What’s More Important To Weight Loss? Diet Or Workouts?
It happened again last week…
Did I get hit in the eye with another piece of hot, oily shrimp at a hibachi restaurant?
Did I witness another bride-to-be, who was wearing what appeared to be a dress from 1984, yell from a hotel balcony to a friend wondering “What the hell happened to my bouquet?!”
Nope…thank God. (and both happened a couple weeks ago)
No, this one actually has to do with weight loss.
Shocker, I know.
The question I received had to do with something that’s plastered all over the internet, yet still gets a lot of confusion, and rightfully so.
“What’s more important for weight loss…diet or workouts?”
Simple question, yet a question that is usually met with what’s supposed to be a simple answer, yet is just a plain ol’ silly answer.
The common answer is “70% diet, 30% workout.”
I have no idea where those numbers came from, but they persist and seem really random…
Why not 60/40 or 80/20? If diet is that much more important then why not give it a higher number?
It also leaves a couple other major questions.
- What if someone has 2 bad knees and is really limited in workouts? Will they only receive 70% of the possible results?
- What if someone already eats pretty well, but isn’t very active. Do they need to become crazy dieters in order to meet the arbitrary 70/30 number?
- What if someone thinks “diet” consists of simply eating less with no regard to quality of calories, and then attempts to throw workouts into an already stressful life?
Will they lose weight and feel energetic?
Rather than attempt to give you silly numbers, I’m going to be honest.
The honest answer is, it depends.
Let’s break it down a bit more…
If your only concern is weight loss, then nutrition is all you have to worry about.
It doesn’t matter quality calories versus simply eating a lot less.
If all you want to do is lose weight, then eat a lot less.
If you want to lose weight and actually feel good, energetic, while looking and feeling younger, then nutrition is still all you need to worry about; but quality calories is more important.
Cut the simple carbohydrates, while increasing healthy fats and keeping proteins relatively stable – most folks get enough protein, but consume too much carbohydrate and not enough healthy fats.
But what about workouts? Where do they come in?
Here’s where workouts come in…
If you care about how you LOOK, then workouts play an incredibly important role.
If you want to look better in and out of clothes, then workouts need to play a big role in your life.
- That does NOT mean you need to be a slave to cardio or your gym.
- It does NOT mean you need to attempt an “insane” workout program.
It does mean you have to work your muscles intensely most days of the week, preferably spending most of your time on the “big” movements that work your body in its entirety, or at least as much as possible.
This means spending your time doing push-ups rather than a chest press; squats rather than knee extensions; lunges rather than machine leg curls; burpees rather than crunches and metabolic circuits over cardio. (Click here, here and here for some workout videos)
Don’t get me wrong, I believe workouts are vitally important in weight loss, but their level of importance varies depending upon how you want to look.
I also understand there are many “happy” things that happen in your brain when you do an intense workout. Mood boosting chemicals go bonkers when you workout in addition to all sorts of other benefits, but that’s not the issue for this article.
I’m a die hard workout dude, which is quite apparent if you have spent any time on my sites. Workouts are fun, allow for endless creativity in terms of how to work your body and push its limits and are a necessity of life (at least in my humble opinion).
But if we’re talking about the level of importance for “weight loss,” then workouts aren’t usually necessary.
But if you want to lose fat, look AWESOME, boost your energy, boost your happy brain chemicals (technical term), and get strong, then workouts are incredibly important.
So is it 70/30, 60/40, 50/50, 80/20, 20/80?
Both matter, but it all depends on what YOU want.
You can lose all the weight you want and not have to exercise beyond normal every day activities.
You won’t look good, but you can do it.
On the flip side, you can workout like a beast (very en vogue term these days), yet if your eating is off most of the time, or even 50% of the time, your results will absolutely suffer.
The old adage is true, “you can’t out-train a bad diet.”
If YOU want to drop the flabby, flubbery goo from your stomach, while also getting stronger (this isn’t relegated to guys only…ladies should want to get stronger as well), and looking awesome, then you absolutely, positively must stick to an intense, yet short, resistance training program that doesn’t beat your joints into dust, make you age faster or feel run down.
If you care about how you feel in addition to losing weight, and also want your natural energy levels to shoot through the roof, and stay there, then quality calories matter over quantity of calories. That’s a fancy way of saying you can’t simply “eat less” and expect to look and feel good.
Cut the junk (simple carbs), up the healthy fats, fiber-rich fruits and vegetables while also getting plenty of great sources of protein (soy doesn’t count).
If you want to get a head start and accomplish as much as you possibly can in just 28 short days, then you should check out my 28-Day Rapid Fat Loss Challenge.
Just like the name implies, it’s a 28-day workout and nutrition program that’s relatively intense. You will work, and the diet will ask you to give up some of your favorite foods (although you do cheat every week).
It’s tough, yet very, very doable.
Alrighty, that’s it for today.
I’ll be back in a couple days with a couple workouts.
P.S. – if you have any questions, or need help with something related to this post, don’t hesitate to either leave a comment or shoot me an email.
P.P.S. – Don’t forget to check out the 28-Day Rapid Fat Loss Challenge. Don’t wait until New Year’s to make a change, make your start NOW, before the end of this year, and finish the year strong, while also looking and feeling AWESOME. Click here to check out my brand new 28-Day Rapid Fat Loss Challenge