Diet vs. Exercise for Weight Loss

Diet vs. Exercise for Weight Loss
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When asked whether food and beverage consumption, or physical activity, was more important, the majority of people get the answer wrong.

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When trying to lose weight, which is most important: diet or exercise? This is what a survey found recently: “The vast majority of those trying to lose or maintain weight believe that both monitoring food and beverage consumption and physical activity are equally important in weight maintenance and weight loss.” Most people go with equally important, and then exercise, and then diet. And, most people are wrong.

Identified as one of the most common misconceptions about obesity in this recent review, the “Confusion about the leverage of exercise on body weight.” “Unfortunately, the energy balance equation [you know, calories in have to equal calories out] suggests that energy intake and energy expenditure occupy equivalent roles in determining energy balance, when in fact the factors governing energy intakes influence the energy balance far more powerfully than the factors determining resting energy expenditure.” 

What we put in our mouths is most important. For example, to walk off the calories found in single pat of butter, you’d have to add an extra 700 yards to your stroll that evening. A quarter-mile jog for each sardine we put in our mouth—and that’s just the edible part. And those who choose to eat two chicken legs better get out on their own two legs, and run an extra three miles that day to outrun weight gain. And that’s for steamed chicken; skin removed.

To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by Kerry Skinner.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Images thanks to Evan-Amos via Wikimedia Commons; Mike Baird via flickr; NOAA; and Luan

When trying to lose weight, which is most important: diet or exercise? This is what a survey found recently: “The vast majority of those trying to lose or maintain weight believe that both monitoring food and beverage consumption and physical activity are equally important in weight maintenance and weight loss.” Most people go with equally important, and then exercise, and then diet. And, most people are wrong.

Identified as one of the most common misconceptions about obesity in this recent review, the “Confusion about the leverage of exercise on body weight.” “Unfortunately, the energy balance equation [you know, calories in have to equal calories out] suggests that energy intake and energy expenditure occupy equivalent roles in determining energy balance, when in fact the factors governing energy intakes influence the energy balance far more powerfully than the factors determining resting energy expenditure.” 

What we put in our mouths is most important. For example, to walk off the calories found in single pat of butter, you’d have to add an extra 700 yards to your stroll that evening. A quarter-mile jog for each sardine we put in our mouth—and that’s just the edible part. And those who choose to eat two chicken legs better get out on their own two legs, and run an extra three miles that day to outrun weight gain. And that’s for steamed chicken; skin removed.

To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by Kerry Skinner.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Images thanks to Evan-Amos via Wikimedia Commons; Mike Baird via flickr; NOAA; and Luan

Doctor's Note

This will look familiar to those who’ve seen my 2012 presentation (either live or vicariously at Uprooting the Leading Causes of Death). Tomorrow I cover the wild finding about meat’s affect on weight in Meat and Weight Gain in the PANACEA Study. Note the caloric expenditure equivalencies I present here are assuming no dietary compensation, something seen quite dramatically, for example, in nut consumption in Testing the Dietary Compensation Theory. Given how hard it is to work off food, let’s make our calories count by choosing the most nutrient dense foods. Calculate Your Healthy Eating Score may be a good place to start.

For further context, check out my associated blog posts: Treadmill Desks: Stand Up For HealthBest Nutrition Bang for Your Buck; and Diet vs. Exercise: What’s More Important?

If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my videos for free by clicking here.

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