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Diet or Exercise: The Best Option for Weight Loss

Diet and exercise
| May 18, 2022

You are looking for the best way to lose weight. You’ve probably heard some people say that exercise is the best option to lose weight, while you’ve also heard a group of others swear on the potency of dieting, but which of this two is it?

The answer to this question is not as straightforward as you might think. There are many different types of exercise, from walking to running and everything in between. Similarly, many different types of diets can help you lose weight. To truly and gainfully lose weight, you first have to understand your body metabolism and how these two – exercise and diet can work for you.

Your Body Metabolism and How it Affects Your Weight

Your metabolism is the process of converting food into energy. Your body burns calories to fuel your muscles, organs, and other systems. To gainfully lose weight, you’ll need to balance the calorie equation, you’ll need to create a calorie deficit by burning more calories than you consume.

The math behind weight loss is simple: you must burn more calories than you take in. If your daily caloric intake exceeds the number of calories that your body uses for basal metabolism, physical activity, and thermogenesis (heat production), then you will gain weight. On the other hand, if you expend more energy than you consume over some time, then weight loss will occur.

You burn calories every day, even when you’re just sitting around or sleeping. If your goal is weight loss and not muscle gain (or vice versa), then two things matter most: how much you eat (diet), and how many calories you burn (exercise). The calorie burn could come from exercising, the trick is figuring out how much exercise it will take for your body’s natural processes—like digestion and resting—to balance with the amount of food you’re consuming.

Calculating calorie needs

To calculate your body’s estimated daily calorie needs, you need to know the following:

  • Your lean body mass. This isn’t the same as your fat mass; rather, it refers to your total weight minus your fat tissue. A healthy adult woman has about 42% of her weight in fat and 58% in lean body mass (i.e., bones, muscles, organs).
  • Your activity level: sedentary (little or no exercise), Lightly active (light exercise/sports 1-3 days per week), moderately active (moderate exercise/sports 3-5 days per week), or very active (hard exercise/sports 6-7 days per week).

You can calculate your daily calorie needs by multiplying your current body weight by 10-15 kcals/day (this is a range because people have different metabolisms) with your level of physical activity. For example, if someone weighs 150 lbs., they would need between 1,500 and 1,650 kcals per day depending on their activity level and metabolic rate. This means they could eat roughly 2,400 kcals per week without gaining any weight – or they could consume 2,500kcal/week without losing any either.

Dieting vs. Exercising for Weight Loss


The first step to losing weight is figuring out what your diet means and how you can use it to your advantage.

A “diet” is a way of eating, so it’s something you should do for life and not just when you want to lose weight. A healthy diet can be as simple as eating more plant-based foods, such as fruits and vegetables, or as complicated as following a very specific meal plan day by day. The key is finding what works best for you and sticking with it.


Exercise is important for weight loss. It helps you burn calories and fat, build muscle, feel better about yourself and sleep better.

Exercise can also boost your metabolic rate so that your body keeps burning calories long after you stop exercising.

Diet and Exercise

When it comes to losing weight, diet and exercise work hand in hand — but eating a well-balanced diet is still key to shedding pounds fast.

The best weight loss plan is one that combines both diet and exercise. Both diet and exercise can be used to lose weight quickly, but it’s important to remember that they work best when paired together.

Exercise helps you lose weight because it burns calories. This can help you lose weight even without changing your diet, but it’s important to note that exercise should not be the only thing you do if you’re trying to lose weight—especially if your goal is to maintain that weight loss over time.

Dieting helps you lose weight because it reduces your calorie intake, which allows your body to burn more fat (assuming you’re not eating too many calories). But if you don’t exercise while dieting, then your metabolism will slow down and make it harder for you to continue losing weight (and even gain it back) after reaching your goal weight.

The most effective way to lose weight is by eating a well-balanced diet while getting regular exercise. When you eat better, your body is better able to burn calories more efficiently; therefore, you may be able to eat more food without gaining excess pounds. It also helps if you avoid high-calorie foods like fried foods and sweets that pack on extra pounds quickly (and make it harder for your body to burn fat). 

By exercising regularly, you’ll increase your metabolism so that it burns more calories even when resting or sleeping; this helps speed up the rate at which your body processes food into energy rather than storing those nutrients as fat cells in the body’s natural defense against starvation (which can lead only down a path of constant hunger).

For starters, dieting is more effective than exercise for weight loss: A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that the average person who lost weight through diet lost three times as much as someone who lost it through exercise alone (5% vs. 1%). In addition to being more effective at helping you slim down fast—and thus helping with metabolic health—dieting is likely also better for your mental health and self-esteem as well—a side effect often overlooked by those focused solely on their physical appearance alone.

Conversely, though…exercise has its benefits too! While it’s less efficient than dieting when it comes to losing fat quickly (and getting ripped), regular physical activity can help boost your mood while increasing feelings of satisfaction with yourself—something few things do better than sweating out those extra pounds at the gym every day! If this sounds like something worth trying out then go ahead! You could even mix up both methods together…just don’t forget about drinking lots of water; hydration helps regulate appetite so don’t underestimate how important staying properly hydrated is here 🙂

What about Lifestyle?

What about lifestyle? You might think that it’s a question of diet versus exercise, but in fact, weight loss is not just a matter of calories in and calories out. The problem with the idea that obesity is caused by poor diet and lack of exercise (rather than genetic factors or environmental triggers) is that it fails to acknowledge the importance of studies on the long-term effects of stress on the body’s ability to fight off infections and regulate its temperature.

That said, there’s no doubt that lifestyle choices play an important role in your health—and weight loss may be one area where you can make changes based on what you do every day rather than what you eat every once in a while. It’s important not to beat yourself up if you’re doing everything right except for getting enough sleep each night—or if your goal is to drink less alcohol because reducing alcohol consumption has been shown to help people lose weight over time (though this effect isn’t universal). In other words: If something feels like a change from who you are and how you currently live your life—that could be an opportunity for growth instead!

Diet and exercise are great ways to lose weight

The important thing to remember is that you need to do both diet and exercise, not just one or the other. Dieting alone is not enough; you need to exercise to burn more calories than you consume. Exercise alone is not enough – your body burns about 100 extra calories per day (not much) when you’re just sitting around. For exercise to have an impact on your weight loss goals, it has to be combined with a healthy diet plan that focuses on portion control and nutrient density (i.e., eating lots of fruits and vegetables).

The question of diet versus exercise is a tricky one to answer because there are so many variables that come into play. What you eat, how much you exercise, and your genetics and metabolism all play a role in determining whether or not you lose weight. However, in general, most people will find that it’s healthier to lose weight through diet than by exercising.

So what does this mean? It means that if there were ever a “winner” in this debate between dieting vs. exercising, it would be both! You need both dieting and exercise to achieve long-term weight loss success!

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