As discussed in last week's posts, daily caloric restrictions is the easiest way to lose body fat. And while this is the easiest way, it is not the best. Studies have shown that combining diet and exercise is the best method of not only losing weight, but also maintaining weight loss.
The National Weight Control Registry ran a study to understand why many individuals who initially lose weight, regain, and return to their initial body weight within 5 years. What they found was that, after initially losing 10-20% of their weight, participants in the study who consistently worked out in addition to their diet (whether it be very restrictive or not), maintained their weight loss.
When losing weight, solely through caloric restrictions, you do lose body fat, but you will begin to lose muscle mass, as well as bone mass. Incorporating exercise will maintain and build lean mass, while also burning calories, to aid in the caloric deficit your are working towards. Muscle will also burn fat, and does so even after you are done with the workout--which is an excellent segue to bring up that resistance training is very important in any person's weight loss journey. You not only build muscle that aids in fat loss, but you can also gain stability, improve your posture, and overall health. Resistance training plus cardio reigns supreme. Adding exercise to your diet can create an even greater deficit, rewarding you with an easier weight loss journey.
Adding exercise to your diet regimen allows for a less restrictive fitness journey. With dieting plus exercise, you have greater flexibility. You can be a bit more lax on the caloric restrictions when adding exercise, or you can be a bit more lax on the exercise. You also have the option to maintain a strict diet, while adding exercise, therefore creating an even greater caloric deficit, as stated above. With my clients, I provide a combination of both caloric restrictions, as well as exercise, providing a convenient, and easy to follow routine. By doing so, I am looking to create a lifelong habit of being conscious of what your consume, in addition to maintaining an active lifestyle. My goal is to eventually have my clients understand the basics when it comes to dieting and exercise, so that they may create a system that works best with them.