In the UK, and most western countries, there is a high incidence of obesity. A report published in 2019 highlighted that 28.7% of adults in the UK were obese and a further 35.6% were in the overweight category; this means that less than 36% of the adult population in the United Kingdom is of an acceptable weight for their height. This statistic makes it clear why the diet and exercise industry is big business. However, if people were successful at weight loss these statistics wouldn’t be so shocking.

When embarking on a weight loss regime many people opt to do one or both of the following:

  1. Improve their diet and decrease calorie intake
  2. Begin/increase exercise

Many people lose varying amounts of weight; however, the vast majority of people quickly put it back on, and often more, quite quickly after stopping their new regime. So, what could we do differently to make weight loss sustainable? Are diet and exercise equal? What are the benefits of each? Keep reading to find out all the answers to these questions and more.

Is Diet or Exercise Better for Weight Loss?


Food is emotive; most people love to eat it is social, the tastes and textures can evoke memories and feelings of happiness, and chemicals in some foods can release feel good hormones in the body. However, most of us lean toward unhealthier foods to satisfy these feelings. Many people struggle to change their eating habits so go along the exercise route to promote weight loss. The problem with this is that the mentality of ‘I run to eat’ often means limited or no weight loss. It is hard to lose weight through exercise alone.

Some studies suggest that the impact of exercise on weight loss is minimal, with the statistics estimating that diet is responsible for around 80% and exercise 20%. This however doesn’t mean that you should hang up your running shoes; it means that exercise alone is unlikely to make

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