Interesting story: a recent study found that it’s far better to be fit and overweight than to be simply thin.
The study found that women who didn’t do any exercise – including the slim ones – were far more at risk for heart attacks, while women with some extra pounds but a generally fit body (thanks to some exercise) were less at risk.
Sounds pretty straightforward then: exercise is important!!
But wait, here comes another study. It turns out those same women who exercise – but are still overweight or obese – are up to nine times as likely to develop diabetes as women of normal weight.
So if you’re overweight but ‘fit’ = you’re at higher risk for diabetes, no matter how much you exercise. If you’re slim but not ‘fit’ = you’re at rish for a heart attack, no matter how much you diet.
WHY DIET & EXERICSE CAN’T BE ‘ONE OR THE OTHER’.
Small amounts of calorie cutting here and there (let’s say 400 calories of excessive food per day) can make a big difference, while a commitment to burn 400 calories a day can be much harder to pull off.
But this is missing the larger point, which is that there is no clear equivalency between ‘cutting 400 calories out of my diet and burning 400 calories through exercise’.
While studies have shown that cutting out fatty foods will help you lose some weight, while plain exercise sometimes won’t, especially for women who ignore their diet entirely, it’s still a mistake to see the two areas as mutually exclusive.
Never forget that burning 400 calories through good, balanced exercise – like a great mix of lifting weights and intensive cardio – contains benefits that go far beyond just those 400 calories burned.
Treat your body as a system that needs good, healthy attention from all angles, not sure crash diets or burn out marathons, but gradual, sustained, and long term attention to eating well and being active, at the same time.
There is no magic ration between diet and exercise, and study after study continue to prove that you can’t reap the benefits of one without suffering the negatives of another. Realize that changing your body is something you need to do responsibly. There is no ‘choice’ between diet or exercise.
To be heathly, you can’t have one without the other. BUT there’s one BIG advantage: tackling both at once is completely complimentary – the better you eat, the more you’ll want to work out, and the better you work out, the better you’ll want to eat!!