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Please settle a dispute: which is more important, your diet or working out when it comes to losing weight?

I've read that diet is most of it. I've read this EVERYWHERE. My husband and I are on opposite sides because he can workout and lose 10 pounds in a week. now I'm wondering myself.

Wed. May 3, 12:32pm

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I really think it depends on the person. For some they see better results by dieting and others have more success with exercise.

I am the later. I can diet til the cows come home and see only grudging results, however if I add even a moderate 1/2 hr of exercise the pounds just melt off. However I have a very good friend who is most definitely the former. She has lost nearly 40 pounds and all through diet with not much extra in the way of activity (although she is more active because she likes to go out more now).

I do not think, on an individual basis, that there is a definitive answer to that question. But that's my 2 cents so take it for what it's worth.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006, 12:48 PM

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These go hand in hand-- you can loose weight by dieting simply by limiting the amount of calories needed to sustain your current weight. If you consume excess calories you will gain weight....sound familiar? If you diet only without exercise it will only get you so far before it becomes unhealthy or you hit a plateau. When you exercise you increase your metabolism, burning more calories over a shorter period of time.

Be careful-- I know everyone wants to loose weight quickly, but do it the right way. If you are reducing your caloric intake excessively your body with store all calories consumed no matter how much exercise you do. The best book I have found that does a good job at breaking down how many calories you should consume based on your activity level is 3 Steps to Weight Loss by
Lawrence J. Cheskin. Check it out- it's going for $.01 on ebay right now :)

Also, check out the link- it's just one study that was done about weight loss/management.

Hope this helped. Good luck!


Wednesday, May 03, 2006, 1:12 PM

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ever notice how some people do well on atkins while others don't? Why some people can be healthy vegetarians, and others get sick on a vegetarian diet? Simple fact is there is NO cookie cutter diet that works for everyone the same. We all have individual bio chemistry. Not everyone does well on redmeat, dairy, or grains. You and your husband could be eating the same, but the diet could be doing his body good, your body bad.

Even with exercise, intense cardio can result in different hormonal reactions with some people. Ever notice some people need to go for a run to relax, some need to meditate?

Fact is your husband may be doing what works for him, while you still need to find what works for you.

(For the record, I need both a lot of exercise, and a proper diet. I work under stressful conditions, and i need to run to relax. No running, no big wieghtloss.)

Wednesday, May 03, 2006, 1:42 PM

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Wednesday, May 03, 2006, 1:47 PM

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I believe that diet is 85% of weight loss. You could never exercise and lose alot of weight just by eating right.

Now, if you are talking being healthy and being toned...that's a whole different story.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006, 1:50 PM

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Diet is definitely at least 70 - 80% of weight loss. Do the research - it's there! You can work out all the time but if you're not eating right, you'll just build muscle under your fat and make yourself look fatter. But I agree with the last poster, it depends on whether you're looking to lose a lot of weight or looking to get toned up. When you have lost the majority of your weight, then to get toned you need to add in the exercise but STILL watch your diet.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006, 1:53 PM

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The reason your husband can lose 10 pounds by working out is probably because his diet is more balanced in the first place. And men and women are different when it comes to weight loss, we all know that. You are right, it's diet.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006, 1:53 PM

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I just got a lecture on this from my personal trainer. I was complaining that I was not loosing any weight and his response was to ask me what else I'm doing besides working out with him. Am I being careful with what I'm eating? He said it's a combo of all these that will result in meeting my weight loss goals as well as just generally becoming a healthier person. I was finding I was rewarding myself with not so healthy meal options because I felt I was working out hard - I'm now finding that is definitely NOT the right approach. Baby steps I guess...

Men are always the lucky ones and can loose weight a bit faster - however doesn't necessarily mean they are being healthier.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006, 1:58 PM

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either one. but if you're to maintain your weight loss, diet alone won't cut it. if you don't exercise and build your muscles, the minute you go off the diet (diet alone decreases your muscle mass hence slower metabolism) you'll start gaining your weight back. Unless you're committed to eating microscopic boring meals your whole life - you could stick with diet alone.

the reason some people who constantly exercise don't lose weight, is that they either a) eat more (exercising increases your appetite); b) don't exercise enough or eat too much to create any caloric deficit. You also have to remember that when you lose weight, your caloric needs decrease, so you have to cut your daily food intake, i.e. diet, otherwise you'd be stuck at the weight you're.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006, 2:44 PM

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First of all, the 10 pounds your husband is loosing in a week is most likely water weight. Loosing 10 pounds in ONE WEEK is ridiculous and not healthy.

Second, it is a matter of calories in vs. calories out. 3500 = one pound, no matter how you slice it. You could eat 3500 cals less and loose a pound, or you could burn 3500 calories and loose a pound (if your diet stayed the same). OR you could eat fewer calories AND exercise to loose the pound.

Combo is best.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006, 3:19 PM

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