Which really contributes to the success of healthy weight management? Exercise or diet? If you need to shed some kilos, read on! Going from overweight to maintaining a healthy weight can lower your risk for lifestyle chronic diseases such as diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.
At first glance, dieting seems to be the obvious answer if we want to manage weight.
We gain weight when we take in more calories than we need. Therefore, managing energy input and expenditure naturally be the key to achieving healthy weight management.
While most fad diets recommend calorie restriction, individuals must be cautioned as this is usually not sustainable. After some time, people tend to revert to their old habits. Even worse, the sense of deprivation leads them to eat more, causing them to put back all the weight they had initially lost.
If dieting alone doesn't lead to sustainable weight loss, would exercise solely do the trick?
Not quite, according to a study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. As part of the study, researchers from Arizona State University in the United States enlisted 81 overweight women to join a fitness programme.
During the three-month long study, the women engaged in treadmill workouts three times a week, but their eating habits were not monitored.
Three months later, 70% of the women gained some fat mass during the programme, despite their increased activity.
While the study could not conclude the exact reasons for the weight gain, researchers believe that the participants who gained weight consumed more food and increased their calorie intake. This was because they believed that they had burned enough kilocalories to justify the extra food.
Eating to Lose Weight
In short, the safest and most sustainable way to reduce weight is a combination of mindful nutrition practices and regular exercise in the long term.
Energy Expenditure and Calorie Intake
The total number of calories you burn for energy each day is your total daily energy expenditure. In order to lose weight, the amount of calories you burn should be higher than your calorie intake.
Working out can be tough on your body, especially if you are not used to it. The heavier you are, the more pressure you put on your lower limb joints.
Ease into a low-intensity workout programme such as yoga, aqua-jogging, water-based activities minimises the impact on your knees and joints. As you progress, gradually increase the intensities of your workout regime to moderate – vigorous intensity. When you get more comfortable with an exercise regime, try other activities such as jogging, brisk walking or cycling.
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This article was last reviewed on
15 Sep 2023
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