We’ve heard it often – in order to lose weight, you need to diet and also exercise. Doing both is imperative, right?
For Bob Harper, trainer on the show The Biggest Loser, dieting is more important than the exercise component of losing weight.
“I used to think a long time ago that you can beat everything you eat out of you and it’s just absolutely not the case,” he told Reuters.
The Biggest Loser, which started in 2004, is a reality TV show that keeps track of people who are at least 100 pounds overweight, as they compete to drop the most pounds and win a cash prize. There are variations of The Biggest Loser in various countries around the world.
There are some recent studies in Psychological Science that have shown that people who put more emphasis on diet manage to keep their body mass index (BMI) lower than those who think exercise is more important than controlling food intake. After asking about 1,200 people in the U.S., Canada, China, France and South Korea about their exercise and dieting habits, researchers found that people’s beliefs and theories about weight loss impacted their food choices, and that people who thought they could exercise away all the calories ended up eating far more than those who focused on diet.
Ultimately, what Harper is getting at is that people who aim to lose weight shouldn’t eat anything and everything they want simply because they are on an exercise schedule. Exercise burns calories, but consuming smaller, healthier meals will keep the calories from piling on to begin with. Eating a well-balanced diet, with most foods in moderation, paired with consistent exercise, will always make the biggest difference.