not working out tonight would be less of an issue, because I work out enough during the week. I can always workout throughout the weekend to make sure I get in 6 days / week of workouts.

Ultimately if the goal is to simply lose weight either one must cut back on the calorie intake or start exercising if one has not been doing so. But a person wouldn't be able to eat more and exercise if a loss of weight is the goal. If a person simply drops the calories, the body will surely lose weight, but the body will not be toned, and if one is heavy enough, the skin will most likely droop in places on the body. If one works out with resistance weights, then the skin has an opportunity to shrink and potentially not sag.

Years ago, a friend of the family lost over 100 lbs with dieting alone, no exercise. Her body was smaller, looked better in clothes, but her skin was very droopy. Yet, if you pick up an Oxygen fitness magazine and see the before and after shots of people losing a large amount of weight, the skin either doesn't sag or not  a lot, because they do resistance and cardio training as well as diet.

So, in different ways exercise is important because it speeds up the metabolism, allows the body to burn calories longer throughout the day, and can reduce the skin from sagging after losing a lot of weight. (This is another reason why kettlebell is a very good exercise. It not only increases your metabolism, but also provides an excellent resistant form of exercise).

On the other hand, diet is critical to losing weight faster, and if the diet mostly consists of lean meats, good fats, leafy and root vegetables ....the transformation may be more impressive than just lowering the overall calorie intake.

What I ate today:
830am: same smoothie as usual
11am: pear and hard boiled egg
1pm: salsa, 1/2 sweet potato, 4 oz chicken strips from Costco
3pm: 1 Promax chocolate chip bar
5:30pm: salsa, 1/2 sweet potato, 4 oz chicken strips from Costco. I ate this meal in the car on the way to pick  up my daughter from the gym. 6:30pm was the dinner party I attended.

No Workout tonight.

It wasn't so hard staying away from all the delicious food at the party tonight. The difficult part is going home thinking that this is just one of 90+ days I will be doing this....

I am not driving myself nuts being so strict. I think the challenge of seeing how far I can push myself, and deal with tension is just so fascinating. The reward is that I've conquered just one more obstacle or got that much better than ever did before.

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