What is better for weight loss, diet or exercise?

This article explores the age-old debate: Is it more important to concentrate on exercise or diet for weight loss? In this article, we explore both the importance and the interplay of these elements in achieving a healthier body. My goal as a nutritionist and dietician is to give you practical advice and evidence-based insight on the subject.

Exercise and Diet are Important for Weight Loss

It's important to know whether you should focus on weight loss through diet or exercise. Diet and exercise are both important in maintaining weight and overall health.

Weight management, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention(CDC), is all about balancing calories eaten with calories burned. Over time, excess calories become body fat. By creating a deficit in calories, either by eating less food or exercising more, weight loss can be achieved.

Research published in Obesity Review suggests, however, that diet changes are more effective than physical activity. Exercise increases appetite and can lead to an increase in calorie intake, negating the deficit that is created through exercise.

Important Points for Getting Started

It's important to keep in mind that there is no "one size fits all" solution when embarking on your weight-loss journey. It's important to remember that what works for someone else may not be the best for you. National Weight Control Registry studies suggest, however, that people who maintain a long-term loss of weight do so through a combination of healthy eating and regular exercise.

Mayo Clinic suggests making small adjustments, like cutting down on sweet drinks or adding more veggies to meals. Adding physical activity to your daily schedule is as simple as taking the stairs rather than the elevator, or parking further away so you can walk.

Diet and Exercise Examples for Weight Loss

Other Tips

In addition to diet and exercise, other important factors like sleep and stress control are also crucial for weight loss. Stress and lack of sleep can lead to an increase in hunger hormones, which may cause you to overeat. Make sure you are getting enough sleep and managing your stress.

Consistency is also important. You don't have to make drastic changes in a short time.


Both diet and exercise play a role in weight loss, each with its own unique characteristics. Evidence suggests that the diet may have a greater impact on weight reduction. For long-term success, it is best to combine a healthy diet with regular exercise. It's important to remember that it is not about choosing diet over exercise but rather, integrating them both into your life for optimal health. .