For Fat Loss, Do You Exercise First or Diet First?
"Both!" you just answered, right?
Yes, you should start training and improving your diet. Why? Because …
- Diet without training just leads to a smaller, still-flabby body …
- Training without a complementary diet often leads to zero fat loss, or perhaps a little fat loss at first followed quickly by stagnation. "You can not out-train a bad diet," I wrote back in the 90s. For most people, that holds true.
But as weird as it may sound to T Nation readers, most folks who want to loose fat say things like, "I need to lose weight first, then I'll think about joining a gym. "
Maybe they're just going to get their hands on Paradise Island and chiseled male specimens straight from the latest cover of Men's Health. They're "gymtimidated."
But a new study shows that if a newbie wants to lose fat, training first and worrying about diet later may
Researchers gathered 2,680 sedentary people between the ages of 1
They did workouts three times a week for 15 weeks.
They changed their damn diets anyway!
Defying instructions, reduced or dropped the fried foods, sodas, and junk foods in favor of lean meats, fruits, and veggies.
Why Did This Happen?
In other studies, moderate exercise, higher-fat foods, probably via changes in dopamine levels. Note that with more intense training, hunger itself may increase, but the preferences for healthier fare could still occur.
Or it could be more simple than that. After seeing their bodies begin to change, maybe they just got hooked on feeling good again. The next logical step is to add a diet component to complement each other's workouts.
The researchers thus said that many of the participants believed that "their size was inevitable." No surprise really, since there are many health-at-any-size advocates out there that exact message, which is known in scientific circles as "complete and utter monkey shit."
One one researcher pointed out, one healthy habit can promote other healthy habits.
How to Use this Info
If you know someone who wants to make a difference, push them to get them butts to the gym. According to this study at least, once they are hooked on training the dietary changes will usually come along naturally.
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Jaehyun Joo, Sinead A. Williamson, Ana I. Vazquez, Jose R. Fernandez, Molly S. Bray. The influence of 15-week exercise training on dietary patterns among young adults. International Journal of Obesity, 2019; DOI: 10.1038 / s41366-018-0299-3