sjbell wrote:Hi jeff
I have maintained my weight by running 6 miles x 5 times per week. My circumstances have changed with a baby and a husband who works shifts I am not able to run the same amount. How much is my weight loss determined by diet over exercise?!
At the end of the day, weight is a factor of energy balance and there are two sides of the equation, calories in (diet) and calories out (exercise/activity). You can create an energy deficit either by limiting calories in, or by increasing calories out or a combination of both. You can choose to do it whichever way you prefer.
However, I would say the easiest and healthiest way is through diet and the major issue in relation to calorie balance for most people, is diet. Diet alone can explain the majority of the obesity problem. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/20 ... 045321.htm
In regard to ease... in today's toxic food environment of readily available inexpensive calorie dense foods, it is easy to consume 500 calories or more very quickly in a snack, beverage, etc. In regard to exercise, this same 500 calories will take most people about 30 minutes at a fairly high intensity to burn, 45 minutes at a medium/high intensity, an hour at a medium intensity and over an hour or more in a low intensity activity. Considering time is the number one obstacle to people being active, few will have the time to be active enough to burn off or balance all the excess calories being consumed today.
However, even if they could, it only addresses on the calorie balance issue and not the health aspects.
In other words, you can theoretically outrun a large number of excess calories but you can not outrun the negative health aspects of a bad diet. You can use excessive amounts of exercise (calories out) to offset or balance an excessive amount of eating (calories in) to manage weight, but weight is only one aspect of health. Excessive amounts of exercise will not offset the other negative health impacts of an unhealthy diet. And too much exercise, may not be healthy.
Let's look at it another way, which I have discussed many times before. Let us say we have two identical people.
- one maintains a BMI of 18.5 and does so through a very healthy diet and consume about 2000 calories per day and engage in about 20-30 minutes of exercise, 4-5x a week and burns about 2000 calories per day.
- the other identical person also maintains a BMI of 18.5 and does so through a very healthy diet. However, they consume about 3000 calories per day and vigorously exercise about 1.5 hours a day (or more) and burns about 3000 calories per day..
All the studies in animals and the recent ones in humans show the first one will do much better and live longer and healthier.
The easiest way to manage calories in is by understanding the principles of calorie density.
If you "need" to exercise more than an hour a day to maintain a healthy weight, then you are simply eating too many calories.