There’s currently a fierce debate going on regarding whether fitness is more important than nutrition when it comes to good health. There’s also growing evidence that diet has much more of an effect on how we feel than many may imagine. We’re beginning to understand more about the role of nutrition on our overall health and how we can cure or alleviate certain illnesses just by changing either our food selection or habits. Here are a few examples of how diet can be more important than the gym.
Diet has Much More of an Effect on Weight Loss than Exercise
For some reason, fitness used to be seen as the main way to lose weight. But not only is it difficult to make significant weight loss with physical exercise alone, changing your diet and eating habits could be much more efficient in that case.
One hour of jogging per day will burn around 400 calories. That’s about 2800 calories a week. The only issue is that you need to burn around 3000 calories to break down one pound of fat. So, at the end of the month, you would shed less than 4 pounds, even after 1 hour of intense exercise per day!
In contrast, cutting 500 to 750 calories per day can be much easier than it seems. Switching to no, or low-fat cheese in recipes could save you a few hundred calories per day instantly. Switch to plain or lemon water from fruit juice and soft drinks, and you could save a few hundred more. Then you can switch to lower calorie types or cuts of meats, sides, and condiments.
This way, you could easily lose 1 to 1.5 pounds per week simply by making a few minor changes. The amount of exercise you would need to get the same results would be unsustainable. Not to mention that people who perform at this level often compensate by making some bad food choices or overeating, which defeats the whole purpose.
Eating Promotes Healthy Bones
Another thing that is often overlooked about intense exercise is the stress it can put on the human body. A lot of people see exercises like running as the epitome of fitness, but few are aware of how damaging running every day on hard surfaces can be to their joints.
On the other hand, you can easily improve and maintain your bone health through nutrition. As a matter of fact, in one study that was published in PLOS One, food has been shown to be more beneficial when it comes to bone strength and mass than exercise. It found that a group of mice that were fed a mineral rich diet after an exercise routine were able not only to maintain, but increase their bone mass gains even when being inactive.
Nutrition Can Boost Your Immune System in a Way That Exercise Can’t
A lot of people are still unaware of how much of our health is predicated on our digestive system. But the gut is the seat of our immune system and poor gut health is a precursor for bad immunity. That’s why watching what passes through our gut is essential for good general health.
This also means that you can use food to improve your immune system. Probiotics are an example. Probiotics are a type of bacteria that can promote good gut health and the production of immune cells. However, you have to be careful, as some probiotic supplements can cause a variety of symptoms. For instance, some have been shown to trigger histamine production. This then leads to histamine intolerance and reactions. These can range from stomach issues, allergy-like symptoms, and even rashes. This is why you should look for low histamine probiotics to prevent reactions, and not just any supplement with probiotics in it.
As you can see, nutrition plays a central role in our wellbeing and can often have a much deeper impact on our health than we often expect. Make sure that you constantly look for ways to improve your nutrition and eating habits, and your body will eventually reward you.