If you are looking for tips to loose weight, you’ve probably heard that both diet and exercise are important for getting fit and staying healthy. But is one really more important than the other? Which one works best for losing weight?

Technically, it all depends on how much you are eating to start with, but for most people, following a healthy eating plan will do more to help with weight loss than exercise alone.

It’s all based on calories. If you want to loose weight, you have to take in less calories than you burn. One pound is equal to 3500 calories, so to lose weight, you need to take in or burn that many calories per week. The average person needs just 1800 calories to maintain their weight, but eats even more than that. By following a restricted calorie diet, you can easily reduce your calorie intake by at least 500 calories per day, resulting in a weight loss of about a pound a week.

Creating a 500 calorie deficit with exercise, however, is a bit more difficult. For example, an average 150 pound person will not burn 500 calories in an hour with most of the common exercises, such as low impact aerobics or walking. You can burn 500 calories with an hour of jogging or step aerobics, but keep in mind that you’d have to do that every day to equal a pound of weight loss in a week.

Additionally, when people exercise, they have a tendency to reward themselves by eating a bit more at dinner or having extra snacks or desserts. This cancels out the effect of exercising, and in some cases is worse because people choose a snack that is higher in calories than the amount that they burned.

Transitioning to a healthier lifestyle is easier if you take things one step at a time, but seeing results is important to your success. If you’re not seeing those pounds drop, you’ll feel less motivated to keep the program going. If you have to choose just one thing to change to become healthier, it’s best to start with diet. Once you have successfully followed some of our tips to loose weight, you’ll feel motivated to begin exercising to see the weight come off even faster.

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