Question: My wife thinks the best way to lose weight is to go on a diet. I think exercise is better. Who’s right?
Dr. Hibberd’s answer:
You both are correct. To lose weight, you must burn more calories than you eat. So going on a diet will produce weight loss as long as your activity level is high enough to burn off the calories you consume.
But be aware that our bodies are smart, and metabolism will slow down during periods of fasting to try to preserve the status quo. That’s why exercise will lead to more calories lost than dieting alone for two reasons. With exercise, you promote muscle growth, which is a voracious calorie consumer. Muscle tissue needs more calories to function normally than fat, which is a storage tissue for energy.
One pound of fat occupies a much larger volume than one pound of muscle, so go for increased muscle and less bulky fat for a leaner physique that will meet with your weight-reduction plan. I prefer to emphasize exercise with an appropriate lower-calorie diet to achieve the body and weight you are aiming for. Diet alone plans are doomed from the start in my opinion.
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