What Matters More, Diet or Exercise?

Which is more impactful to body composition: diet or exercise? 


This is absolutely one of the most common questions that I get when it comes to people deciding how to invest their time and energy, especially when they’re first getting started. 


Should you pay for personal training, group classes, or join a running group? Or should you put your time into meal prep, tracking, and coaching with a registered dietician or a nutrition consultant?


If your goal is body composition and you want to optimize your muscle mass to body fat ratios – the answer is very simple: nutrition wins the battle. 


Factors that Impact How Your Body Utilizes Energy


100% of the energy we put in is dictated by nutrition choices, nothing else is providing our body energy for fuel, other than what we consume. 


No matter how many HIITs you do or how many squats you do each day, you’re going to be burning and expending just enough calories to lose weight because exercise only accounts for 30% of the calories you burn.


On the other hand, if you can improve your body composition through nutrition, then your basal metabolic rate (BMR) is going to improve, impacting up to 80% of the calories you burn. 


A Cost-Benefit Analysis


Ultimately, think about your goals. If your goal is to increase endurance, give yourself some movement through the day, have a low risk of injury, and be able to sustain it, then walking is one of the best things you can do as well as other low-impact exercises such as swimming and cycling.


Whereas, if you’re too focused on high-impact exercises, the risk of injury, the overtraining, the breakdown of the body, and the long-term detriment may outweigh the 200 extra calories you are burning over the next 24 hours because you did a 45-minute HIIT. So you have to do some cost-benefit analysis to make sure you’re getting the most out of your investment.


If you want to learn more about how nutrition impacts your body composition, check out https://workwithdrtiff.com/episode-005.

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