People who are attempting to lose weight either cut back on their calorie intake, or exercise more. This leads us to the question- which is the more effective weight loss technique, cutting calories or exercising more?
Effectiveness of calorie restriction
According to Dr. Donal Hensrud of the Mayo Clinic, "Consuming fewer calories through dietary changes seems to promote weight loss more effectively than does exercise and physical activity. But physical activity is also important in weight control."
We all know that to lose weight, we must burn more calories than we consume. A pound of fat is equal to 3,500 calories. That means you have to burn 3,500 calories in order to lose a single pound. Cutting says, 500 calories from your usual diet can help you lose a pound a week.
Importance of exercise
If you add exercise to your already restricted diet, it would certainly boost weight loss. Exercise helps burn excess calories that you can’t drop through diet alone. Aside from that, exercise also provides a number of health benefits such as improving your overall health, improving your mood, strengthening your cardiovascular system, and lowering your blood pressure.
On top of that, exercise helps maintain weight loss. Research indicates that people who get regular physical activity are able to maintain their weight loss for a longer period of time. On the other hand, people who lose weight by crash dieting or by drastically cutting back their calorie intake from 800 to 400 a day are likely to regain weight quickly, usually within 6 months after they quit dieting.
Source: Mayo Clinic