Diet or exercise: which is better?
(StatePoint) What’s more important: diet or exercise? Sixty-eight percent of people want to lose 10 pounds or more, according to a recent Harris Poll on behalf of Nutrisystem. March is National Nutrition Month, and a good time to get started on your goals. So, should you focus on diet, exercise or both?
When it comes to weight loss, the split should be roughly 80 percent focus on what you eat and 20 percent on exercise.
“It’s all about calories in and calories out. If you’re eating less and exercising, you’re going to burn more calories,” said Courtney McCormick, corporate dietitian at Nutrisystem. “However, exercise often makes us hungrier, which is why many people who only change their exercise habits don’t see the scale move.”
Consider these quick tips:
Eat more often: A 2015 study from the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics found that on average, people who ate six times or more daily consumed fewer calories, had a lower body mass index, and ate more nutrient-rich foods than those who didn’t eat at least six times a day. Eating smaller meals every three hours keeps you feeling full, controls blood sugar and helps boost metabolism.
Watch portions: American portions have become too big. Learning portion control is key to losing weight. When eating out, ask for a to-go box and save half for later. You can also turn to plans, like Nutrisystem, which deliver portion-controlled meals to your home.
Veg out: Vegetables are low in calories, high in filling fiber and loaded with nutrients. During snack time, munch on carrots dipped in hummus or blend kale into a fruit smoothie.
Drink more water: One study found that dieters who drank two eight-ounce glasses of water before meals lost 36 percent more weight over three months than those who didn’t sip before sitting down to eat.
Get moving: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend 150 minutes of aerobic activity weekly. Aim for 30 minutes of exercise per day then build up. More diet and exercise tips can be found at leaf.nutrisystem.com.