Diet Vs Exercise

This week as part of “Vs Month” I will be taking a look at the old diet Vs exercise debate. Which is the best approach when all you want is to burn that spare tyre away?  By the end of this post, I want you to be in no doubt as to which is the best approach.

Until then, let’s take a look and decide.


A Bad Diet

“You can’t out-train a bad diet.”

I am sure that you have heard this several times and I personally must say this to clients on a daily basis.

It’s true, you can’t and won’t out-train a bad diet. No matter how much effort you put into the amount of training and the type of training, you won’t do enough to burn off the excess calories that a poor diet will give you.

We all have that friend (if you don’t, then it’s you) that justifies eating the donut at work by saying they will burn it off at the gym in the evening.

I have been that person and I should really know better. But I am human. And I love a good donut!

When we spout rubbish about burning off the treat we have just eaten do we know just how much exercise we are going to have to do? How many minutes of running will it take to melt away the calories from that tasty pastry?

Let’s take a look.


diet vs exercise


So, 1 glazed donut is 192 calories and would take 53 minutes of lunges to burn off.

I mean, I love donuts but….. 53 minutes of lunges….I don’t love them that much.

It’s worth saying here that not all foods are created equal and some will give you a higher yield of calories than others. And also, the body burns calories to release the calories contained within the food.

More processed foods will yield higher amounts of calories as they don’t require as much digestion as whole foods.

But next time you look at that treat and think, I’ll just do an extra ten minutes at the gym tonight, think again.

Ten minutes aren’t going to cut it I’m afraid.


80/20 Rule

The Pareto Principle states that 80% of effects come from 20% of causes. For instance, 80% of a countries wealth will come from 20% of its residents. And so, I too feel the same can be said for your health.

80% of your health benefits will come from 20% of your lifestyle changes.

What I am trying to say is you will see the biggest change in your health by making the smallest of changes. How about cutting out that donut you have every day at work? Not such a big deal to do but if you didn’t you would be eating an extra 50,000 calories per year!

Holy mackerel! I didn’t think it would be that much!

That’s just over an extra stone in fat, every year.

What would you say if you could drop a stone in fat just by stopping eating 1 food a day?

Or you could do 75 hours of my Fitbox Bootcamp. Every year. And if you didn’t stop eating your donut every working day, that 75 hours of bootcamp would only prevent you from putting that stone in fat on.

I think that the argument of diet Vs exercise is leaning heavily in favour of diet.


Calories Vs Calories Out

If we break it down, we should look at it like this.

If you eat more calories than you burn off every day, your body will store the excess as fat.

It is as simple as that.

If you are struggling to maintain or lose weight (and by weight, I mean fat) you are eating too many calories every day. You may not know you are doing it but you are.

But don’t despair, I will give you a few helpful hints to help you start to make a difference in your diet.


diet vs exercise


Eat Vegetables

Simple really and calorie wise they don’t really cost a lot. You can eat as many veggies as you want because you will be full-up long before you over eat them.


The Right Fats

We have all heard the old “fats don’t make us fat” saying right? Well they do if you eat too much of them. Consume fats as part of a balanced diet. Fats from cold, salt water fish are great for you which is great news as we are surrounded by cold, salt water. Salmon and mackerel are amazing. You can also use avocados, nut butters and seeds as well.


Eat Protein With Every Meal

Protein is needed by the body to build, repair and maintain healthy muscle which is exactly what we want. It also helps you to feel full-up for longer periods.


Plan Your Meals

This is really important as it is difficult to make positive food choices when you are hungry or on the go. Take the time to plan your meals and even prepare them in advance as it will make you less likely to go for that donut.


No Refined Sugar

Try and keep refined sugar to a minimum. It’s an addictive substance and it causes you to have energy highs and lows throughout the day.


Avoid Alcohol

I know this can be hard for some people so why don’t you try and have at least two alcohol free days per week? Alcoholic drinks almost always contain sugar and they can lead you to make some really dodgy food choices.


12 Hours Fast

Leave 12 hours after dinner and before breakfast every day. This allows your system to detox during the night and ensures that you aren’t digesting food when you are trying to get to sleep.


My Final Thoughts

By now you should have probably realised that I think that diet is very important when it comes to fat loss.

With that being said, I also think the benefits of exercise shouldn’t be understated either. When you balance the two together is when you will see the greatest results. Not just fat loss but also an increase in energy levels, a reduction of cravings for bad foods and alcohol, better skin and hair, improved confidence, you will sleep better, you will feel better and….I could go on.

As I have always said in a similar fashion to the 80/20 rule,


diet vs exercise


Simple changes to your diet and exercise, done more often will give you great and more sustainable results. If you make things too complicated, you will struggle and more often than not, fail.

If you stick to this rule with your diet and exercise, you can’t go far wrong.


Be all you can be



Have you any instances when keeping it simple has helped you out? If you have any comments about this post, I would love to hear them.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *