There has been an ongoing debate for about as long as people have been trying to lose weight; what is more important, diet or exercise? The reality is that you can lose weight by using either strategy, but it depends on a couple of things. The most important one of which is your diet. If your diet is truly abysmal, you can not exercise enough to lose weight, unless you are one of those rare individuals with a sky high metabolism or your name is Michael Phelps.

It’s sad, but true, you can’t exercise your way past a bad diet. Why would you want to though? Unless your diet is truly terrible, you can make minor changes to it and add just a little exercise to lose weight pretty fast. The alternative is to continue eating your horrible, Super Size Me diet plan and exercise 16 hours a week. Most people just don’t have the kind of time it would take to overcome a total crap diet like that with exercise alone. Once again, why would you want to?

If you are married to fast food, at least make some healthier choices. The fact is that if you do nothing, you are going to continue being fat. That is the cold, hard reality of the situation. If you make some minor diet changes, you can escape the clutches of the fat demons that hold you now, but you have to stick to them, it’s not like you can skip the Big Mac / Large Fies / Large Coke meal once or twice , then go back to your old ways.

Here are some examples, just using McDonalds for a what if:

If your current lunch consists of a double ¼ pounder with cheese (740 calories), large fries (500 calories), and a large coke (310 calories) you’re taking in 1,550 calories just for lunch, not to mention the level of fat (21.5 grams of saturated fat) and carbs you’re ingesting. A few, small changes would trim the calorie and saturated fat levels substantially.

For example, if you changed to a Big Mac, a Premium Caesar Salad with Grilled Chicken, and a diet Coke, your calorie count would drop from 1,550 to 790. Your saturated fat count would drop from a heart stifling 21.5 grams to 13 grams. You’d also lose the high fructose corn sweetener found in the coke, albeit substituting it for the chemistry set that is artificial sweetener in the diet coke. That is by no means a health food diet, but it is a huge change for the better from before.

For some simple diet rules to lose weight, always remember my three belly fat cutting “no” rules for your diet; no white flour, no refined sugar and no white rice. Add in my three “yes” rules – yes on plenty of low glycemic index vegetables and fruits, healthy fish (healthy for you, I really don’t care if the fish was physically fit when they died), and non fat, no sugar yogurt. Add in some green tea and a bit of protein powder for those meals when you aren’t getting enough protein and you’ll be set.

Remember that although you can’t exercise enough to overcome a bad diet unless you’re training like a world class athlete, you should exercise a few times a week at least. It will multiply your fat loss efforts, especially if you concentrate on high intensity resistance training. That gives you the best “bang for the buck” in the exercise department. Why? Everyone seems to think I should be spending hours doing cardio?

Simple, it is because the increased muscle mass increases your basal metabolic rate to the point where you burn more calories 24 hours a day, more than over coming the calories you’d burn by spending an hour on the treadmill. See my post on why weight training is better than aerobics to lose fat for more scientific based info on this.

Until next time, lose your fat!