What Matters Most for Obesity treatment: Exercise vs Diet

Exercise vs Diet

Unhealthy eating plans and decreased physical activity are the main causes of obesity. Here, we will discuss exercise vs diet for obesity prevention.

Obesity is a complication that can be prevented. Obesity prevention is much easier, cheaper and more effective than obesity treatment. The complication of obesity develops over time. Therefore, its treatment requires a lot of effort to match the developmental stages of the disease.

Obesity is one of the problems of industrial life for all age groups. Cardiovascular disease, diabetes, hypertension, gallstones, gout, arthritis, as well as breast cancer, colorectal cancer, and prostate cancer are linked to obesity. Also, the rate of hospitalization of obese patients in different parts of the hospital as well as the time required for their complete improvement is very different with other groups.

Obesity in children, though not seemingly unpleasant and problematic, needs attention and treatment.

Obesity at the school age has many problems. Psychosocial disorders such as depression, anti-social behaviour, lack of confidence and frustration occur more widely among obese children. Obesity in childhood, especially among boys, is associated with an increased risk of it occurring in adulthood. 26 to 41 percent of obese children at pre-school age will also be affected by obesity in adulthood.

Due to the many problems associated with obesity, even losing a small amount of weight will reduce the severity of obesity. According to the experts, reducing 5 to 20 percent of body weight in obese people can lead to the elimination of many risk factors.


In this post we will try to discuss the exercise vs diet question for obesity treatment.


Why do we become obese? Lack of exercise vs diet

Obesity, in a simple definition, results from an unbalanced dietary intake of energy and the amount of energy or energy consumed as a result of physical activity. Therefore, the most effective way to treat obesity is to reduce the amount of energy intake and increase metabolism.

Nowadays, experts believe that obesity mainly caused by insufficient exercise. The change in collective behavior, the large variety of electrical appliances, long hours of watching TV, video films and computer games has made modern life inactive. In advanced countries, people eat more and move less. Eating out-of-home foods today is another reason for obesity in the modern world. These foods impose high levels of fat on the body, without having to bring all the necessary nutrients to your body.


  • Obesity in children: lack of exercise vs diet

Different genetic and hormonal causes result in childhood obesity. Parents rarely see a doctor to check the cause of childhood obesity. The relationship between obese parents and obese children is likely to reflect the traditional way of nourishment and culture of activity in society. Contrary to popular perception, lack of exercise leads to an increase in appetite and overeating. Also, clinical studies have shown a very close connection between the hours of television watching in children and their obesity. When watching TV, food and snacks are increased and the physical activity of the child is limited. A suggested solution for parents is to distance the TV from the child’s bedroom. In addition, you can reduce the hours of watching TV by planning to fill the children’s time with more active pastimes.

Sometimes obesity occurs in children as a result of a disease. If obesity in a child is accompanied by symptoms such as shortness of height, age, dry skin, over sensitivity to cold, constipation, overeating, fatigue, swelling, hair loss, increased fat in the neck and abdomen, and not the arms and legs, head or spine injury, and infection, parents should seek to track the underlying causes of it.

  • Exercise vs diet: Which is more important for obesity treatment

In all age groups, several ways to treat obesity are suggested, from the use of various and rare medicines to surgery. But initial and selective treatment for overweight and obese patients is a combination of diet, exercise, and change in everyday behaviors. Even taking medication without observing a controlled diet and exercise plan will be in vain.


  • Effect of exercise in preventing and treating obesity

The total daily energy consumption is divided into three parts: energy consumption at rest, energy consumption after the meals, and energy consumption after physical activity. At rest, 60 to 70 percent of the total body energy is consumed and its amount per hour is about 1 kilocalorie per kilogram of body weight. The most variable energy consumption is during physical activity. This rate is 10 to 15 percent for people with low activity and 30 to 40 percent of the total energy used in active people. Exercise in two ways can lead to energy in the body: one increase in the amount of fuel during exercise and another increase in energy during rest after the end of exercise.

For the second case, let’s take an example: Physical activity with a moderate intensity of ten minutes can increase body energy in the rest of the diet by 5 to 15% for 24 to 48 hours. In athletes, the amount of energy used during rest is 5 to 20 percent higher than normal people. Therefore, one of the most important benefits of exercise and physical activity is to increase the amount of energy consumed by the active person at rest. Therefore, it’s a mistake to believe that those with an excessive appetite will have increased appetite with exercise and physical activity. No scientific research confirms this. On the contrary, heavy exercise increases some of the body’s substances and decreases the person’s appetite. That is, we have a temporary reduction of appetite.

At rest, 50% of the energy needed for metabolism is supplied by fat and the rest is provided with sugar. In light sports, fats continue to carry this task. But with increased exercise intensity, the metabolism of sugars is more pronounced. That’s why light exercise is more beneficial for weight loss. Perhaps surprisingly, doing exercises for a little time, for example, at least one hour of physical activity each day for ten days, is enough to increase body fat burning in rest time. To reach this goal, we need eight weeks for elderly people.

One of the other benefits of exercise is increased muscle breathing capacity, which means that it takes longer for athletes to feel tired.

Exercise vs Diet

  • Does exercise accompanied with diet lead to further weight loss?

In obese people, exercise alone reduces little weight. The average weight loss reported in 12 studies was about two-and-a-half kilograms. In a seventy-kilo person, five hours of exercise per week will only result in a weight loss of 0.4 pound. The combination of exercise and diet will play a more effective role in a weight loss program. Suppose a person with a successful diet has lost about 10 kg. Nearly three kilograms of this weight loss result from the removal of non-fatty substances. While with a 10-kg weight loss with exercise and diet combined, less than two kilograms of non-fatty body mass is eliminated.

The presence of massive fat in the abdomen and the intestines increases the body’s resistance to insulin and, consequently, increases in blood sugar in obese people. It is also one of the most important factors in the development of cardiovascular diseases. Therefore, losing belly fat helps to maintain health. Based on the results of extensive studies, exercise plays an important role in reducing abdominal area fat.

In people with low levels of exercise, exercise begins to decrease the likelihood of being overweight. Exercise is also an effective way to maintain body weight after proper treatment of obesity. In a study, it was found that with discontinuation of the diet, after 18 months, 92% of the lost weight returned, while continuing to do exercise decrease the likelihood of the return of the lost weight. The effect of exercise on the treatment of obesity in children is higher. Today, physical activity is known as an indispensable part of childhood obesity prevention and treatment program.


  • How much exercise is enough?

Starting exercise on a daily schedule should be at a level that is achievable by the obese person. After achieving basic-level physical fitness and weight loss, the intensity and duration of exercise can be increased. The minimum body fuel used to reach physical fitness is estimated at 1,000 kcal / week. The desirable body fuel rate for weight loss is about 2,000 kilocalories per week. In fast walking, the metabolic rate increases by four times the resting time. With a simple calculation, we find that for a person of 70 kg, at least seven hours of walking per week is needed.

You can calculate energy consumption for other activities as well. However, most people with obesity are not fully prepared to perform that amount of physical activity. Some are exempted from many exercises due to heart disease and hypertension. As a result, the type and duration of exercise for obese people depends on their ability and physical condition. For example, it’s never advisable to run for obese people with heart disease. The most common therapeutic exercise for this group is walking. Other physical activities, such as cycling and swimming, are sometimes good alternatives to walking.

Choosing the type of exercise depends first and foremost on your individual interest. You can include a combination of exercises in your program. Keep in mind that high intensity exercises and short periods of time will increase the amount of metabolism in the rest and reduce appetite. While low-intensity exercise for a long time affects the metabolism of fats. Depending on the purpose of the doctor and the patient’s admission, the decision is made about the intensity and duration of the selected exercises.

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