This is a little lesson explaining the effects that nutrition and exercise have on each other.
I. Diet modulates weight.II. Exercise modulates body composition.
1. Nutrition quality will improve how fast you lose or gain weight.2. Exercise intensity will improve how fast your body composition changes.
Nutrition and exercise also have a big impact on health. Sleep also strongly impacts the results and health very strongly as well so quality of sleep is important.
Everything can be derived from these sets of statements. Lets look at a couple of common examples.
1. You are obese and want to slim down.
Losing weight depends on nutrition. This is also why six packs are said to be made in the kitchen.Simply put: you need to eat less calories to drop weight.
Starvation mode is a misnomer as if you eat extremely few calories your body will naturally drop weight, but the body can decrease metabolic rate by modulating thyroid hormones. This can also have some not-so-great effects on your organs.
Recommendation: It is best to stick with an energy deficit of somewhere between about 300-500 calories less than your TDEE per day, and your body will tend to drop .5-1 lbs per week or so.
Exercise is going to help modulate body composition while the pounds come off. For example, if you end up not exercising while on a caloric deficit, your body will indiscriminately drop muscle mass as well as fat mass.Eating enough protein and training will tend to prevent the loss of muscle mass during weight loss. Aim for 1g of protein per pound and 3x a week strength training while losing weight.
2. You are at a healthy weight for your height, but want to tone up and gain muscle mass while losing fat.
Toning is generally a misnomer built on the use of using light weights to tone. This is false.
Exercise here is the most important for any significant body composition change. Depending on the different types of exercise, your body may see fit to increase muscle mass and/or burn off excess fat mass (in conjunction with proper nutrition). Generally, you can lose fat and gain muscle at the same time, but how well you do this is predicated mainly on your percentage of body fat. If you have a higher body fat percentage, the easier it will be to lose weight due to much extra energy being available for the body to use to build muscle.
Diet is still very important because quality foods will produce faster body composition changes. This depends some on genetics (hence why some elite athletes can generally eat crap and get away with it), but even with good body composition changes with junky food may be at the expense of overall long term health.
Recommendation: Aim to get .7-1 g/lbs of protein and aim to only eat your TDEE in calories to maintain weight. Aim for at least 10 sets of exercises per muscle group to-failure or close to failure. Use heavy weights or difficult bodyweight exercises in the 5-15 repetition range.
3. The underweight person looking to bulk up with muscle.
Diet is the most important. This is a weight issue, and the person is looking to gain weight. Thus, they need to eat more.
This time around adding body mass will be variable according to the exercise (or lack thereof) because it affects body composition.
A. Lifting weights with a hypercaloric diet will tend to put on more muscle mass than fat.B. Eating more without exercising tends to put on all fat as seen by the obesity rates in America.
Recommendation: Aim to get .7-1 g/lbs of protein for your targeted weight with an extra 500 calories a day. Aim for at least 10 sets of exercises per muscle group to-failure or close to failure. Use heavy weights or difficult bodyweight exercises in the 5-15 repetition range.
Onto more details..
I. Regarding the quality of diet
Quality of diet is highly dependent on the genetics of the individual. Some people may be allergic to foods such as gluten or dairy, and consuming such food would be detrimental to overall health.
The one thing we can say is that improvements in the quality of diet directly leads to results in weight (maintenance, gain or loss) as well as quality of health. Since we literally are what we eat, if we take in junk food all the time our health is probably going to decline (even if we cant see it on the outside), and the body will probably gain weight as junk food has a high caloric value.
Healthy bodies operate better mentally, physically, and emotionally so it is VERY important to get high quality nutrients.
Recommendations: avoid food allergens. Consume lots of fruits and vegetables. Aim for a moderate about of starchy foods like rice and potatoes. May need more starchy foods if youre training hard. A fist size hunk of protein at most meals and extra if you need more. Supplements are to only supplement a healthy lifestyle. Whey can be useful if you need more protein.
II. Regarding the quality of exercise
High intensity or high power output exercise heavy lifting, intervals, metabolic conditioning, etc. tend to produce the fastest body composition changes. The stronger the stressors,the faster the body adapts. This is the SAID principle specific adaptation to imposed demand. Of course, high intensity exercise can easily lead to overuse injuries, so listen to your body and be careful.
Damage to your muscles and their growth/adaptation require energy to repair which will be provided by through diet. If the energy need exceeds than of which the diet provides (hypocaloric diet for the obese & isocaloric diet for those who want to maintain weight), then the body tends to metabolize adipose tissue to supply the energy. In essence, our bodies adapt to stress. The higher the stress the bigger the adaptation. This is why higher intensity protocols such as weightlifting and HIIT get stronger adaptations to them than lower intensity such as cardio or very light weights.
The regulation of body composition operates according to the law of diminishing returns (aka logarithmic scale). This means that the improvements will be much greater the higher the body fat percentage & with less muscle mass, but much lower as the body fat percentage drops & with more muscle mass.
One fitness myth is that you cannot add muscle and lose fat at the same time; this is wrong and occurs frequently in obese individuals who are losing weight while doing high intensity exercise. However, as the BF% drops into the teens and single digits, itoccurs much less if at all.
III. Regarding the reliance of diet and exercise to each other
In general, we would tend to say that overall improvement of weight and body composition is 80-85% diet and 15-20% exercise. This is because we are eating almost 21 times per week (maybe more) and only working out about 3-5 times a week.
These are the times that you will be affecting your weight and body composition, so they need to be used wisely. We often taking eating and exercising for granted, but if you want to make any significant weight or body composition changes these times must be taken seriously. Both quality and quantity matter.
This article was originally published August 19, 2009 on Eat Move Improve. Updated Dec 2016.
Questions about articles may be addressed to the Overcoming Gravity reddit.
Steven Low, author of Overcoming Gravity: A Systematic Approach to Gymnastics and Bodyweight Strength (Second Edition), is a former gymnast who has performed with and coached the exhibitional gymnastics troupe, Gymkana. Steven has a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry from the University of Maryland College Park, and his Doctorate of Physical Therapy from the University of Maryland Baltimore. Steven is a Senior trainer for Dragon Doors Progressive Calisthenics Certification (PCC). He has also spent thousands of hours independently researching the scientific foundations of health, fitness and nutrition and is able to provide many insights into practical care for injuries. His training is varied and intense with a focus on gymnastics, parkour, rock climbing, and sprinting.
- 4 Best Types of Exercise on the Keto Diet | Natural Healthy - October 12th, 2019
- Flat Belly Diet Drink | Lose Belly Fat in 1 Week | No Diet ... - October 12th, 2019
- How To Choose The Right Diet And Exercise Plan For Men - September 10th, 2019
- How to Exercise on a Keto Diet | KetoDiet Blog - August 21st, 2019
- Diet and Exercise Calendar Template | 2019 Calendar ... - August 3rd, 2019
- Nutrition, Exercise & Sleep - National Sleep Foundation - July 29th, 2019
- Top Four Ways to Exercise When on a Ketogenic Diet - July 13th, 2019
- Cherry Creek Medical Weight Loss - Colorado Weight Loss - June 5th, 2019
- Is Diet Really More Effective Than Exercise for Weight ... - June 5th, 2019
- Dementia: Exercise, diet, healthy lifestyle can prevent it ... - May 19th, 2019
- Diet and Exercise Tips For Incontinence URINARY ... - April 26th, 2019
- Is It the Diet, the Exercise, or Both? | NutritionFacts.org - April 17th, 2019
- How To Create The Perfect Diet Plan For Your Workout Goal - April 16th, 2019
- Diet + Fitness - CNN - April 3rd, 2019
- Diet vs. Exercise - Mindful by Sodexo - March 9th, 2019
- Diet vs. Exercise: The Truth About Weight Loss - WebMD - February 28th, 2019
- Is Exercise Pointless? (Why You Cant Out Train A Bad Diet) - February 10th, 2019
- Donald Trump's Physical Exam Shows Hes in 'Very Good ... - February 8th, 2019
- Can You Exercise While On The Keto Diet? | Bioketo - February 3rd, 2019
- CRON-diet - Wikipedia - January 17th, 2019
- Reverse PCOS Naturally Through Diet and Exercise | Sepalika - September 24th, 2018
- Diet and Exercise for Heart Disease Prevention - September 24th, 2018
- Diet & Exercise Diary: Hinkler books: 9781743087800 ... - August 6th, 2018
- The Fully Raw Diet: 21 Days to Better Health, with Meal ... - July 9th, 2018
- Diet, Exercise & Health | Fisher Center for Alzheimer's ... - June 5th, 2018
- PCOS and Exercise: How much and how often? | PCOS Diet Support - May 27th, 2018
- 2-Week Diet & Exercise Plan | Applied Nutrition | Health Tips - May 25th, 2018
- Should You Exercise While On The HCG Diet? - May 17th, 2018
- Diet or exercise for weight loss? - Business Insider - May 17th, 2018
- Dieting - Wikipedia - May 17th, 2018
- Successful Weight Loss: Top 10 Tips On ... - The Diet Channel - May 17th, 2018
- Exercise and Eating Healthy - April 19th, 2018
- Diet Vs Exercise: Which Matters More For Weight Loss ... - January 12th, 2018
- Exercise and Anti Inflammation Diet to Live Longer - December 29th, 2017
- How To Lose Weight Fast Without Diet Pills Or Exercise - October 13th, 2017
- Benefit to improving diet and exercise at the same time ... - October 1st, 2017
- 3 Day Military Diet & Exercise: Best Workout Plan for ... - September 20th, 2017
- PCOS and Exercise - The Benefits | PCOS Diet Support - September 20th, 2017
- Diet and Exercise | County Health Rankings & Roadmaps - September 20th, 2017
- Not just diet and exercise: lifestyle changes needed to shed the kilos if you're overweight or obese - South China Morning Post - September 5th, 2017
- Weight loss: How to slim your waist without exercise or dieting ... - Express.co.uk - September 5th, 2017
- Weight loss news: Men find THIS type of exercise harder than women - Express.co.uk - September 5th, 2017
- Rebel Wilson weight loss: Pitch Perfect's 'Fat Amy' shed the pounds doing THIS exercise - Express.co.uk - September 5th, 2017
- 10 ways to build your best body starting today - Body and Soul - September 4th, 2017
- 5 Myths About Exercise Debunked - Inc.com - September 4th, 2017
- Start the Week Off Right: Four exercise and nutrition myths - Quad City Times - September 4th, 2017
- 5 common workout myths and what to do instead, according to the personal trainer who eats only 2 meals a day - Evening Standard - September 4th, 2017
- 30 ways to add years to your life that aren't 'diet and exercise' - WYFF Greenville - September 3rd, 2017
- Junk food fan's shock after learning his 'terrible' diet has aged his body by a staggering 22 YEARS - The Sun - September 3rd, 2017
- When diets fail, Rujuta Diwekar's exercise guide comes to the rescue - Economic Times - September 3rd, 2017
- Losing weight gets personal: Combining diet and behavioral changes may help - Washington Post - September 3rd, 2017
- Jessie James Decker Reveals the Fitness and Diet Secrets to Her Super Hot Bikini Body! - E! Online - September 1st, 2017
- Nathalie Emmanuel's Diet and Exercise Regime Helps Her On-Set Stamina - Hollywood.com - August 30th, 2017
- Weight loss: Man loses over three stone by swapping fizzy drinks for THIS - Express.co.uk - August 30th, 2017
- Nathalie Emmanuel's diet and exercise regime helps her on-set stamina - Belfast Telegraph - August 29th, 2017
- How I Got This Body: Less Fad Dieting and Diet Coke, More Seltzer and Fitspo Friends - Washingtonian.com - August 29th, 2017
- Cutting the carbs: Everything you need to know about the South Beach Diet - Atlanta Journal Constitution - August 29th, 2017
- Calorie reduction + exercise = better muscle function in older adults - Medical Xpress - August 29th, 2017
- Emilia Clarke's trainer reveals what she does to stay in such great shape - INSIDER - August 28th, 2017
- Weight loss diet: Eating THIS before exercise could affect how your body burns fat - Express.co.uk - August 28th, 2017
- Diet and exercise - Journal Advocate - August 28th, 2017
- The key to weight loss: THIS could be the best way to combat obesity - Express.co.uk - August 28th, 2017
- The only two exercises you need to do to get rid of belly fat fast - Daily Star - August 28th, 2017
- Weight loss: This is the best trick YOU can do to lose weight without even trying - Express.co.uk - August 27th, 2017
- 5 Easy Ways To Spring Clean Your Diet - Huffington Post Australia - August 27th, 2017
- Weight loss: THIS is the best exercise you can do at home to lose belly fat - Express.co.uk - August 27th, 2017
- A Coach's Wife: Trying to comprehend the mixed-up business of diet and exercise - Daily Herald - August 27th, 2017
- Tia Mowry on her 5-second style and why she'll never give up comfort foods - Yahoo Food - August 27th, 2017
- Report: Diet, Exercise Help Diabetics Maintain Normal Lifestyle - CBS Philly - August 26th, 2017
- Fit For Life: Train and Eat! Not - Exercise and Diet - GoLocalProv - August 26th, 2017
- Weight loss: How to lose weight and blast belly fat with walking - Express.co.uk - August 26th, 2017
- 83% of people lose weight on THIS diet without exercising - Daily Star - August 26th, 2017
- Bob Harper Shares All the Ways His Life Has Changed Following His Heart Attack - POPSUGAR - August 26th, 2017
- Intensive lifestyle change: It works, and it's more than diet and exercise - Harvard Health (blog) - August 21st, 2017
- Kristina Dropped 102 Pounds by "Doing Zero Exercise" in the First Year - POPSUGAR - August 21st, 2017
- 25-year-old supermodel Kate Upton says weightlifting completely changed her body and outlook on fitness - INSIDER - August 21st, 2017
- Jennifer Aniston Dishes on Her Diet and Exercise Secrets (Grab a Pen and Take Notes, People!) - Closer Weekly - August 20th, 2017
- Study: A red wine component has similar anti-aging benefits to diet and exercise - PhillyVoice.com - August 19th, 2017
- Health and exercise myths and tips - Inquirer.net - August 18th, 2017
- The Secret Behind Demi Lovato's Confidence and Happiness? This Routine - POPSUGAR - August 18th, 2017