Experts Debate: Is Diet as Important as Exercise For Weight Loss?

Cassie Shortsleeve
by Cassie Shortsleeve
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Experts Debate: Is Diet as Important as Exercise For Weight Loss?

In the world of health and fitness, one question seems constant: What matters more when it comes to weight loss and maintaining a healthy body — diet or exercise? Moreover, the research is divided: One review and meta-analysis in Obesity Reviews shows diet, not exercise, results in significant fat loss. Yet, another study found people who are able to keep their weight down rely on regular exercisenot restricting what they eat.

While a healthy diet and physical activity have a role to play, some professionals claim one is more important than the other. Here, experts take sides:

About the Author

Cassie Shortsleeve
Cassie Shortsleeve

Cassie Shortsleeve is a Boston-based freelance writer and editor. She has worked on staff at both Shape and Men’s Health and contributes regularly to a slew of national print and digital publications such as Women’s Health, Condé Nast Traveler, and Furthermore for Equinox. With a degree in English and creative writing from the College of the Holy Cross, she has a passion for reporting on all things health, lifestyle, and travel.

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4 responses to “Experts Debate: Is Diet as Important as Exercise For Weight Loss?”

  1. Avatar Lil'missgamer4life says:

    Both are equally as important, surly?! (No, I haven’t read the article).

  2. Avatar simon watson says:

    What I believe is this and I agree with Sarah. Diet is the foundation from which you then begin exercising. There is a saying here in the UK and maybe the USA? “You can’t out train a bad diet”. That is so true. In other words, it matters not how much you exercise, if at first, you do not sort out the diet.

  3. Avatar WS says:

    So the conflicting results are have an obvious conclusion..it varies according to individual. I have been to the gym 4 times per week with an hour and a half on a treadmill, and a stair climber or weights.

    All I got was a new voracious appetite and a back injury. If I am already struggling with will power, why do I need to make my myself even more hungry?

    The weight has stayed the same with 3 months of walking 3 miles a day, then with 3 months of gym and the after 3 months of no gym….the data is all recorded.

    For exercise, I just pursue my normal weekend activities.

    FWIW, the root cause, according to my doctor, is cortisol.

  4. Avatar Rds says:

    There is a third option. WHEN you eat is also important. Regular fasting 16-20 hours daily has tons of benefits – not just fat loss. Research intermittent fasting.

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