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EXERCISE OR NUTRITION: WHICH IS MORE IMPORTANT FOR FAT LOSS?



Even top personal trainers, whose entire careers are devoted to preaching the benefits of exercise, will almost unanimously agree that nutrition, not exercise, is the priority for fat-loss success.


This is due to two major factors. For starters, reducing your food intake makes it easier to create the initial calorie deficit.


If you maintain your weight and eat 500 fewer calories per day, even if you do nothing else, you will begin to lose weight. Yes, without even the slightest phys exertion.


However, if you are wise, you will not stop there because, as important as nutrition is, it is only one component of a comprehensive fitness program.

Second, it's not only possible, but also easy to outeat any amount of exercise if you don't keep track of the calories you burn versus the calories you consume.


Trainers are constantly irritated when their clients leave the gym and proceed to annihilate all of their hard work... with a fork and a knife!


They can sometimes cancel an entire workout's calorie burn with a single trip to the coffee and doughnut shop.


Think again if you think, "There's no way I could eat so much that it would undo all my training."

Athletes with a lean build are a prime example. They may burn up to 5,000 calories per day while biking, swimming, or running, but they do not lose weight.

How is this even possible? Simple: They purposefully added all those calories back in order to match their training demand.


People who want to lose weight frequently do the same thing: they exercise a lot but eat a lot of calories.


The difference is that they do it on accident. They, too, do not lose weight. Oops! This is why so many so-called experts believe exercise is ineffective for weight loss.


They claim that after beginning an exercise program, people compensate by eating excessively to replace the extra calories burned.


"You've got to be kidding!" I scream at them. "Don't reintroduce all the calories!" It's known as dietary restraint!" Working out does not entitle you to eat as much as you want.


THE ULTIMATE FAT LOSS SECRET


The secret to fat loss is so simple that it's a shame it hasn't yet clicked for the millions of people who struggle with excess body fat.


Read the following paragraph as many times as necessary until you understand it. Understanding this distinction is the key to understanding everything else.


Exercise is not the key to fat loss. It's also not about the foods you eat. The ultimate fat-loss secret is to create a calorie deficit and maintain it consistently until you reach your goal.


Nutrition is only one method of achieving the deficit: You reduce calories in. Training works in the opposite direction: you burn more calories.


If nutrition is ranked as the most important factor in fat loss and you can lose weight solely through diet, why bother training? Why not simply reduce your calorie intake and save yourself a lot of time and effort?


This is not a ridiculous question. My answer is that if you burn fat through training, you will have better body composition, health, and fitness than if you starve the fat through diet alone. You can also get results more quickly.


If you have a 500-calorie daily deficit and want to lose fat faster, increase it to 750 or 1,000 calories.


One way to do this is to reduce your food intake even more, but you can only cut so many calories before you're starving and bad things start to happen.


That leaves cardio training as the primary method for increasing your deficit (on the "burn more" side of the equation). If the energy balance equation has two sides—food in versus calories burned—focusing solely on the food intake side is akin to engaging in a fistfight with one hand tied behind your back. You could fight with one hand, but why would you? You'll find yourself at a disadvantage.


You can lose weight without training, but you will never burn fat at the maximum rate if you do not engage in vigorous physical activity.


Exercising is also important for keeping the fat off. There is so much research to back this up that even experts who advocate only dieting for weight loss admit that exercise is essential for weight maintenance.


Eating less will not make you stronger, fitter, or more athletic.


Diets can make you a smaller version of your former self, weighing less but remaining flabby and weak.


Dieting can help you achieve a smaller pants size if that is all you want. Training is required if you want a new body that is lean, muscular, and looks as good outside as it does inside.

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About

My name is Steven Goldstein

With over 10 years of experience in the fitness industry, I have worked with clients of all ages and fitness levels. From professional athletes to individuals aiming to lose weight, I have helped countless people achieve their goals and improve their overall health through customized training and nutrition plans.

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Consistency leaves clues

Hundreds of clients of all ages, backgrounds, and abilities have put their health in our hands over the years and achieved truly remarkable results. 

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