Prime women, particularly, struggle to lose weight. (See Why Postmenopausal Women Can’t Lose Weight) When we look at our slowing metabolism and all the issues we are facing as we age, it is pretty easy to conclude that diet is obviously very important and critical to losing weight, but just how important is exercise?
I’ve interviewed a number of nutritionists, fitness professionals and doctors on this topic. We all agree that both a healthy “clean” diet and increased activity are important for overall health.
But after The New York Times recently shared an article titled To Lose Weight, Eating Less Is Far More Important than Exercising More, I had clients questioning why they had to exercise to lose weight.
While I agree with the science behind the research and, yes, a person can make a great impact on weight loss by changing their diet, but as a fitness professional with a good deal of nutrition knowledge, I also know exercise is critical for women over 50 due to muscle loss that only increases as we age. You not only build muscle mass that you are steadily losing but you also are burning fat and toning your physique, plus a ton of other health benefits.
Simply cutting out 300 calories a day vs doing cardio for 30 min a day seems like a smart and easy option, especially if the 300 calories comes in the form of nutritionally void processed foods, sugary snacks or sodas. Unfortunately, the majority of the population tends to under estimate how many calories eaten in a day and over estimate how many calories burned during exercise.
In the end, most experts I spoke with agreed, you can lose weight with dieting alone, but exercise is important not only for stronger bones, muscle strength, and decreasing body fat but an important component for mental and emotional balance, confidence, energy, better sleep, better moods, productivity…I could go on…all of which help motivate you to eat better, stay on track and reach your goals.
So with that, to lose weight, yes, focus on your diet but don’t give up your gym membership just yet. Below are some of the experts who I spoke with. Read on to see how they weigh in on the topic of diet vs exercise for weight loss.