If you need to lose excess weight, and you exercise but don’t change your unhealthy eating habits, chances are great that your exercise efforts will be futile. Even gym buffs – those that are already fit and are dedicated to staying fit – don’t eat whatever they want, whenever they want just because they exercise anyway.
Between dieting and exercise for weight loss, the former outweigh the latter. The most ideal strategy is, of course, always a combination of the two. But weight loss by diet alone can still be an effective strategy – as long as it’s done correctly.
Cutting versus Burning
The truth is, it is easier for most people to cut calories than to burn them. They would rather skip their favorite dessert or say no to their go-to fast food than jump on a treadmill 4-5 times a week. Exercise literally takes a lot more effort, and a lot of times, the results do not seem commensurate to all the hard work you put in – the sweat, tears, and body aches you endure. Burning calories and fats through exercise is only effective when combined with a healthy diet. Exercise alone will not work.
In comparison, giving up certain foods is more doable. Cutting out unhealthy foods from your diet may still be easier said than done for some, but remains the preferred alternative, more often than not, over the “I can just sweat it off later” mindset. Counting calories, when done correctly, is another dieting strategy that has proven effective time and again, even without exercise.
Most people find it easier to commit to dieting alone to shed excess pounds. And that’s okay. Mindful eating can go a long way toward being fit and healthy for life, not just losing weight.
Dieting for Weight Loss
Weight loss by diet alone can be successful if it meets the following criteria:
1) It delivers desired results. This means that the diet is able to show weight-loss progress on a regular basis, until the target weight has been achieved. Actual, quantifiable results – such as dropping numbers on the scale or in dress size – can effectively motivate you to stick to your diet plan, day after day, week after week, and month after month. Maintained weight-loss also makes it a piece of cake to forego that piece of cake. Such a diet should not cut calorie consumption to levels that are too low that it causes your metabolism to slow down, which cancels out your efforts and even reverses your progress.
2) It doesn’t cause hunger and feelings of deprivation. Most diets fail because they make people hungry most of, if not all, the time. And hunger is not something that can be ignored, particularly when your preferred unhealthy food choices are readily available. Going hungry is also unhealthy, needless to say.
Once you give in, it’s nearly impossible not to overeat. And once you’ve overeaten, you’ll most likely ditch your diet plan altogether. Or you’ll go through the same cycle again. And again. This will lead to seesawing weight-loss, which will eventually frustrate and discourage you, and make you give up. It’s important that your diet plan makes you feel full, preferably for a long period of time, and also satisfies some of your cravings without undoing your efforts and progress.
3) It sets realistic goals. Many fad diets promise weight loss “in as little as 10 days!” Fast results often mean extreme dieting measures which, in turn, are difficult to sustain long-term. So while you may shed a significant amount of weight in a short amount of time, this achievement will most likely be short-lived, because the drastic diet restrictions are not designed to be a “long-term commitment.”
Setting small, achievable goals will make it more likely for you to keep going until you attain your main goal and to stay fit and healthy for life. These realistic goals may include: replace processed foods with their natural counterparts, a few items at a time each week; adding one new fruit and vegetable to your weekly diet every week and removing one unhealthy food; or using less sugar in your coffee by increments, each week, and limiting your sugary indulgences to three times a week, then two, then once.
No matter how hard you exercise, if you have unhealthy eating habits, you won’t see much progress in your weight-loss efforts. Adopting a healthy, weight-loss diet plan, on the other hand, can be an effective strategy even without exercise. To maintain weight-loss or your ideal weight once you have achieved it, you will have to add exercise to your healthy habits. By the time you need to do this, you will be motivated enough to stay fit and healthy, and exercising regularly will no longer be an arduous task.
Losing weight is now easier than ever! Modern Fit can give you tailored diet and workout plans to help you lose weight faster and more efficiently.