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What is the true Diet/Exercise Ratio?



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TACDGB
Posts: 6,081
12/26/11 4:10 P

in this healthy lifestyle change I have learned that no one seems to consistanly have the same answer. So I do what is best for me and my body. I do know that you can't out train a bad diet so you have to eat right. So what is eating right mean? Well for me it's a clean diet. Now for someone else it's something else. And working out. For someone else it's walking a little each day. Now for me it's cardio 6 days a week and lifting weights 3 to 4 days a week. So I do believe that you have to find what works for you. I have done so much reading on this and I can't find 2 people with the same answer. Good luck.



DANNIELLEMARIE
Posts: 1,416
12/26/11 3:07 P

for me exercise has never been a huge factor in weight loss. Health, yes. Muscle definition/strength, yes. But as long as I kept my diet in check I lost the same whether I exercised or not.

Exercise tends to make me a little extra hungry, so I eat a little extra, and it balances out calorie-wise.



ANARIE
Posts: 12,375
12/26/11 2:52 P

Some people say "Success is 99% perspiration and 1% inspiration," and other people say 90% and 10%. Which is the true ratio?

When people say things about the diet/exercise ratio, they don't mean it literally. They're just saying that diet is whole lot more vital than exercise. Exercise does matter, and at some points it's more important than others (for example, when a person has very little fat left to lose and can't cut calories much without endangering their nutritional health.) But it is possible (though difficult) to lose weight through diet alone. As a previous poster mentioned, it's virtually unheard of for someone to lose significant weight through exercise alone without any attention to diet. When healthy human beings increase their activity, they almost always unconsciously increase their calorie intake at the same time, so it comes out even. The exceptions are usually extreme cases like the guy who set out to walk across North America or someone who suddenly decides to train like a pro athlete and works out 8-10 hours a day. (And actually, those people often eat less because they have less time to eat!)

80/20, 90/10, 77.258/22.742 -- The exact numbers don't matter. It's a figure of speech; just know that you probably won't lose weight by exercising more if you don't also control what you eat.

Edited by: ANARIE at: 12/26/2011 (15:02)


MPLANE37
SparkPoints: (64,958)
Fitness Minutes: (35,097)
Posts: 2,166
12/26/11 7:44 A

These are simply ad hoc ratios, they don't quantify anything (at least I have not seen a complete description of what they quantify). Thus, they can only be interpreted in the sense of the relative importance of each in achieving fat loss.

What is true is that no matter how much one exercises, the body has a higher rate of storing fat than losing it for exercise when it is supplied with as much food as it can consume. That means, without restricting caloric intake, it is virtually impossible to lose fat, no matter how hard one exercises and no matter what type of exercise is done.

Of course, there is more to losing the fat than just restricting the caloric intake. For example, when I restrict only the calories without any exercise other than doing the daily chores, I lose some weight in the beginning, and shortly after that it simply becomes impossible to lose any more weight. What happens is that in order to retain the fat, the body slows down its basal metabolic rate, so simply it tries to make do with whatever calories could be supplied. I am sure this is a wonderful survival mechanism just in case there is severe shortage of food, and it must certainly have an evolutionary basis.

But in addition to restricting the caloric intake, if I exercise, than I have sustained fat loss. Wonderful.

But then, the exercise could be of "cardio" type or "strength training" type. I have tried both, and for a few years in the past. For me, the most effective was cardio in losing the fat, even though I am a male and supposedly I can put on muscle mass quicker than the females due to hormonal advantages. There are some folks who claim that "strength training" is more effective. May be for some people it is, but for some, like myself, it is not.

So the percentages 80/15/5 or 80/5/15 could only be interpreted as the relative importance of the contributing factors to fat loss.



NIRERIN
Posts: 11,799
12/26/11 7:21 A

the thing is that most people, when thinking of calories burned, think of only exercise. but the problem with that is, that exercise is generally second or third when it comes to how many calories are expended. bmr, which is the calories your body spends doing cellular repairs and pumping blood and other somesuch that keeps you alive is the biggest burn for most people.

most small women have bmrs of about 1300, which in turn puts their daily activities at about 260, so their total burn for the day without even thinking about working out is almost 1500 cals. and the more muscle you have and the larger you are, the bigger those numbers get. most people aren't going to burn 1500 cals a day in exercise. heck, a lot of people won't manage 1500 cals of exercise in a week.

so when you think about it, it's much easier to use what you already have rather than to rely on something that you might have a problem getting done. both the 90-10 and 80-20 are accurate guesses, but it depends on the person. the big idea that they both share is that most of what works is keeping your calories in close to your calories out [or less a deficit]. it's less work than relying on exercise to balance it out, because while exercise is great for your body and health and such, it's really hard to balance out a full chinese take out meal with exercise. and foods tend to be more nutrient dense while workouts tend to ration them out a little.



ZORBS13
SparkPoints: (96,482)
Fitness Minutes: (97,920)
Posts: 12,988
12/26/11 6:06 A

Try exercising without changing your diet and see how far that takes you. It won't have much effect on weight loss. I don't know a single person who has managed this combination.

The first year I exercised, I went from being a total couch potato to an hour or 2 at the gym 5x/week and guess how much weight I lost? ZERO.

Nutrition for weight loss, exercise for health. You can't outtrain a bad diet.



EE2368
Posts: 9
12/26/11 3:18 A

I have heard that weight loss is 90% diet and 10% exercise, or 80% diet and 20% exercise. Are these accurate ratios? I thought exercise had more to do with weight loss than 10-20%. What are your thoughts or nuggets of advice?



 
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