Diet or Exercise?

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  • If on non fasting days – I eat at my maintenance calories
    but exercise for 300 calories would that be a deficit that would add to my weekly weight loss?

    I have seen a few articles that say exercise is not useful for actual weight loss only in avoiding weight gain.

    Example on feed days if my maintenance level is 2500 calories and I go for a walk at 300 calories is that the same as eating 2200 calories? I will lose 300 calories?

    Or do you have to be in a caloric deficit via diet before exercise will impact your daily surplus/deficit?

    When you calculate your TDEE you enter your activity level. Don’t do anything else with exercise calories.

    @davidreese – the problem with exercise calories is compensation, some of which you don’t have control over. For example if you burn an extra 300 calories, you easily eat that back, but even if you don’t your body can do things like slow down your heart rate while sleeping. There are other things that can happen like your body raising or lowering your body temperature, it is really something you can fully control.

    Even diet can change your BMR by 30% or more. (Blog about it) Top it off with the fact that even large processed food manufactures can’t accurately count calories in prepared foods which are often off as much as 25% and the amount of calories actually burned from exercise is probably much lower than what most people realize. (Learn some physics people …) Additionally calorie math is hopelessly bogus, for example it is unlikely that many peoples pound of fat is actually 3500 calories, more likely the fall in a range of about 2800 to 3700 calories per pound of fat! It may actually might seem hopeless.

    It isn’t hopeless, it is just that exercise is much more for health than weight control. Exercise does help with burning fat although unless you are really fat you might have to do something more than walking.

    So over the short-term, what happens can be pretty random. Well most people do lose at least short term weight with a calorie deficit it can be very difficult to determine or control the calorie deficit. Many of us reach a point where calorie restriction is no longer practical and the body is unresponsive to what we can do. That happened to me for about two years. For me the cure was giving up sugar, switching from cardio to HIIT exercise and fasting. Really fasting is the golden ticket for building muscle in my experience provided there is some resistance training.

    So the short answers is stop overthinking it because you can’t really control the actual calories your body uses. Instead focus on nutrition and health.

    @nagpurayurveda I have to disagree. While exercise is beneficial for health it isn’t always beneficial for weight loss. Exercise can actually make you heavier as it builds lean body mass. Additionally if one has a poor diet, the benefits of exercise will be limited. A healthy diet lays a strong foundation for the benefits of exercise.

    @nag. Nothing like a bit of shameless self promotion.

    @davidreese. Dy pretty well summed it up. If weight loss is your goal then diet should be your focus. If you want a toned body and better strength endurance etc then by all means do gym work. Exercise is good for the mind and body. While it does play a role in weight loss, focus on your diet. 90% diet 10% exercise.

    How often have you seen a person on the treadmill for about an hour (supposedly that’s about 300 calories burnt). That effort allows you to eat a donut as compensation. In theory that sounds great, every time you get on a thread mill for an hour it allows you to either lose weight or eat a donut as a reward. So why aren’t the majority of people losing weight then? You will compensate for those burnt calories to maintain homeostasis.

    Our bodies are meant to be challenged and being sedentary will lead to poor health. My goal is fat loss, not weight loss; there is a difference.

    As far as calorie counting, I don’t figure in my exercise calories. Theoretically it should create a greater deficit, but it’s not worth counting for fat loss purposes.

    I do light cardio on my FD’s and strength training or demanding cardio on my NFD’s.

    I eat to my goal weight TDEE on NFD and to 500 on FD. The beauty of this protocol is that it is SO simple! Keeping things simple makes this sustainable and enjoyable.

    I wish you amazing success in finding your stride!

    While controlling your calorie intake may be simpler, regular exercise helps maintain lean muscle and burns more calories. Diet and exercise are therefore both crucial for weight loss, and combining the two will yield the best results.

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